Citrix, now all about mobility, buys Zenprise to boost BYOD effort

Citrix is buying Zenprise, a specialist in mobile device management, in a bid to solidify its BYOD strategy.

The bring-your-own-device wave that’s sweeping businesses, constitutes a huge quandary for those companies. They want their employees to be able to use their iPhone, Android phone or tablet of choice but they don’t want to give those devices willy nilly access to corporate assets. Cue companies like Zenprise, which swaddles smart phones and tablets with an extra layer of security that spots unusual usage patterns that could signal big problems.

According to the company press release,  Citrix(s ctrx) will integrate Zenprise’s software with its own Citrix CloudGateway and [email protected] products for managing mobile apps and data.  The acquisition, terms of which were not announced, should be completed in the first quarter of 2013. The move is not surprising in that Citrix launched a big enterprise mobility push at its Synergy conference last spring.

Zenprise customers include the Boston Red Sox, Grant Thornton, and Monsanto. Zenprise’s products can perform up-front checks of the device in question and will block device access to corporate resources if it is “unmanaged,” jailbroken or out of compliance with the company’s blacklist or whitelist policy, according to Zenprise’s website.

BYOD is a huge problem for enterprise accounts — most of which are contending either with the fear of data breaches or breaches themselves. Even tech powers like IBM(s ibm) have dealt with the challenges of BYOD by actually neutering some popular features of user devices — Siri is muted for example.

Founded in 2003, Zenprise got funding from Greylock Partners, Shasta Ventures, the Mayfield Fund, Rembrandt Venture Partners and Bay Partners.