A Virtual Workforce Connected By Remote Technology Solutions
In recent years, corporate culture has seen a shift to a more relaxed and casual environment. Where suits and ties and daily in person meetings were once the norm, pajama bottoms and Zoom calls are now the go-to. The shift to work-from-home has been creeping up on corporations for the past decade and has now been launched into full effect with COVID-19 and strictly enforced “WFH” mandates. This COVID catalyst has accelerated interest in Remote Technology Solutions for enterprises and consumers alike, creating a flux of M&A within this technology vertical.
In late September, Ivanti entered into an agreement to acquire MobileIron for approximately $947 million. MobileIron is a mobile-centric platform and digital workplace for enterprises that helps verify every user, device, application, network, and threat before granting secure access to business resources. The need for secure mobile platforms and the ability to have a unified and secure management system is evident as employees are now working remotely from personal devices and mobile operating systems. It’s clear that Ivanti, backed by Clearlake Capital Group, is hungry for deals within this space as they will also be acquiring Pulse Secure to enhance MobileIron’s capabilities. Pulse Secure provides mobile security and access solutions to enterprises and service providers. They also offer specifically developed work-from-home software solutions.
Also in September, Pacific Equity Partners entered into an agreement to acquire The Citadel Group for approximately $395 million. Citadel is an enterprise software and services company that offers software platforms, digital services, and managed services solutions to a wide range of clients. Notably, one of their recent offerings, AVAssist, developed by their subsidiary Citadel Tech, is an app that provides instant video support to solve complex AV issues remotely from support centers. Citadel said the aim of the app is to reduce the burden on internal IT departments by remotely resolving issues with video conferencing connections, audio, video quality issues, and error messages. It seems that the people at Citadel know the frustration of dropping off of an important video meeting due to connection issues.
Large corporations have also shown interest within this space. In June, Apple acquired Fleetsmith for an undisclosed amount. Fleetsmith is a cloud-based Apple device management software that enables businesses to manage applications, settings, and security across their Mac and IOS fleet. This allows IT to remotely and seamlessly onboard and monitor all users and devices within a company. This acquisition comes a little over a month after Verizon acquired cloud-based video conferencing service Blue Jeans Network for approximately $500 million. Both of these acquisitions highlight that some of the largest corporations in the world are paying close attention to remote technology solutions.
With deals in this space seemingly coming as a direct result of the pandemic, its important to note that interest in remote technology solutions was growing even before COVID. In December of last year, Francisco Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital Corporation entered into a definite agreement to acquire LogMeIn for $4.3 billion. LogMeIn provides remote access SaaS and offers cloud-based remote connectivity services for collaboration, IT management, and customer engagement services. From this acquisition, it’s evident that remote technology solutions were of interest before COVID was even on the radar. Either that or Francisco and Evergreen are good at predicting global pandemics.