Enterprise mobility management market shifts amid MobileIron, Citrix struggles

MobileIron and Citrix, which is going through a broader restructuring, said enterprise mobility deals were pushed out in the first quarter. However, VMware execs are stoked about AirWatch.

MobileIron was hammered after it issued a profit warning for the first quarter and announced that its chief financial officer was departing. Meanwhile, Citrix, another leading mobile device management player, continues to struggle amid a broader restructuring.

In other words, enterprise mobility is becoming a tougher neighborhood and with dozens of vendors it's possible the situation will only get worse.

MobileIron on Wednesday said that its first quarter non-GAAP revenue will be between $32 million and $33 million, down from its previous outlook of $34 million to $37 million. Gross billings for MobileIron will be between $35.5 million and $37 million, lower than the $40 million to $42 million previously expected.

Bob Tinker, CEO of MobileIron, said that large deals from North American customers didn't close as expected in the first quarter. In addition, MobileIron customers are moving toward monthly subscriptions and that trend cuts into revenue.

In addition, MobileIron said that CFO Todd Ford is leaving to join another company. MobileIron shares were down about 30 percent on Thursday.

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Meanwhile, Citrix reported its first quarter earnings and continues to struggle. Citrix's issues are much broader than just mobile device management. Citrix has restructured and is retooling its operations.

However, JMP Securities analyst Patrick Walravens said the risk for Citrix is that enterprises are moving away from desktop and application virtualization, which account for most of the company's revenue.

On the mobility management front, Citrix wraps its mobile device and app management tools in along with a broader virtualization product set.

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Citrix reported total mobile app revenue of $169 million in the first quarter, up 8 percent from a year ago. ShareFile and Communications Cloud drove the results. Workspace services revenue for Citrix was $391 million in the first quarter, up 2 percent. Mobile app delivery sales were up more than 50 percent.

The catch here is that if Walravens' theory that virtualization will be on the decline is correct, Citrix's mobile strategy may take a hit too.

David Henshall, chief operating officer and CFO of Citrix said on a conference call on Wednesday that the company is rationalizing its product portfolio and having customer conversations about revamping services delivery.

Citrix's strategy is to expand on device management via XenMobile. Mobility is a key theme for Citrix's customers, but Henshall noted:

A larger-than-normal volume of these opportunities did push out of Q1 due to a range of factors, including the impact on pricing from currency, generally extended approval cycles, as well as our own execution. We'll be working with customers to try and close this business later in the year.

In addition, customers were looking for project specific tools and not necessarily the broader set of products Citrix was hoping to sell.

Here's a look at Citrix's outlook for the second quarter and beyond.

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Reading the tea leaves, it appears that VMware's AirWatch appears to be a key winner in the enterprise mobility market space. It's possible that AirWatch is at least somewhat of a factor behind deals at MobileIron and Citrix being shifted. VMware executives gushed about the AirWatch performance in the first quarter, but didn't break out numbers.

Jonathan Chadwick, operating and financial chief of VMware, said;

When I think about the revenue growth for the business while we don't break it out, clearly we're seeing solid, solid contributions from both AirWatch and from the desktop business, not just on bookings but also on license and total revenue, so we're really, really encouraged.

Chadwick didn't dispute an analyst who noted that AirWatch's bookings in the first quarter had to be up at least 75 percent to carry the end user computing business.

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