Apple's APIs left VMware in enterprise mobility dust

The introduction of Apple's iPhone application programming interfaces, or APIs, with iOS 4 left VMware with its Horizon product far behind in the enterprise mobility race, admits VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger.

Enterprise mobility management like AirWatch grabbed hold of Apple's API and ran with it, while VMware "didn't," Gelsinger tells the Wall Street Journal.

"VMware was a distant sixth on our own [in mobile device management]… We just weren't moving fast enough…[VMware] didn't execute on [its] vision adequately [while AirWatch was] more ready from a technological standpoint," he says.

And that is why VMware decided to buy AirWatch for $1.54 billion--to catch up, Gelsinger relates.

"The turn of events illustrates Apple's power in the smartphone market, and the importance of emerging technology ecosystems. Apple was able to gain entry into the business segment of the smartphone market by introducing tools that let IT departments safeguard corporate assets, while also allowing employees to use the devices they cherished," writes Michael Hickins, editor of the newspaper's CIO Journal.

Using APIs, app developers were able to give IT departments control over device security, such as password lengths and app downloads.

"By Apple creating the standard and putting their foot on the gas, they have combined to push the envelope--not for IT, but for the end user…The only way you can manage the iPhone is through the Apple API," Jason Wudi, chief technology officer at Apple device management software developer JAMF Software, tells CIO Journal.

For more:
- read the Journal article

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