VMware is acquiring mobile device management (MDM) specialist AirWatch for $1.5bn to boost its end-user computing offering.
AirWatch is based in the US but has won a lot of customers in the UK, including various NHS organisations.
For example, NHS Infomatics Merseyside has deployed AirWatch to secure a fleet of devices, send mobile updates and reduce the cost and time associated with printing documents. Other UK companies using the system include fashion retailer Ted Baker London.
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VMware chief executive Pat Gelsinger said: "With this acquisition VMware will add a foundational element to our end-user computing portfolio that will enable our customers to turbo-charge their mobile workforce without compromising security."
AirWatch will build on the company’s strategy to provide a secure virtual environment for users across many different devices.
"Our vision is to provide a secure virtual workspace that allows users to work at the speed of life," said Sanjay Poonen, general manager of VMware's End-User Computing group.
The acquisition of AirWatch follows a deal in October last year to buy desktop as a service provider Desktone, which delivers Windows applications as a cloud-based service.
VMware appears to be moving beyond mobile device management to a broader mobile application management (MAM) focus.
Scott Davis, VMware's chief technology officer, said: “If I'm buying my device and paying for the plan, and I want to use it for both business and pleasure, enterprises need to be able to manage the work content… but not preclude what [users] can do with the phone they paid for. That's why we're much more aligned with the MAM space.”