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IBM says its acquisition of Fiberlink will strengthen its enterprise mobile management offerings and appeal to enterprises with a BYOD policy

IBM says its acquisition of Fiberlink will strengthen its enterprise mobile management offerings and appeal to enterprises with a BYOD policy

Tech giant IBM announced Tuesday that it has reached a deal to acquire Fiberlink Communications, a mobile management and security company. IBM said the acquisition will help strengthen its bid to conquer the enterprise mobile management space.

Fiberlink Communications was founded in 1992 and currently develops security and mobile device management solutions that essentially sandbox various applications, preventing corporate data and personal data from crossing paths on mobile devices. In addition to managing devices and identities, the firm’s MaaS360 product delivers automated alerts and automated enforcement actions when data privacy policies are violated, which takes some of the administrative burden out of the way.

“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 of 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. The acquisition of Fiberlink will enable us to offer these expanded capabilities to our clients, making it simple and quick to unlock the full potential of mobility,” he added.

Once the acquisition is finalised (it is expected to close later this year) MaaS360 will become part of IBM’s software as a service portfolio, completing IBM’s mobile service hat trick – the company now offers on-premises mobile device management, mobile content management and mobile application management. IBM added that it will now be able to support both on-premise and SaaS deployments for any endpoint – desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones – thus strengthening the company’s BYOD (bring your own device) strategy.

“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 Jim Sheward, chief executive officer of Fiberlink. “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.”

This is the second big mobile play for IBM in recent months, and possibly one of its most significant mobile-focused acquisition since it bought Israel-based mobile application management provider Worklight for $70m in February last year. In October IBM purchased mobile marketing firm Xtify, strengthening its mobile pitch to B2C enterprises.

Neither Fiberlink nor IBM have disclosed the value of the recently announced deal but sources suggest Fiberlrink has an annual turnover of close to $53 million (it isn’t a public company and doesn’t report its financial results).