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VMware's EVP and GM of End User Computing Sanjay Poonen took to Twitter to announce that both he and the company's CEO Pat Gelsinger would be holding a "special event" on June 16th to announce several important enterprise mobility oriented initiatives.
Public companies don't often promise "seminal announcements" — unless they have something truly important to share. In this vein, this should make for an interesting reveal. There have not been any notable acquisitions in the mobility space for some time now (arguably, since VMware acquired AirWatch back in early 2014). While announcing an acquisition is by no means certain/imminent, it seems likely. Another possibility would be an exclusive partnership with a high profile partner (similar to the summer '14 Apple/IBM announcement).
Following VMware's acquisition of Desktone in October 2013 (and AirWatch shortly thereafter), the company has added Imidio, and CloudVolumes to its roster. These have been nicely integrated into the company's increasingly broad Horizon Suite in a relatively short period of time and have enabled VMware to separate itself from its reliance on certain key rivals such as Citrix. Prior to acquiring AirWatch, it was becoming clear that VMware's organic efforts in enterprise mobility would not be sufficient to compete against the likes of Citrix, Good Technology, IBM, Microsoft, MobileIron and SOTI (and others). While it has been just over a year since AirWatch was acquired, VMware has reported >50% YoY business mobility license bookings (however, it is not clear which elements are being counted); regardless, these are good numbers compared to other competitors. The company's EUC Division definitely is operating with a post-PC mindset — this can be evidenced from the company's vision that it articulated during its recent "What's New at VMware EUC" conference call.
On paper, the Horizon Suite seems to be a viable platform to play a meaningful role as this transition intensifies. While integration work remains, as articulated during the conference call on May 20th, customers are beginning see the value of the combined Horizon Suite and AirWatch platforms.
It's fun to speculate, particularly now that "event season" has drawn to a close and the typical summer slowdown (from a news perspective) is quickly approaching. In my view, teasing out this announcement is brilliant marketing — VMware's already cut a YouTube video and will likely continue to promote the event up until the 16th.
View the 2017 Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices Research Outline to learn more.