Early this week, VMware announced the intent to acquire AetherPal, a mobile device management solution focused on enhancing remote support. This acquisition will follow a multi-year business relationship between the two companies and reflects VMware’s growing efforts to enhance their remote support capabilities to increase the efficiency, flexibility, and quality of their mobile device management system.
Since its inception nine years ago, AetherPal’s GuideMe Tutorials and Remote Support solution have helped millions of mobile users connect with their IT departments to receive on-demand, task-based assistance. These tutorials help visually guide remote workers through mobile workflows to complete critical tasks, driving enterprise app adoption, utilization, and productivity. Alongside these tutorials, the Remote Support solution allows IT departments to securely connect to remote devices. This streamlines diagnoses, remediation, and support tasks to increase device uptime and minimize worker downtime.
VMware has utilized AetherPal’s remote support since May 2017 when they began selling the solution as an add-on to their VMware Workspace ONE platform under the name Workspace ONE Advanced Remote Management. As an industry leader in Unified Endpoint Management (UEM), VMware’s Advanced Remote Management platform has facilitated some of the largest device deployments in the world. VMware’s intention to acquire AetherPal therefore marks a next step in expanding the capabilities of Workspace ONE, their intelligence-driven remote support solution, to meet increasing customer demand for efficient mobile support.
The acquisition aligns with the growing trend of enterprise workers’ increasing reliance on mobile applications to complete their job functions. Mobile support needs will comprise at least 50% of Level 1 support staff requests, putting more pressure on IT departments to become cross-functional. IT departments are struggling to respond to the increased volume of electronic devices, as well as to the increased complexity of demands. This has resulted in 7 out of 10 users reporting that IT was not helpful in troubleshooting their mobile issues, which can create major bottlenecks for jobs where remote support is crucial in minimizing workflow disruption.
This is particularly acute for mobile solutions supporting business or mission critical workflows in markets such as retail, logistics, healthcare and manufacturing. Many of these mobile devices are enterprise issued rugged devices that are frequently shared among mobile workers. VMWare has been actively targeting this segment and the AetherPal acquisition fills a key remote control/remote support gap that SOTI – one of the leading business critical EMM solution providers – is known for.
Adapting traditional IT support to meet mounting customer demands as mobile devices become ever more integrated in the workplace is a pressure felt across the mobile device management industry. Whether VMware’s acquisition of AetherPal will help the global leader continue to meet these demands has yet to be seen. However, the decision does seem to be a positive step as VMware addresses some of the more unique performance and support requirements among business critical mobility end users.
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