Google has jumped on the BYOD bandwagon with the acquisition of Divide, a company that specializes in technology that helps enterprises manage employees’ mobile devices at the office.
“We’re thrilled to announce that Divide is joining Google,” Divide said in a note posted May 20 on its homepage.
“The company was founded with a simple mission: Give people the best mobile experience at work,” Divide said.
Terms of the deal were not announced.
Divide sells a number of tools in the mobile device management (MDM) market, including offerings around security, automation, provisioning, and policy adherence. As its name implies, the company’s software divides a user’s phone into a personal area, and a work area that can be controlled by IT administrators.
Educate employees on the importance of maintaining strong BYOD security practices. Implement a company-wide MDM strategy and toolkit to enhance mobile security and efficiency. Report security breaches immediately.
Its toolset includes a utility that admins can use to wipe corporate data from a user’s smartphone while leaving personal data and apps untouched.
Divide, formerly known as Enterproid, offers a free, basic MDM kit, and an enterprise version for $60 per user, per year.
The company works with a number of technology partners, including Box, Broadsoft, f5, IBM, and MobileIron. It was not immediately clear how its acquisition by Google would affect those relationships.
Google itself had little to say about the deal. As of early Tuesday it had not issued a formal statement on its acquisition of Divide. It’s likely, however, that the search giant will add Divide to its Android group, with an eye to offering enterprises a seamless BYOD [Bring Your Own Device] product that includes hardware and software.
Google jumps into BYOD and mobile device management markets with Divide acquisition.
The BYOD trend is gaining momentum as enterprises look to give younger workers more flexibility in terms of what device they can use to get their work done. Some companies no longer even issue smartphones or laptops to employees, instead asking them to simply log in from their own tablets or phones.
A recent Gartner survey found that about half of workers spend at least one hour per day using their personal devices for work purposes. The trend may increase office efficiency, but it also raises security risks.
The same survey found that 25 percent of business users experienced a security problem with their personal gadgets in 2013, but only about a quarter of those reported the breach to their employer.
“One of the biggest challenges for IT leaders is making sure that their users fully understand the implications of faulty mobile security practices and to get users and management to adhere to essential steps which secure their mobile devices,” said Gartner principal research analyst Meike Escherich, in a blog post.
“For many organizations, overcoming BYOD security challenges is a full-time task, with a host of operational issues,” Escherich said.
Google shares (NASD: Goog) were up 1.12 percent, to $534.80, in morning trading Tuesday.