updated 11:30 pm EST, Tue January 31, 2012
Will enable firm to deploy new apps more quickly
IBM today announced an agreement to acquire Worklight, a privately-held Israel-based app development studio, along with bringing Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices out of beta. The new app will leverage its existing BigFix infrastructure to integrate security and management of mobile devices using the same controls that are already in use for desktops and notebooks. The moves are expected to help IBM expand its mobile credentials in the enterprise market.
The Worklight acquisition will enhance IBM's limited mobile app portfolio with tools that will make it easier for the company to produce native, web-based or HTML5 mobile software on a variety of platforms. The company makes both an app environment for multi-platform development as well as enterprise management server software to control mobile software configurations and permissions. The company has noted that smartphone shipments outpaced global PC shipments in 2011.
Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices extends the reach of IBM's BigFix software, which it acquired in 2010 for servers, desktops, laptops and point-of-sale devices. The app offers services to administrators who themselves may be mobile to control, secure and configure other mobile units. Organizations can wipe data from lost or stolen devices, encrypt data on the device and set up passcode policies and VPN networks.
The Endpoint Manager software works across iOS, Android, Symbian and Windows Mobile (along with Windows Phone) devices. Blackberry devices are curiously not mentioned by IBM in describing the app's compatibility. The software can identify devices that are not in compliance with policies and issue notifications or deny services until the device is secure, a particularly crucial need for companies that allow employees to use personal devices rather than company-issued hardware.