It has been a couple of weeks since MobileIron filed for an IPO. Writers, analysts, and anyone else interested have moved on to something else. Surprisingly, while searching on Google for any missed articles or discussions regarding the subject matter, it appears this filing was somewhat low-key compared to prior industry activity. When IBM acquired Fiberlink MaaS 360 and VMware acquired AirWatch, the Internet was abuzz with speculation about the future of enterprise mobility. Specifically, what the future had in store for MobileIron and Good Technology.
Spring forward to MobileIron's S-1 IPO filing and the focus shifts from future of enterprise mobility to only looking at MobileIron operations. This is understandable simple due to the fact that we as analysts have never been given specific information regarding EMM vendor operational activity. So when one of the market leaders in EMM files for an IPO and certain information becomes available, it is easy to get side tracked and only focus on operational performance.
Returning to the initial point, what is in store for the future of EMM and what is to happen to MobileIron and Good Technology?
Regarding MobileIron, filing for an IPO may be an indication that intitial acquistion interest may have been lower than first estimated. Looking at the prospectus, MobileIron has exhibited large year-over-year revenue increases which would attract a number of would be acquirers. But the prospectus also shows year-of-year net losses, huge upfront costs, and an over-reliance on channel partners for sales. These concerns may be large enough to deter any would be acquirers and an IPO was necessary to allow the company to conintue to grow. The IPO will aid MobileIron as it looks to resolve these problems and become more attractive in the future for acquisition.
Now this brings us to Good Technology, where the future is bright, but the viewing glass is fogged. For starters, Good Technology was rumored to be filing for an IPO in July of 2013, but no such rumors have surfaced since. More recently, Good Technology did acquire BoxTone in April. Soon to follow was MobileIron's IPO where CEO Christy Wyatt only acknowledges MobileIron’s innovativeness in a growing EMM market; as a whole, Good Technology has been very quiet since the IPO announcement. If silence speaks volumes, is Good set to be acquired and if so by whom?
In either case, the IPO filing by MobileIron solidifies EMM as a viable and sustainable market. And even though MobileIron filed for the IPO, it does not mean the end of acquisitions and consolidation. There are a number of niche service vendors that will either partner up with other niche vendors or be acquired by larger vendors to offer a more holistic mobility service. Mobility is here to stay and set to grow worldwide placing greater pressure on enterprises to select more complete mobile services.