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IBM moves into mobile security with Endpoint Manager product and acquisition of Worklight

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IBM is to acquire Worklight, a privately held Israel-based provider of mobile software for smartphones and tablets.

Worklight offers mobile application management capabilities and enables organisations to create and run HTML5, hybrid and native applications for smartphones and tablets with industry-standard technologies and tools. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter and, upon completion, will see Worklight sit within IBM's software group.

IBM said its mobile offerings will span mobile application development, integration, security and management, with Worklight becoming an important part of its mobility strategy, offering clients an open platform that helps speed the delivery of existing and new mobile applications to multiple devices.

Marie Wieck, general manager of IBM application and infrastructure middleware, said: “Our clients are under increased pressure to meet the growing demands of a workforce and customer base that now treat mobility as mission-critical to their business. With the acquisition of Worklight, IBM is well-positioned to help clients become smarter mobile enterprises reaching new markets.”

Shahar Kaminitz, CEO and founder of Worklight, said: “In the last year, we have seen surging demand from enterprises for mobility solutions that will support the unique set of challenges introduced by new smartphone and tablet platforms.

“Building on our existing partnership with IBM, the acquisition of Worklight further enhances IBM's broad mobile portfolio. Now it will be easier than ever for our clients to offer secure and connected applications to their customers, business partners and employees.”  

In addition, IBM is also unveiling its Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices, a software system that enables corporate users to manage and secure their mobile devices.

As a result, IBM said it can now offer a complete portfolio of software and services that deliver enterprise-ready mobility for clients, while also managing laptops, desktops and servers. According to the company, it can manage Apple iOS, Google Android, Nokia Symbian, Microsoft Windows Mobile and Windows Phone devices.

Bob Sutor, vice-president of IBM Mobile Platform, said the Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices is built on BigFix software, following its 2010 acquisition.

“The new offering from IBM will help organisations manage personal and enterprise-owned mobile phones and tablets across IT networks in order to minimise risk, increase productivity and enhance innovation,” he said.

Features include selective wiping of data and flexible management of employee and corporate-owned mobile devices using a combination of email and agent-based tools, while preserving the native device experience. Non-compliant devices can also be automatically identified with 'access denied'.

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