The Friday Notebook: January 13, 2017

Unidesk and Apperian got acquired, there’s going to be an API for Intune, MobileIron is cash flow positive, and more!

Here’s what happened and what was interesting in the enterprise mobility and end user computing space in the week leading up to January 13, 2017.


Much of the partner-oriented Citrix Summit is technically under NDA, but a significant block of news came out from it this week:

  • Citrix hit what appears to be a home run with their acquisition of Unidesk. We covered it on this week, but the TL;DR version is that Citrix is replacing Personal vDisk and AppDisk with a flexible, robust, modern platform for application and profile management that will be included with all versions of XenDesktop.
  • XenMobile Cloud is now integrated with Citrix Cloud and will now be known as XenMobile Service, plus we learned about two new SKUs intended to complement Microsoft EMS. This answers a lot of questions we had after the integration announcements back at Synergy. We’ll write up more of the details and our analysis next week.
  • Citrix also unveiled NetScaler integration with EMS. We like this concept: Users go through the same control point, regardless of whether they’re connecting to cloud or on-premises resources.
  • XenDesktop Essentials was announced. It will let you run Windows 10 VMs in XenDesktop as a service on Azure (we finally get to see what we first heard about at Synergy 2016!). It’s been released from a code perspective, and should be available very soon. The delay could be because Microsoft has yet to dot the i’s and cross the t’s on the licensing change.
  • XenApp Essentials was also discussed in the same announcement. This is the latest step since we wrote about the replacement for Azure RemoteApp. It’s not available yet, but it should be by Synergy—in time for ARA customers to make a switch.

It appears that soon partners will be able to easily integrate with Microsoft Intune and achieve the long-desired goal of managing Office Mobile apps. That’s our interpretation based on new documentation that showed up for Microsoft Graph, the API that can control various Azure-based products. There aren’t any official announcements yet (it looks like the documentation showed up on GitHub about a month ago); as far as we can tell the first person to bring this to light was MobileIron’s Ojas Rege, on Twitter this Tuesday. Besides Intune, there many other products that appear to be getting Graph APIs, too. This could have a very significant effect on the EMM industry—stay tuned for our analysis in the coming weeks. (UPDATE, 1/20/2017: In fact, there actually was a mention back in December on the Microsoft EMS blog, though it was very brief and there wasn't much fanfare. More recently, Microsoft has also added emphasis to remind potential users that they must have an Intune or EMS license to use the functionality.)

MobileIron, after having a rough time financially in 2015, has achieved their goal of becoming cash flow positive in 2016.

VMware added to their Unified Endpoint Management capabilities by announcing a partnership with Adaptiva. Adaptiva OneSite specializes in peer-to-peer systems management, software deployment, and security for domain-joined and non-domain-joined PCs. We need to dig a bit deeper into this to see exactly where this fits in with the rest of VMware’s UEM and related technologies like VMware TrustPoint. When we get that info, we’ll do a more in-depth write-up.

Igel has hired Doug Brown to be their Global Technology Evangelist. This is a big deal for Igel since Doug is a respected industry veteran with the ear of a lot of organizations. Igel is pushing hard these days and seeing some good traction with their super-flexible thin clients that run Igel Linux. Basically, if you can configure it in the OS, you can configure it via policies on the Igel client. Since they also sell Igel Linux as a PC-to-Thin Client conversion tool, they can deliver the same level of management to PCs. Now they have someone to help spread the word.

Symantec decided to EOL their Workspace Virtualization Streaming product. This has been a while in the making, since its heyday was probably seven or eight years ago. Originally Altiris SVS—and acquired by Symantec in 2007—it competed with XenApp Streaming, Softgrid (which became App-V), and ThinApp. In time, the industry shifted away from using app streaming for its original purpose (streaming bits of applications) towards using it for application management. Even Citrix has deferred to Microsoft App-V, so it was really only a matter of time until this happened. Nevertheless, Workspace Virtualization Streaming occupies a spot in the annals of desktop virtualization.

Cloud access security broker startup Bitglass got a pretty hefty $45 million round C. CASBs look like they could play a role in the future of EUC, but there’s still a lot of debate about just how big that role will be. Bitglass in particular is interesting because they aggressively position themselves as an alternative to EMM.

As we mentioned last week, CES doesn’t really have anything for us to cover here at, but if you’re looking for a good recap, check out this one from Steven Sinofsky.

AppSense Environment Manager 10.1 is out, and Jon Rolls detailed it in this post.

Our blog posts:

Jack: Apple’s iOS management protocol needs to get better for BYOD. Here’s why and what they could do. I’ve been wanting to write this post for a long time. Apple has done a lot for institutional devices, as well as a lot for privacy in commercial apps, but now it’s time for them to make another revision for BYOD.

Gabe: Citrix's acquisition of Unidesk looks to be a great move. Our full analysis: It’s a hit!

Jack: MAM vendor Apperian acquired by Arxan, validating app-centric security and management. It’s all about the apps, and we need all types of MAM, too.

Mike Nelson: Windows Containers for Geeks! Did you know that Mike is a BriForum speaker, Microsoft MVP, Citrix CTP, and a VMware vExpert? In this post he explained what Windows Containers are, how they work, and why they’re useful.

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It's lovely that Microsoft has released some API's to integrate with Intune. However if they are serious about interoperability, they'd allow Office mobile apps to be part of That would allow any EMM solution to configure/manage DLP in Office mobile apps, without needing Intune. Enough of the lock in please...