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What You May Not Know About the Surprisingly Long History of EMM Acquisitions
Published Sep 08 2018 08:34 AM 4,533 Views
Iron Contributor
First published on CloudBlogs on Apr 07, 2016
During our current period of rapid consolidation , there always seems to be an acquisition in the works somewhere in the mobility market, and a conversation I had today really emphasized this. The mobile device management software built by Callisto Software, as explained by Gartner at the time of that company’s acquisition, noted that, “No desktop market share leader has developed a one-stop solution for the total network management requirement” and that this purchase gave the buyer “a new way to penetrate enterprises favoring Microsoft technology.” CNET was also positive about what this meant for the mobility market. The official press release (for what those are worth) included this quote from the individual responsible for buying Callisto:
"The move toward mobile access and wireless parallels Novell's strategy to tie all types of networks into one Net and provide users access to the information they need, when they need it," said Brad Anderson, Novell's ZENworks business unit manager . "The Callisto acquisition gives us mobile and wireless device management technologies to increase Novell's remote and mobile offerings.”
Yeah... 2001 was a long, long time ago. My memory was really jogged yesterday when I had lunch with Callisto’s CEO at the time of the acquisition, Jason Liu!  Jason was a little less grey 14 years ago and, well, I had hair.

The MDM solution built by Callisto made this one of earliest acquisition in the MDM space.  The very first was likely XcelleNet , who was purchased by Sybase Software, who was subsequently purchased by SAP.  I even took a good long look at Xcellenet before the Sybase acquisition! It is amazing how many of the needs and scenarios we articulated back then are still relevant today.  The language behind the Novell-Callisto deal is still on our minds now: “end-to-end network management,” “mobile device management, “integrated management tools,” and “mobile workforce.”  There was one that didn’t catch on “wireless device management” – I guess that’s WDM. Fourteen years ago there was just a small group of us looking ahead to this space becoming so important, and while I was eating with Jason, it really motivated me to keep thinking about how the EMM space has evolved and what our customers will need next.  Back when I got the news that the Callisto deal was final, I read the message on my Siemens SX56 Windows Phone !  At the time, it was tough to think of anything more useful or functional.  The fact that we are so many light years past that nearly 2-pound phone is a great lesson about looking ahead to how we can streamline, simplify, and (literally) cut the weight out of our current operations. This is a space many of us have been working in for quite a while.  In my case, I was investing in MDM back in 2001, or, said another way: Loooong before any of our competitors in EMM were even founded!  :)

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