Symantec Deals for Nukona, Odyssey Grow Its BYOD Capabilities

Symantec's acquisitions for the two companies will enable businesses to manage both mobile devices and applications that have access to the corporate network and data.

Symantec is buying mobile app management vendor Nukona to bolster its capabilities to offer businesses the technology they need to deal with the proliferation of personal mobile devices that employees are using to access corporate networks and data.

The Nukona deal, coupled with its acquisition earlier this month of Odyssey Software, which makes mobile device management (MDM) software, gives Symantec a solid core of offerings for corporations who are under pressure from the growing trends of consumerization of IT and bring your own device (BYOD), according to company officials.

€œWith unprecedented growth rates surrounding the adoption of mobile devices and apps, our customers are faced with the daunting task of protecting and managing the native apps, data and environment of these devices,€ Rob Greer, vice president of product management for Symantec€™s Endpoint and Mobility Group, said in a post on the Symantec blog site. €œNukona will extend Symantec€™s enterprise mobility portfolio to include a cross-platform mobile application protection solution to help IT organizations protect and isolate corporate data and applications across both corporate-owned and personally-owned devices. €œ

The security software giant is among a growing list of technology vendors offering products that enable businesses to negotiate the BYOD trend. Before, corporations could issue employees PCs and cell phones that could be used to access the company€™s network, data and business applications. Now workers, armed with smartphones and tablets like Apple€™s iPad, are demanding to be able to use their personal devices for work. The trend offers greater employee productivity, and it means that corporations have to shell out fewer dollars to pay for company-issued technology.

However, it also results in greater management and security concerns as IT departments try to find ways to offer greater network access while not compromising company data.

With Odyssey, Symantec is putting MDM capabilities into its enterprise mobility portfolio, which will give businesses the needed tools to bring on, identify and manage a wide variety of devices across many platforms, the company said.

Nukona€™s mobile application management (MAM) technology complements the Odyssey-inherited capabilities, enabling enterprises to distribute, secure and control applications and data without having to manage the devices themselves. On March 1, Nukona announced that it was enhancing its Mobile Information Management suite€”which includes an enterprise app store and policy manager software designed to put a management layer around both native and Web apps without having to change the app€”by adding Content Center, which applies the same policies to content accessed via an employee€™s mobile device.

The Nukona products also are cross-platform, working with Android, Apple and HTML5 applications.

With Nukona in hand, Symantec will be able to offer corporations both MDM and MAM capabilities that will offer employees the access they€™re looking for while giving businesses the management and security features they need, including user authentication, encryption of files, data leakage prevention and the ability to wipe corporate data from mobile devices as needed.

The deal, which is expected to close in April, also gives Symantec greater traction for its security software in the mobile computing space. No financial details of the deal were released.