MobileIron CEO Calls EMM Space A Two-Horse Race

MobileIron CEO Bob Tinker called the Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) sector narrowed to just two leading vendors in comments made during the company's third-quarter earnings call.

"As the requirement of customers is to expand from MDM, the competitive landscape is significantly narrowed," Tinker said during the Q&A portion of the call with analysts. "It's really narrowed down to two. We don’t See Good [Technology] very often. Citrix is fading. The only competing vendor we see is VMware/AirWatch."

AirWatch, which was bought by VMware in February, was ranked closest to the leading MobileIron in the Gartner Magic Quadrant of EMM suite leaders in early June. Good Technology and Citrix were not far behind.

[Related: MobileIron Launches New Version Of Docs@Work To Secure Personal Cloud For Business]

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He explained that one of the major reasons the competitive EMM space has narrowed to just two vendors was because of a shift he's seeing in customer behavior where they are looking to secure their device, email, apps and content, in addition to more companies shifting to the personal cloud. He see MobileIron staying in the lead in the space thanks to its focus, where other vendors who have their arms in a multitude of markets don't compete in EMM.

"Generally we are seeing less price aggressiveness from the one competitor we see the most," Tinker said. "The exception is legacy players we see like BlackBerry and Microsoft who try to give their stuff away for free because they have no choice."

In its first full quarter as a public company, MobileIron reported third-quarter GAAP revenue of $34.9 million, up 32 percent from a year earlier. The company reported a net loss of $0.15 a share. This beat analysts' projections of revenue totaling $30.9 million and a net loss of $0.29 cents per share.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company also reported Non-GAAP revenue of $33.7 million, up 54 percent year-over-year. Gross billings were up 47 percent year-over-year to $38.2 million.

Tinker said that in the quarter the company reached records in cloud customers, large deals and licenses sold. He also said MobileIron has surpassed 7,500 cumulative customers who have purchased its platform since 2009.

During the call, Tinker cited a recent IDC report stating MobileIron has grown faster than any EMM member and has the highest market share of any other vendor in the space, and believes it’s the companies 100 percent channel strategy that got it there.

"We will always be looking to add additional resellers around the world," he said. "Our major focus is helping our existing channel partners win more deals."

Next: MobileIron's Channel Focus

Jay Gordon, vice president of sales at Enterprise Mobile, a Plano, Texas-based MobileIron partner sees the EMM vendor as the most important partnership of his agnostic company because of its channel focus.

"MobileIron is our preferred platform for a variety of reasons," Gordon said. "They're 100 percent channel focused. We don’t always see that. For a partner, that eliminates conflict with their direct selling teams, and other outlets for selling that really gives us a level of confidence that there's lots of collaboration opportunities with them. We align really well with their management, we align really well with their field teams, and drive incredibly good success across their platform. MobileIron yields the most benefit. It's the common denominator for our customers today, so it allows us to have a lot of great ability to introduce our platform for managed services as well."

During the third quarter, MobileIron made several major announcements to grow its VAR channel, including a partnership with CSC. The company also released enhancements to MobileIron Core, Cloud, Sentry, Tunnel, AppConnect, and Web@Work in addition to launching the new update to its Docs@Work platform last week. Tinker emphasized during the call that MobileIron's platform was compatible with iOS 8 on the day of its launch, and the MobileIron platform has expanded features for both Android and Windows Phone, illustrating the importance of adjusting to the rapidly growing EMM market.

MobileIron projects fourth-quarter revenue between $34 million and $35 million.

Investors sent the company's shares up about 7 percent in after-hours trading on the earnings report and guidance. The company had a recent market value of $702.44 million.