Montreal software firm bought by Wyse Technology

Trying to move beyond its thin client business, Wyse Technology has acquired Montreal’s Trellia Networks Inc., a mobile device management company focused on helping companies deal with the consumerization trend.

Trellia will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of San Jose, Calif.-based Wyse, the companies announced this week. The acquisition has been in the works for about six months.

“We already have a very big management software business at Wyse. The one area that we didn’t have was for smartphones and tablets,” said Jeff McNaught, chief marketing and strategy officer with Wyse.

Trellia’s cloud-based mobile device management (MDM) solutions help IT departments take inventory of, control and manage mobile devices that run on different operating systems from a single platform.

There are modules for devices that run Google’s Android, Apple Inc.’s iOS and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry operating systems, which put an agent on devices for enforcing corporate policies such as which networks subscribers are authorized to use and data plan management. It also gives IT managers the ability to wiping a device remotely.

“The acquisition of Trellia helps us reach a goal of delivering new solutions that provide management capability across the spectrum of devices that IT is grappling with,” McNaught said.

Through the acquisition, Wyse’s 2012 product line for mobile infrastructure management will now include Trellia’s technology. The additions go beyond just complementing Wyse’s PocketCloud, a mobile cloud application for user and content management, McNaught said.

 “They’re in the cloud computing space, and there’s a huge focus on mobile,” said Rami Karam, vice-president of marketing with Trellia. “They see Trellia as an extension of their mobile story.”

In the short term, branding will remain the same, but Trellia’s products will eventually be rolled into Wyse’s corporate brand. There are currently no plans for changes in licensing or pricing for Trellia’s products. Trellia’s enterprise mobility management (EMM) offering will also continue to be hosted in Canada, but Wyse will expand the platform to other regions.

“It almost didn’t seem obvious to me at first,” said Laura Hansen-Kohls, a senior research analyst with London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group. “But when you think about the thin client market, it’s kind of a dead end.”

The firm’s research suggests that for companies not interested in implementing BYOD policies security is the top concern, so integrating management technology from Trellia with Wyse’s solutions makes sense.

“Certainly it expands … Wyse’s name into organizations that just can’t use thin clients,” she said. They will be able to use Trellia to manage various devices in the enterprise.

Trellia will keep its product research and development in Canada. “From a local market standpoint, I think it’s a very positive message that we’ve got really cool technologies coming out of Montreal, succeeding and managing to grow after they get acquired,” Karam said.

Wyse has strategic partnerships with other vendors such as Citrix Systems Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and VMware Inc. [NYSE:VMW].

 “Mobile is so central to the Wyse vision and the enterprise today,” Karam said. “I think this is something that they wanted to own,” rather than partner with.

“This is so core to what we want to do,” McNaught added. “We wanted someone who was absolutely expert to this technology,” which is why the Trellia team has been kept on board. “We’re already used to going where the talent is, rather than dragging the talent into California.”

The acquisition is also good news for system integrators, Wyse contends. “They’ll be able to sell not only the mobile devices, they’ll be able to sell our software that makes the mobile devices work well with virtualization and they’ll be able to sell the management and content management technology that makes it all easy to keep track of and working,” McNaught said.

Recently, Trellia announced a partnership with Rogers Communications Inc. [TSX: RCI.A] to provide MDM solutions to the carrier’s enterprise customers. That deal will remain intact despite. If anything, being acquired by Wyse makes Trellia’s offerings more attractive to other carriers worldwide, Karam said. “I think it actually is going to add a lot of momentum.”

Those relationships will actually be beneficial to Wyse, McNaught said. “Wyse has a number of other technologies that Rogers might be interested in, so this is a good conversation that we get to have.”

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