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Telefónica announced Tuesday that it has acquired eyeOS, a cloud start-up providing browser-based VDI

Telefónica announced Tuesday that it has acquired eyeOS, a cloud start-up providing browser-based VDI

Spanish operator Telefónica announced Tuesday that it has acquired eyeOS, a cloud start-up providing browser-based desktop as a service capabilities, for an undisclosed sum. Telefónica said the move will bolster its cloud strategy by enabling enterprises to virtualise legacy applications and make them available to users anywhere via the cloud.

Founded in 2006, EyeOS provides an open source web-based desktop as a service utility that pools together applications and services from a range of software providers, and targeted mainly at SMEs and local government organisations. Users can log in through standard web browsers to view contacts, calendars, and send emails, but the platform can also support (virtualised) bulkier enterprise-grade software, from Microsoft’s Office 365 to SAP’s ERP applications.

Telefónica said the move will make it easier for enterprises to virtualise their legacy applications and offer them on a cloud platform, and bolster the company’s overall cloud strategy. It also said the acquisition is part of a broader strategy to support open source technologies, particularly in internet-focused applications.

“The integration of eyeOS into Telefónica will allow us to harness the technological abilities of a great team and develop a new generation of cloud services based on open technologies,” said David del Val, product innovation director at Telefónica and chairman and chief executive officer of Telefónica I+D. “These services define a scalable and affordable proposal that meets the needs of public administrations and SMEs among others.”

Desktop as a Service is set to grow in 2014 according to some analysts, with Citrix, VMware and Amazon stepping up their activities in this area as of late, and with the latest acquisition Telefónica seems keen to join the fray. The operator said a combination of maturing web standards (HTML5), improvements in virtualisation technology and increased BYOD policy adoption in enterprises have prompted it to act on what it views as a huge opportunity.

Pau Garcia-Milà, co-founder of eyeOS said that the acquisition of eyeOS “demonstrates the willingness of a large company like Telefónica to work with start-ups, highlighting its openness to innovation and its ability to seek talent and the best ideas outside of its own structure.”

“Telefónica will help eyeOS to not only consolidate and expand its technological proposal, but give it international reach through Telefónica’s global network,” Garcia-Milà said.

Telefónica, which along with TOA Technologies was recently awarded the Best use of Cloud Services award, also recently unveiled wide-reaching Network Functions Virtualization programme that it said will see it have more than 30 per cent of new infrastructure virtualised by 2016. The operator is the first of the large international operators to publicise such an initiative, and commit to any kind of timeframe for the virtualisation of a wide range of different network elements.