CA Technologies is entering the mobile device management (MDM) market by licensing the source code for SAP's (formerly Sybase's) Afaria software. "We wanted to start on a platform that was already proven," said general manager of new business innovation Ram Varadarajan.
He described Afaria as "best in class" and said "we could not have bought a better product."
CA Technologies CEO Mike Gregoire said the deal with SAP was "a unique transaction."
CA expects to offer its first product - CA Mobile Device Management - based on Afaria this northern summer for on premises or SaaS deployment.
Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Windows 8 will be supported.
CA Mobile Application Management will allow administrators to apply policies to existing applications, such as limiting use of certain apps to particular times of day or geographical locations. Single sign-on, usage and performance analytics, and other features will be included as part of "a very well thought-out strategy for applications," Mr Varadarajan said.
The content management piece will include encryption to, from and on the device; content sharing; and more, while services management will cover availability, security, performance and operations management.
The extensions developed by CA will be exclusive to the company, although SAP will continue to invest in Afaria.
Mr Gregoire said CA has a multi-year roadmap for the product family.
Responding to a suggestion that CA was late to the MDM market, SAP's president of technology solutions and head of mobile division Sanjay Poonen said CA was the first systems management company to announce a product, and that since there are probably as few as one million smartphones under management "there's a long, long way to go."
Mr Varadarajan expressed the view that MDM will become part of enterprise IT management as opposed to a separate niche market.
MDM "is really key," CA's CTO for Australia and New Zealand Carl Tarrantroy told iTWire. The way apps containing malware have got into Google's Play Store means the ability to blacklist apps is essential, he said.
Disclosure: The writer attended CA World as the guest of the company.