Citrix snaps up mobile optimization firm Bytemobile

Citrix Systems purchased mobile Web optimization firm Bytemobile. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Citrix is hoping the acquisition will help it build stronger relationships with carriers as more mobile content is delivered via the cloud, Citrix's key strength. 

Wes Wasson, senior vice president and CMO for Citrix, called the acquisition "strategic" and said it will help Citrix in its mission of enabling people to work via mobile and the cloud. In an era when more content is going to be consumed via the cloud and by cloud networks carriers control, he said, having a "strategic footprint in carriers is essential."

After the acquisition closes, all of Bytemobile's employees will be transferred to Citrix and will become part of Citrix's cloud networking group, headed by Klaus Oestermann. The Bytemobile team will be the "service provider platform" group within that, and will be led by Bytemobile COO Chris Koopmans.

Bytemobile works with more than 130 carriers in 60 countries to optimize mobile Web content, and video in particular. Citrix is pro-actively reaching out to all of Bytemobile's customers to smooth the transition.

During a conference call with reporters, Oestermann called the deal a "natural expansion" for Citrix into the telecommunications market, and said Bytemobile has a very strong engineering and sales pedigree in mobile. "We will get that muscle to very quickly enter into the telco market," he said.

Wasson said the deal "is about getting more inside visibility into all the content going over these mobile networks." He also said the acquisition is much more far-reaching than the one Allot Communications made for video optimization player Ortiva Wireless in May, since Citrix is buying more than just a video optimization solution. Bytemobile also specializes in content caching, deep packet inspection, policy management and analytics.

The Citrix executives pointed to Bytemobile's SmartCapacity solution, adaptive traffic management products and numerous carrier relationships as key differentiators, and called Bytemobile the "clear dominant player" in the mobile optimization market.

Bytemobile confirmed in January that it laid off a "small number" of workers in a minor reorganization, but it declined to comment on the number of employees affected by the reorganization.

Jeffrey Glueck, CEO of Skyfire Labs, a Bytemobile competitor, said the deal was an important one for the optimization market, and said that because of the growth in mobile data in makes sense that optimization firms would be merged into larger companies focused on networking.

"They were the most widely known player in the space and we applaud them," Glueck said regarding Bytemobile. "I hope the deal brings more attention to this problem we call 'mobile warming.' I think it's great for the industry. It's a logical move for Citrix. I think it's a major revenue opportunity."

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