Thoughts on the VMware Purchase of Airwatch

The week of January 20, 2014, brought some welcome news for those that care about End User Computing (EUC) and VMware. News broke early in the morning that VMware had reached an agreement to purchase Airwatch for $1.54 billion. But what would all this mean for VMware and the EUC marketplace? And just who is this Airwatch anyway?

Airwatch: One to Watch

To make it simple, Airwatch is a software company that helped enterprises manage their mobile devices and data. With over 10,000 customers and a mature product offering they are a leader in the mobile space. The Airwatch offering is much more than just managing mobile devices and apps. The current product can also manage laptops and mobile data, and they offer self-service ability.

This type of a product feature set should keep VMware busy for some time working on integrating the features. This looks like a great move at this point on VMware’s side, as they have acquired a lot of talent and product features to help them level the field with Citrix.

How Will VMware Use Airwatch?

The real work starts now for VMware. They will have to figure out how they can utilize the parts that they purchased in the Airwatch acquisition. The product was full of great features and will certainly help VMware in strengthening its Horizon Suite position.

In the short term, they can continue to sell Airwatch as the current standalone product to customers that are not looking to solve the entire EUC equation in their company. This is a win for VMware, because they now have a product that was winner in the marketplace by itself, not just something that was tossed in for free.

The obvious answer is that the previous attempt from VMware Horizon Mobile would likely be killed off, and Airwatch will take its place in Horizon Suite. But there are several other key parts in Airwatch’s offering. For example, how might VMware integrate the PC management features of the new offering into Horizon Suite? Is there a way that these features could be merged with Horizon Mirage? I am excited to see what this space brings in the way of a feature mash-up.

There are still some features that companies adopting or looking at adopting Mirage want, like the ability to sync changes from outside the corporate network. Another big ask is the ability to expire or nuke an endpoint. This would entail the ability to render a Mirage-managed PC useless if needed by the company, which makes protecting enterprise data easy if the PC is lost, stolen, or the employee is terminated.

These are just a few of the things that come to mind on the topic. But I am pretty excited about what 2014 might bring for EUC at VMware. Heres to hoping for a huge EUC keynote at VMworld in 2014!