Will International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) Hit Gold with MobileFirst?

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SAP has one of the largest mobile development efforts in terms of devoted internal resources and partner management. SAP has a strong mobile device management (MDM) offering, Afaria. As with the other mobile enterprise application platform vendors that offer MDM and mobile application management (MAM) capabilities, this enables SAP to provide a broader, better integrated mobile solution, while extending its reach throughout enterprise IT.

Gartner believes that by 2013, SAP will offer context-enriched services through a combination of the Sybase 365 mobile consumer application platform, SAP applications and Sybase’s data analytics. While SAP has been enjoying the leadership position in enterprise mobility, IBM has a long way to go.

IBM vs. EMC and VMware: New kids on the block

VMware and EMC are committing key existing technology, people and programs from both companies focused on Big Data and Cloud Application Platforms under one virtual organization — the Pivotal Initiative. The companies expect to formally unite these resources by Q2 2013, with a specific operational structure to be determined.

The Pivotal Initiative will enable a new generation of workloads that can exploit the advancements VMware is driving in datacenter. By realigning resources within the Pivotal Initiative, VMware will be able to fully mobilize resources on delivering the software defined datacenter, the de facto infrastructure at the heart of cloud computing, and on end-user computing — two areas where they see tremendous opportunity for growth.

The platform, jointly offered by the two companies, hasn’t covered the mobile space. Therefore, not to be outdone, VMware launched its Horizon Workspace platform as well as updates to its Horizon View and Horizon Mirage products. Last year, VMware unveiled its Horizon Suite of desktop virtualization products designed to help IT administrators manage worker mobility and the BYOD trend.

With Horizon Workspace, IT administrators will be able to allocate data, apps or desktops to end users or groups instead of devices, improving BYOD security. IBM MobileFirst will compete with Horizon Workspace, and it remains to be seen how the competition shapes up.

The bottom line

With MobileFirst, IBM is certainly not first in the enterprise mobility race. SAP is way ahead and there are lots of small fragmented players. VMware is also set to emerge as a serious opponent, powered by EMC. IBM has a gigantic plan with MobileFirst, and given its expertise and strong presence in cloud and big data analytics, MobileFirst has all the ingredients to beat the rivals. It’s an opportunity for IBM, and certainly an opportunity for investors to profit from enterprise mobility.

The article Will IBM Hit Gold with MobileFirst? originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Anindya Batabyal.

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