IBM’s Fiberlink Buy Could Help Clear MDM Fog

FiberlinkPartners who have had a hard time deciding on a mobile management platform from the nearly 100 available choices on the market have something new to consider this week with IBM Corp.’s purchase of mobility management specialist Fiberlink Communications Inc.

The acquisition for an undisclosed sum brings Fiberlink’s well-known and capable cloud-based MaaS360 MDM offering under the umbrella of arguably the most well established and trustworthy brand in the channel. With the purchase of Blue Bell, Pa.-based Fiberlink, Big Blue could be answering a lot of the questions partners have about the long-term viability of the myriad MMS players.

Fiberlink currently has about 3,500 customers globally, mostly in financial services, health care and manufacturing. IBM officials say they will make Fiberlink’s MaaS360 part of their growing SaaS portfolio and offer the solution on the IBM SoftLayer cloud infrastructure as part of their MobileFirst initiative.

“In a mobile first world, clients require a comprehensive mobile management and security offering. Often times they integrate solutions on their own and take on unnecessary risk,” said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president for middleware software at IBM.  “To protect and enhance the complete mobile experience, it’s crucial to secure the app, user, content, data and the transaction.

According to IBM officials, MaaS360’s cloud delivery model decreases time and cost associated with BYOD efforts. The addition of MaaS360 now lets IBM offer either cloud-based or on-premise MDM, mobile content management, and mobile application management including containerization, a separation of personal and corporate assets on the device that’s become increasingly important in BYOD security strategies.

The MaaS360 will be combined with IBM’s Endpoint Manager to enable Unified Device Management, supporting either SaaS or on-premise deployments for most any end-user device including laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones.

“While the proliferation of mobile devices provides great flexibility and agility for organizations, it also increases the complexity to manage and protect corporate data,” said Fiberlink CEO Jim Sheward “We are looking forward to becoming part of IBM’s strategy to put mobile first and deliver holistic mobile device and app management and security for today’s always-connected workforce.”

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