Symantec's acquisition of Odyssey Software is a clear signal that the firm is making enterprise mobility a key element of its corporate strategy, and that the lines between IT Security, risk and compliance requirements and mobile solutions are blurring.
The company's recent release strengthens its mobile solution range includes enhanced native capabilities for both Windows Phone 7, Android, as well as data loss prevention and managed PKI service integration. The company also announced O3, a cloud service that protects identity and access control, as well as information security and information management. O3 is console-agnostic, and features application and data/threat protection, as well as configuration management, and expense management functionality.
Odyssey was very successful with its channel strategy, and was the OEM provider behind Symantec's Mobile Management (SMM). The company's notable partners include Motorola, Good Technology, AirWatch — Odyssey is an important Microsoft partner as well. Assuming there are no snags, the acquisition will likely be finalized sometime this spring — the aforementioned partners will need to make contingency plans as Symantec will not necessarily view Odyssey's current channel strategy as ideal for it's roadmap moving forward.
A shift from Symantec could have consequences — for example, Odyssey Software's flagship product (Athena) integrates completely with Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager, and provides Microsoft with robust full-featured mobile device management capabilities. While Microsoft recently announced an update to its System Center product (Systems Center 2012), the company remains reliant on the Exchange Activesynch component — should Symantec adjust the way it partners, Microsoft and others will may need to look elsewhere for a 3rd party add-on that can tightly integrate.
We'll be keeping an eye on the impact of this acquisition — additional consolidation as well as the continued blurring of the lines between MDM and security are likely moving forward.