Telefonica snaps up VDI startup eyeOS

The Barcelona-based company is joining the telecoms giant as part of an effort to target SMEs.

Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica has acquired Barcelona-based virtualisation desktop firm eyeOS.

EyeOS's technology enables companies to run their business-critical apps via the cloud, so workers on mobiles, tablets and laptops can still access the tools they need.

EyeOS's open source desktop virtualisation technology uses HTML5, meaning users can run VDI sessions via a browser. According to Telefonica, this makes the platform cheaper and easier to use. It's hoping that this will make the tech appealing to smaller businesses that have so far found virtualised desktops expensive or complicated to run.

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David del Val, product innovation director at Telefonica and chairman and CEO of Telefonica I+D, told ZDNet that the product will be pitched at smaller businesses, education establishments and administration teams.

"EyeOS will cover a different segment of customers, one that is currently not served by the market because products are too expensive or they require too much knowledge from the IT department or have too many plug-ins to install," he said.

"The technology and product itself matches very well with our strategy of open source and open technologies. There is a business opportunity in the medium term, to serve those customers that do not have a good option."

eyeOS's technology can also serve companies looking to safeguard bring your own device (BYOD) environments, del Val said.

"There is a big trend of BYOD and a lot of customers in that market can't control all the devices that people are bringing in. With eyeOS technology you can have a sandbox within each of those devices where people can use the apps properly and they will always work. The technology works across virtually any device, so IT doesn't need to worry about people bringing their own devices in."

The team at eyeOS will be kept on at Telefonica and will, for now, remain at its headquarters in Barcelona.

EyeOS will continue to operate as a standalone business while it is integrated into Telefonica, and will be the start of a push at SMBs from the operator — one that may well include more acquisitions.

"Cloud and virtualisation will be a strategic area for us; we think it's a huge opportunity for us because smaller businesses do not have the same tools that big corporations have, and that's where we can help," Del Val said.

Financial terms for the acquisition, announced on Tuesday, were not disclosed.

Read more on Telefonica


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