Telefónica acquires eyeOS to reinforce its cloud services offer

  • The technology underpinning eyeOS, the Spanish start-up which pioneered the first software-free web desktop, complements Telefónica’s aim to foster technological open standards
  • Through virtualised desktops Telefónica bolsters its cloud services portfolio offering a simple, cost-effective solution for SMEs and Public Administrations
  • eyeOS will become a subsidiary company of Telefónica with its headquarters and staff remaining in Barcelona

Madrid, 1 April 2014. Telefónica today announced the acquisition of eyeOS, the Spanish cloud computing start-up widely recognised as pioneering the open-source web desktop. Telefónica has collaborated with eyeOS since 2010, but this acquisition reinforces its future mobile cloud services plans and the development of free software solutions.

The technology developed by eyeOS will enable Telefónica to offer an open-source desktop virtualisation service (DVS), adding to Telefónica’s current cloud software offer with an efficient, affordable solution for SMEs and Public Administrations – a sector heavily reliant on a centralised package of applications.

eyeOS makes it possible for companies to translate legacy applications to mobile as well as harness desktop virtualisation technology and apply this to mobile devices. This technology enables Telefónica to offer comprehensive solutions tailor made to specific needs based on free software capable of competing against other commercial proposals.

The virtualisation of desktops (VDI) offers considerable advantages to both users, who can access all their company’s legacy and cloud applications from anywhere and any device, and companies, as it enables them to efficiently manage and simplify the access by their employees to the information and applications.

Desktop virtualisation is a sector which represents an important business opportunity within the cloud services segment. This value is characterised by the confluence of three important market trends: the increasing use of personal devices in the work environment (BYOD); the evolution of virtualisation technology towards open standards and HTML5 stack becoming the system used by different devices and environments to access all kinds of applications. Up until 2012, just 13% of companies had moved to VDI, due mainly to the complexity of the proposals available in the market and the high cost of implementing them.

The acquisition of eyeOS reaffirms Telefónica’s longstanding commitment to promoting open-source solutions. Examples include Firefox OS, the project launched together with the Mozilla Foundation, and WebRTC, the technology which permits audio and video communications through the internet and led by TokBox, the company Telefónica acquired in 2012.

The acquisition of eyeOS demonstrates the willingness of a large company like Telefónica to work with start-ups, highlighting its openness to innovation and its ability to seek talent and the best ideas outside of its own structure” said Pau Garcia-Milà, co-founder of eyeOS. “Telefónica will help eyeOS to not only consolidate and expand its technological proposal, but give it international reach through Telefónica’s global network.”

David del Val, product innovation director at Telefónica and chairman and CEO of Telefónica I+D, said: “The integration of eyeOS into Telefónica will allow us to harness the technological abilities of a great team and develop a new generation of cloud services based on open technologies. These services define a scalable and affordable proposal that meets the needs of public administrations and SMEs among others.”

Founded in 2006 in Barcelona, eyeOS will maintain its headquarters in the Catalan city, where their staff will continue to work but will now form part of Telefónica. Pau Garcia-Milà will remain connected to the innovative processes of the company, but will not have a formal role within Telefónica. Telefónica and eyeOS have been collaborating since 2010, when they worked together on the development of the 2.0 version of the eyeOS web desktop. Last September, they strengthened their collaboration with the signing of an agreement to boost the virtualisation of Windows and Linux applications into a HTML5 format. After its integration into Telefónica, eyeOS will continue to function as an independent subsidiary, led by its current CEO Michel Kisfaludi.

In the coming months, Telefónica will work on the consolidation and expansion of eyeOS, to extend its commercialisation in Spain and all the countries in which it operates.

 

About Telefónica
Telefónica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world in terms of market capitalisation and number of customers. From this outstanding position in the industry, and with its mobile, fixed and broadband businesses as the key drivers of its growth, Telefónica has focused its strategy on becoming a leading company in the digital world.

The company has a significant presence in 24 countries and a customer base that amounts more than 323 million accesses around the world. Telefónica has a strong presence in Spain, Europe and Latin America, where the company focuses an important part of its growth strategy.

Telefónica is a 100% listed company, with more than 1.5 million direct shareholders. Its share capital currently comprises 4,551,024,586 ordinary shares traded on the Spanish Stock Market (Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia) and on those in London, New York, Lima, and Buenos Aires.


The 10 Best Countries for Cloud Computing

Japan, Australia and the United States take the lead as the countries with the most cloud-friendly policies and laws, a new study shows. The study, covering the technology environments of 24 nations, finds mixed progress.

The study, released by BSA-The Software Alliance, an industry group, finds that while many of the world’s biggest IT markets have stalled or slid backwards, others are embracing laws and regulations conducive to cloud innovation. The second annual “scorecard” also finds that policy fragmentation persists, as some countries, aiming to promote local cloud markets, adopt laws and regulations that inhibit cross-border data flows or skew international competition.

The BSA ranked nations on the basis of their support for data privacy; security; cybercrime prevention; intellectual property rights; free trade; industry-led standards; information technology readiness; and broadband deployments.

Here are the 10 top-ranked countries in terms of cloud environments:

Japan
Australia
United States
Germany
Singapore
France
United Kingdom
South Korea
Canada
Italy
BSA says this year’s biggest mover in the rankings is Singapore, rising from fifth from 10th place a year ago. The city-nation adopted a new privacy law “that recognizes people’s right to protect their personal information and companies’ need to use data for reasonable purposes,” the report notes. While not in the top 10, Singapore’s neighbor, Malaysia, is demonstrating progress in the right direction, bolstering cybercrime and IP laws and opening itself for increased digital trade, BSA adds.

The U.S. has edged into third, pushing Germany down to fourth. BSA credits “useful advances in standards development for cloud computing and infrastructure improvements rather than major policy improvements” within the U.S.

Canada, Russia, and India all also moved up the rankings by implementing international IP agreements.

Policy improvements in many of the world’s biggest IT markets have stalled, BSA adds. Notably, all six European Union countries covered in the study have lost ground in the rankings. Others are “effectively unplugging themselves from the global market — with especially counterproductive policies in Korea, Indonesia and Vietnam.”

Trade agreements are an importanmt component of a nation’s cloud competitiveness, and should encourage the free movement of data and applications across borders, BSA says. “Governments must work to establish a framework that is rigorous enough to meet individual countries’ privacy concerns but flexible enough to ensure the free flow of cross-border data transfers. To ensure the growth of cloud computing, the obligations in forward-looking trade agreements should: explicitly prohibit restrictions on the provision of cross-border data services; prohibit requiring the use of local computing infrastructure, such as servers, as a condition for providing, or investing in the provision of, cloud services in the country; prohibit the use of standards and licensing requirements in ways that restrict trade; and cover purchase by private businesses and consumers and government procurement, including by state-owned enterprises.

Source: Forbes


Infographic: CIOs & VDI. What is it going to happen?

VDI infographic