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Microsoft's Enterprise Mobility Suite Could Be a $1 Billion Business

One year after releasing its Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), Microsoft says it's the "hottest" product the company now offers. Microsoft COO Kevin Turner last week said EMS is on pace to become the company's next $1 billion product (in annual revenue).

While Turner didn't indicate when that might happen, the company yesterday in its earnings release said it has 17,000 Enterprise Mobility customers, up 90 percent for its fourth fiscal quarter ended June 30, year-over-year. The overall installed base has increased 600 percent, the company said, though naturally from a small base. EMS is a cloud-based service consisting of Intune, Azure Active Directory and Azure Rights Management. Subscriptions start as low as $4 per month per user.

"It is the hottest product we have in the company," Turner said in his keynote address at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in Orlando, Fla. "This product has exploded. It will be a $1 billion product in the future and the market is being made on it now."

At the same time, many competitors with mobile device management suites and various security tools are fighting back. The latest to do so is VMware, which last month enhanced its AirWatch suite by adding its own single sign-on offering that could compete with Azure Active Directory. Adding insult to injury, VMware was named a Leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for enterprise mobility management along with Citrix, IBM, MobileIron and Good Technology, while Microsoft was a Visionary for having "a strong vision but falling short of the leaders in terms of execution." Likewise Okta was showcased as the only leader in the Identity Access and Management as a Service category with Azure AD, showing as a Visionary. When I spoke with Microsoft at the time about that, the company spun it as a good thing that Microsoft was recognized as a visionary for a product that wasn't in the market for even a year.

When Microsoft launched EMS at last year's TechEd conference in Houston, Corporate VP Brad Anderson said outright he believes it will obviate the need for traditional MDM products. In a blog post today showcasing EMS, Anderson maintains that prediction.

"The market is definitely still emerging," Anderson said.  "As the value and necessity of EMM grows, we see customers evolving their approach, innovating, and bringing new needs and demands every day.  On a really regular basis I see the traditional point solution MDM vendors, or the identity and access management vendors, struggling to keep up with these demands – customers are seeking more comprehensive and holistic solutions that are architected for (and can scale to) the cloud."

Since its release a year ago, Anderson said Microsoft has extended EMS support for the newest Outlook app, Android (improved), e-discovery, privileged identity management and improved connectivity between Active Directory and Azure Active Directory with the release of AD Connect.

There are big stakes for Microsoft in its move into the MDM market and its success, or lack thereof, could have a major tailwind effect on other offerings, notably Active Directory. Is EMS on your short list?


Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 07/22/2015 at 2:29 PM


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