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11/13/2013
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IBM To Buy Fiberlink For Mobile Management

IBM is set to expand its BYOD capabilities through a deal for Fiberlink, a cloud-based mobile-management and security services provider.

IBM on Wednesday announced it has reached an agreement to acquire Fiberlink Communications, a provider of cloud-based mobile-device management and mobile security services. IBM said the acquisition will advance its ability to support organizations adopting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) mobile programs.

Fiberlink's MaaS360 cloud services are used by financial services firms, healthcare organizations, and manufacturers worldwide, reportedly offering fast, self-service enrollment of BYOD in less than five minutes. IBM said the technologies will enable it to offer cloud-based or on-premise mobile device management, mobile content management, and mobile application management capabilities. The software can also separate personal from enterprise data and content on mobile devices.

"While the proliferation of mobile devices provides great flexibility and agility for organizations, it also increases the complexity to manage and protect corporate data," said Fiberlink CEO Jim Sheward in a statement.

IBM did not disclose the terms of the deal for the Blue Bell, Pa.-based firm. The acquisition is expected to close before the end of the year. IBM said it expects the MaaS360 service to join its Software as a Service (SaaS) portfolio running on IBM SoftLayer cloud infrastructure.

Used in combination with IBM Endpoint Manager software, the company said Fiberlink's technology will allow it to offer unified device management across all endpoints, including servers, desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.

[ Want the skinny on IBM's big Information On Demand news? Read IBM Answers Big Data Competition ]

The Fiberlink acquisition fits into the IBM MobileFirst strategy, which has united multiple IBM acquisitions in the mobile arena. The strategy spans the development of apps with IBM Worklight and IBM Security AppScan, the delivery of trusted transactions with threat-intelligence technology from Trusteer, and optimization of the mobile user experience with Tealeaf. The company also offers IBM Security Access Manager for Cloud and Mobile software.

"Clients require a comprehensive mobile management and security offering, [but] they often integrate solutions on their own and take on unnecessary risk," said Robert LeBlanc, IBM senior vice president, Middleware Software, in a statement. "To protect and enhance the complete mobile experience, it’s crucial to secure the app, user, content, data and the transaction. The acquisition of Fiberlink will enable us to offer these expanded capabilities."

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