Exclusive: Good Technology buying BoxTone

February 23, 2014: 10:30 AM ET

Combination of two enterprise mobility companies could present new challenges to Blackberry.

FORTUNE -- Good Technology, a software company, is expected to announce that it plans to acquire BoxTone, a sometime partner in the growing business of helping companies manage, monitor and secure employees' mobile devices. Terms of the deal will not be disclosed.

The deal between the two private companies could aid Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Good in its quest to wrest customers from Blackberry, (BBRY) the struggling device maker that once dominated the enterprise phone and messaging business. Good has been aggressively pursuing Blackberry customers; last month it launched a comprehensive "migrate now" program to entice corporate tech chiefs to switch from Blackberry to Good's system, which allows companies to manage their corporate email and other software on Apple (AAPL) iPhones and tablets and devices running on Google's (GOOG) Android operating system as well as Microsoft (MSFT)'s Windows mobile platform.

Through the acquisition of BoxTone, based in Columbia, Md., Good gains access to some Blackberry customers who use BoxTone software to manage their BlackBerry smartphone applications. "BoxTone has been an open customer platform," Christy Wyatt, CEO of Good, told Fortune.

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Indeed, BoxTone boasts partnerships with a number of tech companies; in addition to Blackberry it, too, works with Google and Apple. It also has a deep partnership with Good that predates the companies' merger talks.

Wyatt says the acquisition will give Good a more comprehensive portfolio of services and products to help corporations securely manage their fleets of mobile devices and the applications that run on them. BoxTone specializes in so-called "mobile service management," which allows companies to not only deploy software onto devices but also monitor their mobility systems, allowing information technology departments to diagnose and fix problems quickly.  She noted that Good and BoxTone traditionally have served large enterprises with intense security needs. Good, she says, works with 8 of the 10 largest banks in the world, and BoxTone, on its website, says it serves "four of the top five U.S. federal agencies."

Speaking from Barcelona, Spain, where the industry's annual Mobile World Congess trade show kicks off on Monday, Wyatt says wireless network security is poised to be a big topic of discussion. "The dialogue around enterprise and data security has become incredibly large and important."

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Stephanie Mehta
Stephanie Mehta
Deputy Managing Editor , Fortune

Stephanie N. Mehta is the deputy managing editor at Fortune, overseeing technology coverage for Fortune. She also is a co-chair of the annual Brainstorm Tech conference, an annual gathering of tech and media thinkers. Previously, Mehta spent seven years as a tech writer at Fortune covering the telecom and media industries. She also has worked for the Wall Street Journal and the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va.

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