Forrester advocates strong UEM capabilities key to EMM strategy as VMware leads the way

Forrester has released its latest report analysing the enterprise mobility management (EMM) software runners and riders with BlackBerry, IBM, MobileIron and VMware in the leaders’ zone – and the latter out in front.

As EMM matures into unified endpoint management (UEM) – focusing on both desktop and mobile management – Forrester argues it is this capability, among a total of five, which differentiates the best from the rest. Vendors were assessed on 25 criteria in total, broadly focused on their current offering – device management, compliance, app management and security, and so forth – strategy and market presence.

VMware scored heavily across the board, with its lowest scores – albeit all still above average – on mobile app security, telecoms expense management and mobile identity and access. The first two were led by IBM and BlackBerry respectively, while three vendors, Centrify, IBM and Microsoft, led in the latter. Sumit Dhawan, senior vice president and general manager for end user computing at VMware, said the company ‘continues to see tremendous customer adoption’ of its Workspace ONE product.

Summing up the market, Forrester said EMM tools were ‘invaluable to help capture the potential productivity lifts from mobility while mitigating the risk to the business’, adding a good EMM solution helps organisations with their employee experience and maintain security and compliance.

In truth, the rankings here are ones that have been consistently seen across the analyst landscape for the past year. You will struggle to find an analyst report in this space which does not have VMware atop it. In the most recent IDC EMM rankings, published in August, it was the same four as Forrester but adding Citrix. Strategy Analytics, when putting together its overall analysis of market share in November – predicting it will hit $2.2 billion in value by 2022 – again put VMware in front, ahead of BlackBerry, MobileIron, Citrix and Microsoft.

Going back further in time, Forrester’s EMM rankings of 2014 now make for interesting reading. No fewer than 10 companies were in the leaders’ section, with AirWatch having only recently been acquired by VMware and before Good Technology was bought by BlackBerry. Names in the top sector included Symantec, SOTI, and Sophos. As this publication wrote at the time, the ranking “infers a market nearing saturation”. Three years on and the market looks very different indeed.

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