Networking and security software solutions specialist GFI Software announced that it acquired a cloud-based multi-platform mobile-device-management solution from U.K.-based mobile device security services firm VizualMobile. GFI Software plans to pitch the MDM solution to small and midsize businesses (SMBs) interested in boosting security for their bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives.
GFI said the technology, which currently supports Google Android, Apple iOS and Research In Motion's BlackBerry devices, would continue to be developed by the company. GFI also plans to integrate the technology into two of its major product platforms, GFI MAX RemoteManagement, a platform designed for managed-service providers (MSPs), and GFI Cloud, a Web-based platform for small-business IT administrators. The new technology should wind its way into MAX later this year and in GFI's cloud platform in 2013, according to a company release.
"We are constantly on the lookout for new technologies that will help us solve our customers' problems and enhance our products. Cloud-based mobile-device management is an important market that we believe is, as yet, relatively underserved in the SMB space, and most of the solutions that do exist are not designed with MSPs in mind," Alistair Forbes, general manager of the GFI MAX business unit at GFI Software, said in a prepared statement. "The acquisition of this technology will strengthen our products and allow us to address the rapidly growing demand for mobile management capabilities by SMBs."
VizualMobile leverages cloud technology to provide a smartphone device management platform designed to help midmarket businesses secure, track and report on their mobile device assets. The company's platform provides real-time analysis of smartphone use across employees, including data transferred, location, violations and usage trends, as well as the ability to track data usage, calculate data usage costs, track out-of-office and unauthorized use and alert IT departments about excessive data usage.
"We see the development of cloud-based services for small businesses as the way forward for GFI and support of mobile devices is a priority for us. This acquisition complements our existing anti-malware and remote-control technologies for Android devices, and the combination of these three technologies gives us a unique set of capabilities in this area," Forbes concluded. "We will be investing in the VizualMobile technology to continue adding new features to what is already a cool, easy to use, cloud-based solution to manage mobile devices."
GFI is one of several companies that are reaching out to small businesses with MDM solutions as organizations scramble to monitor and secure a growing number of personal mobile devices like smartphones and tablets that can vastly increase employee productivity but also open up company networks to security threats and rising data costs. Just this year, AT&T, Zenprise and Arbua Networks, among others, have launched MDM platforms targeting midmarket companies.