Partners Doubt Google's Acquisition Of Divide Will Bolster Android's Presence In The Enterprise


Partners are puzzled over Google's acquisition of mobile device management software company Divide, saying they don’t see what the Mountain View, Calif.-based company has to gain.

Divide, a New York-based startup, targets the complexities involved in BYOD, with software that securely separates the personal side of a user’s smartphone or tablet from the professional side by “dividing” the two parts from each other.

With Divide's software, a business can remotely wipe out the secured work side of an employee’s device in the event it is lost or stolen.

[Related: Mobile Security Smackdown: iOS vs. Android vs. BlackBerry vs. Windows Phone ]

“In my view, Divide doesn’t offer any key differentiation compared to the market leaders,” said Ira Grossman, CTO of end user and mobile computing at MCPc, a Cleveland-based national solution provider specializing in mobile solutions with its Anyplace Workspace. “The key components of Divide are built into the leading MDM solutions.”

Grossman questions why Google would look to make the acquisition rather than partnering with a leader in the space. He suspects Google plans to use Divide’s experience to better understand the space.

Divide revealed the acquisition Monday on its website, but the terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Google confirmed in an email that, “Divide will be joining the Android team,” but would not comment further.

"We're thrilled to announce that Divide is joining Google," Divide’s statement read. "As part of the Android team, we’re excited to continue developing solutions that our users love.”

David Felton, owner of Canaan Technology, a solution provider based in Norwalk, Conn., doesn’t believe Divide will give Google a leg up over the competition in the enterprise space.

"I don't see what it gives Google," said Felton. "People are constantly making decisions today between Apple's iOS and Android. If people really cared about security, then BlackBerry would have bounced back at some point. I don't see the likelihood of people picking Android over Apple because of Divide."

"Google is not just a search engine anymore," said Jeff Kagan of jeffkagan.com, a technology industry analyst firm based in Atlanta. "They are so much more than that. Google likes to go through many ideas and see what sticks. If it does stick, they run with it. If it doesn't, they wipe it away and go with something else."

PUBLISHED MAY 20, 2014