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VMware Reaches Deal To Acquire AetherPal, A Technology Partner

The virtualization leader looks to enhance mobile device management capabilities. It already resells AetherPal's support platform as an add-on to Workspace ONE.

VMware said Tuesday it would purchase a technology partner that enables IT administrators to remotely monitor and update devices in the field.

AetherPal's technology will boost the capabilities of VMware's Workspace ONE remote device management platform, said Shankar Iyer, VMware's senior vice president and general manager of end-user computing, in a company blog post announcing an agreement for the deal.

The platform can remotely view in real-time the screens of smartphones, tablets and laptops, and enable central IT to control, troubleshoot and fix those devices, and the applications they run, while they're in the field, Iyer said.

[Related: VMware Bolsters Workspace One Endpoint Management Platform With AI, Security Partners]

The 10-year-old startup based in South Plainfield, NJ. "has transformed the ability of carriers, enterprises, OEMs and customers to optimize the experience for smart devices, utilizing real time data, while ensuring complete user privacy, significantly reducing support costs, and dramatically improving the end user experience, resulting in extended device lifecycle and increased brand loyalty," Iyer said.

AetherPal hasn't raised money since a $6 million Series A round in 2013. Terms of the deal with VMware weren't disclosed.

VMware had previously resold the AetherPal Remote Support platform as an add-on to VMware Workspace ONE. That joint solution, branded as Workspace ONE Advanced Remote Management, was "being used by some of the largest device deployments in the world," Iyer said.

The startup's technology improves the productivity of mobile workforces and reduces their downtime, he said.

"These challenges are also significant for organizations managing purpose-built and ruggedized devices used in mission-critical operations out in the field, factory, warehouse or retail store," Iyer said.

Once the deal closes, AetherPal's "modern approach" to remote support will enhance Workspace ONE in several ways.

The startup's technology will allow VMware administrators to remotely connect to all devices through the Workspace ONE console over any browser. They’ll be able to view device screens in real-time, gain visibility into device OS and hardware information, and transfer files to remote devices.

AetherPal's employees will join VMware's End User Computing team.

David Klee, founder and chief architect at Heraflux Technologies, a Lincoln, Nebraska-based VMware partner, said AetherPal offers one of the best solutions on the market for remotely supporting multiple device platforms.

"To me, it further emphasizes their growing focus on both the IoT and mobile spaces," Klee said of VMware.

The deal is intriguing, he said, especially in the context of other "little announcements here and there"— like the ability to run VMware's ESXi hypervisor on a Raspberry Pi.

"That give me signs that the IoT space is getting more interesting," Klee said.

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