AirWatch Connect Summarized in Three Words: Growth, Partners, Security
By Jim Lundy
We attended AirWatch’s fourth annual AirWatch Connect customer event in Atlanta this week. There are a number of takeaways from the event, including the time that VMWare CEO Pat Gelsinger spent on stage and with analysts, partners, and customers in meetings on Monday.
That said, AirWatch continues to execute, and this blog summarizes what we saw and heard this year at AirWatch Connect.
This year, the battle cry was about Airwatch hitting 18,000 customers globally. AirWatch CEO John Marshall told the story of their growth over the last year and even though AirWatch is owned by VMWare, we see no signs of things slowing down. In fact, it appears that AirWatch is the new growth engine for VMWare.
While we are in the midst of two major trends—EMM becoming strategic and a new EMM consolidation phase that is occurring (Good is being bought by Blackberry)—AirWatch is capitalizing on both.
AirWatch ACE Partners
AirWatch had a number of partners at AirWatch Connect, but it is the ACE (App Configuration for Enterprise) Network—its collection of mobile apps that can be automatically configured and managed for enterprise deployment—that got noticed. AirWatch announced the addition of 21 new members, including SAP.
While some will say that ACE is the alternative to app wrapping, what we like about it is the open approach that ACE is leveraging. This approach makes it slightly easier to integrate apps into an EMM framework and at the same time, allows for identity management.
Given the progress of ACE, we expect that many of the vendors who attended AirWatch Connect in Atlanta and who are not members of ACE will soon become members.
AirWatch Mobile Security Alliance
One of the biggest takeaways from the event was the announcement of a new Mobile Security Alliance that included ten initial members: Palo Alto Networks, Check Point, FireEye, Appthority, Lookout, Pradeo, Proofpoint, Skycure, Veracode, and Zimperium.
No single vendor can stop cyber attacks, but the formation of a security alliance is the beginning of the start to allow security providers to work together to stop the continuing avalanche of cyber attacks. We will be discussing the impact of this new way forward in security in a separate First Cut.
So, while the fourth AirWatch Connect is in the books, one of the things that we have been watching is how VMWare has been managing the acquisition of AirWatch. While VMWare CEO Pat Gelsinger and EVP Sanjay Poonen were very involved in the event, they have really allowed John Marshall and his team to continue to drive AirWatch into the market.
It is also clear that Sanjay Poonen sees a larger mobile vision, which given AirWatch’s market progress and their new initiatives (ACE and Mobile Security Alliance), puts them in a better position in mobile now than other tech titans, such as Microsoft.