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Citrix makes big mobile device management play with XenMobile

by Doug Drinkwater

February 20 2013

XenMobile is the result of Citrix acquiring MDM vendor Zenprise
XenMobile is the result of Citrix acquiring MDM vendor Zenprise

Citrix has been busy since acquiring Zenprise at the start of the year. Today, the company launched a new MDM solution called XenMobile MDM which allows enterprise IT departments to control all iOS and Android devices.

XenMobile is designed for managing data, mobile apps and security policies across all smartphones and tablets and essentially represents Citrix’s attempt to close the gap to MDM vendor leaders like MobileIron and Good Technology.

The solution comes in two packages, the first offering MDM functionality only (XenMobile MDM) and the second being the Citrix Mobile Solutions Bundle which includes XenMobile MDM, Citrix CloudGateway and Citrix ShareFile.

The bolt-on of these two products will enable IT departments to also secure mail, apps and browsing as well as offer a unified enterprise app store housing all applications (Windows, web, SaaS and mobile).

End users will be able to self-enrol their smartphones and tablets in the workplace but there are significant controls for IT managers too. These folk are able to provision apps and policies to large groups as well as blacklist and whitelist apps, detect and protect against jailbroken devices, and remotely wipe devices.

All of this would seem to chime with the increasing industry consensus that mobile security should be focused on data and not devices. Indeed, Yankee Group recently predicted that there will be little to differentiate Mobile App Management (MAM) and MDM vendors going forward, and Citrix itself hinted that standalone MDM solutions may be long gone.

"We're aiming to go beyond MDM into a complete enterprise mobility play," said Citrix’s VP and general manager of mobile solutions Amit Pandey (previously CEO of Zenprise). “Citrix's bet is that enterprises will want more than just an MDM package.

"MDM isn't dead, but it will have a tough time in a large enterprise. The bigger the MDM needs the more it becomes about the data and applications. Standalone MDM will be a tough sell in two to three years.”

Citrix went onto add that XenMobile MDM could benefit from the current confusion in the market, where IT managers and other team leaders are forced to choose from “hundreds” of MDM vendors to do a few simple tasks.

“We recognize organizations have been struggling to sort through a lot of point products offered by a hundred different MDM vendors,” Citrix product marketing director Natalie Lambert told TabTimes editor David Needle.

“Our goal is to offer enterprises the most comprehensive solution on the market.”

Citrix XenMobile MDM will become available on February 25 and is a free upgrade to existing CloudGateway customers.

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