Since VMware acquired AirWatch back in February, we've known that there's a long integration road ahead. While AirWatch will continue to operate as a subsidiary, VMware has ambitious (yet logical and exciting) plans to integrate AirWatch's enterprise mobility products into their end user computing offerings.
Today we got another piece of the puzzle: SKUs for cloud-based versions of AirWatch are now available for VMware channel partners to sell. (AirWatch's existing sales organization and channel strategy will remain intact too.)
The assumption we’ve been making for the last few months is that since many customers love VMware for all the savings they got from server virtualization, VMware (or partners selling VMware) will always get a warm welcome when they knock on the door selling other new products. Ergo the result will be more sales for AirWatch.
I wonder though—is that true? Do you think that logic makes sense? And if so, do you see that as a good thing or a bad thing? After all, we’re still in the early stages of the EMM market, so it seems that there are three distinct things that could happen here:
- This could be like the early days of VDI hype that Brian and Gabe wrote about in The VDI Delusion.
- This could be not that big of a deal, because maybe we’re already past the initial round of EMM hype (or at least MDM hype), and companies will be smarter about how they buy and use it.
- This could be a big successful boost for AirWatch and EMM in general.
Which way do you think it’ll go?
Update on Horizon Mobile Virtualization Platform for Android
On another integration-related note, a while ago I sat down with VMware's Kit Colbert and Ben Goodman to ask about their plans for the Horizon Mobile Virtualization Platform for Android. They confirmed that AirWatch is working on the ability to manage VMware Horizon Mobile Virtualization Platform (MVP)-enabled devices.
Horizon MVP actually has a pretty extensive hardware compatibility list—probably the longest of any of the specialty work/personal Android solutions (for now, at least). Unfortunately the problem with it is that you can only provision and manage the virtual corporate environments using the VMware Horizon platform, not any mainstream EMM products. But once AirWatch can manage Horizon MVP devices, a lot more companies will be able to give it a try.
Keep in mind two other things, though: First, these specialty Android devices with built-in work and personal features are currently an extremely small and still unproven niche. Second, enterprise features announced for next version of Android have the potential to completely upend this market before it even gets any real traction.
Still, at the end of the days it’s great to see all these Android-related developments coming from all angles.