Citrix Systems Inc. announced Thursday it has agreed to acquire mobile video optimization specialist Bytemobile Inc., the latest consolidation move in the Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) sector.
Citrix announced the acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, on a media call Wednesday, and Citrix Chief Marketing Officer Wes Wasson said he expects it to close by mid-July.
"Bytemobile is very complementary, providing the same kind of class and quality of services, but instead of focusing on data center and clouds, it focuses on core mobile networks," Wasson said of the pairing.
Bytemobile provides video and multimedia optimization software, analytics, policy control and deep packet inspection (DPI) capabilities, but its customer base is what caught Citrix's eye, because Bytemobile works with 160 wireless operators across 60 countries. Citrix, which entered into a partnership with Bytemobile around its T-Series traffic management system in the first quarter then signed an OEM deal in the second quarter, is buying the company outright to get a direct line to this customer base.
Citrix will form a dedicated product division in its Cloud Networking Group around Bytemobile's technology and staff, to be headed by former Bytemobile COO Chris Koopmans, now VP and GM of the Citrix Service Provider Platform division.
Why this matters
This is the latest in a string of acquisitions in the SPIT space. While it may seem out of left field for an enterprise cloud company to be purchasing a mobile video optimization vendor, expanding into other SPIT technologies has become common practice as competition in the space heats up. In fact, when DPI vendor Allot Communications Ltd. snatched up Bytemobile competitor Ortiva last month, Heavy Reading analyst Graham Finnie predicted that more M&A was to come. (See Allot Snaps Up Ortiva Wireless , Policy Specialists Squeezed by Vendor Giants and Policy & DPI: $1B Spree, But No Picnic for Vendors.)
The combined forces of Citrix and Bytemobile should be positive news for the wireless operators, too, as they are looking to assert themselves in the cloud space, as well as manage video traffic on their 3G and 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks.
"Our belief is the dominant consumption model in the cloud era is going to be through mobile devices," Wasson said. "That's a pretty clear piece. As a result of that, having a strategic footprint in the mobile network operators who will have an increasingly important role in that ecosystem is important."
â€” Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile