Axway’s Acquisition of Appcelerator Increases Its Mobile Value Proposition

C. Dunlap
C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Appcelerator’s MADP offering will enhance Axway’s API services.
  • Appcelerator has struggled with a questionable business model that drastically changed a year ago.

Little-known Axway has purchased one of the leading MADP pure plays, Appcelerator, to enhance Axway’s API service offering with mobile technology and improve its competitive threat as it goes after enterprises launching mobile projects.

Appcelerator, whose flagship product is the Titanium framework used to write cross-platform mobile apps, competes with Kony, IBM MobileFirst, and SAP. The merger enhances both companies’ offerings while strengthening their go-to-market strategies. For example, Appcelerator has sold primarily to the developer community, so it can now refocus on attracting DevOps customers under its new owners, particularly with an offering enhanced through Axway’s API services.

About a year ago, Appcelerator revamped and rebranded its mobile application platform technology under the name Arrow, which centers on MBaaS and analytics technology as well as app development framework capabilities through its popular open source product, Titanium. The company significantly altered the way it went to market, changing its business approach, slashing the price of flagship product Appcelerator Platform from six figures to a $5,000 monthly licensing fee. Its aim was to move beyond the enterprise customer and seek to gain attention from the broader developer community. The plan seemed to be counterintuitive to most mobile pure plays’ efforts to gain the attention of CIOs and IT teams in a top-down business approach as those groups look to centralize mobile app development/deployment projects.

Within the MBaaS space, API management is proving to be a key enabler as the location of data sources becomes highly variable. Interestingly, Appcelerator acquired Singly in 2013 for its API services, including normalization, in an effort to strengthen Appcelerator’s mobile play. Regardless, Appcelerator has not been able to gain much recognition among the small crowd of leading MADP players, including those mentioned above. Throw into the mix the fact that leading cloud providers are offering mobile services, such as Microsoft Azure Mobile and Amazon AWS Mobile Services, and Appcelerator faced a daunting task to make much progress in the competitive mobile app platform arena.

Consolidation will continue among various mobile app development market segments. MBaaS and MADP providers don’t typically include best-of-breed API management solutions as part of their mobility offerings, and API management providers, such as Apigee and Layer 7 (CA), are lacking in mobile middleware. Keep an eye on the larger application platform players, which have acquired API management providers in order to offer a more comprehensive backend integration/management plus mobile app development portfolio. Those vendors include IBM MobileFirst, which recently acquired StrongLoop; TIBCO, which acquired Mashery; and CA, which acquired Layer 7.

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