Ivanti and RES Software, while the dust is settling….
After the initial shock of the announcement, a video surfaced on the Ivanti website where they discussed the acquisition. Still after the video many question still remained unanswered. I decided to get in touch with Ivanti and RES software to see if they could provide me more details. Today I had a conference call with Ivanti. We spoke for about half an hour about the acquisition and what their vision is on this. Let me share some information, vision and take a away some concerns.
A Changing world
With the ever changing world of IT a company has to keep up, change, adapt or die. LANDESK knew this when they bought AppSense. It is also the reason Ivanti was created merging HEAT and LANDESK. It is why they acquired SHAVLIK, Touchbase and so on. Ivanti understands that to be relevant in the IT you need to be sure you don’t become a niche product. You have to provide a real solution to customers that stands out and adds value. With the acquistions and merges before RES they were heading that way already.
One of the reasons Ivanti was interested in RES software was that it enabled them to add functionality to certain product lines they already offered. It also offered them, and this is perhaps more important, access to skilful people. If we take a little look at Microsoft Windows 10 we’ve seen drastic changes to the startmenu that many vendors are struggling with. With more smart people looking at an issue you will get smarter solutions. RES software is a innovative company with smart people, to be able to access that knowledge is worth a lot. RES Software and Ivanti offer and think similar about a lot of solutions, you see that in the products both offer.
Automation is king
The products that had most interest were RES ONE Automation and RES ONE Identity Director. Ivanti of course had a solution already for device management, application management, patch management and a service store. That solution is used with many customers around the world and is called EndPoint Manager. It offers a vast variety of functionality focused on device management. It is able to deploy Windows like Microsoft SCCM can, it offers a service store for application deployment and so much more.
What they don’t have is the RES ONE Automation power of automating everything in the data center. One example they were fond of wat the ability to on- and off-board users in a network. When someone starts to work you create them from a framework with necessary security settings, Mailbox, file shares etc. When they leave you off-board them making sure every access is revoked. RES ONE Automation has more and all this power will be integrated. This will offer customers a huge advantage and the ability to move away from Microsoft SCCM. Add the RES ONE IT store with all of this and a very powerful solution emerges.
Security is emperor
Security is a topic even my non-IT friends talk about every time I see them. Security with all the “ransomware” attacks is on every IT managers agenda right now. AppSense was very strong in providing security as it worked from a machine-up philosophy. AppSense Application manager, part of the Ivanti family, got some brothers and sister, SHAVLIK and HEAT joined. Together they make a very powerful security solution. One of the more positive signs for current RES customers is the fact that both HEAT and SHAVLIK (that was acquired from VMware in 2013) are still business units within Ivanti.
SHAVLIK offers the patching for the endpoints, HEAT provides the endpoint security and Application Manager provides application security. This offers possibilities for threat detection, remediation and so on. Interesting to see if they will integrate RES products as well here.
AppSense or RES ONE Workspace?
Something that was on my mind was whether AppSense (currently DesktopNow) would be used instead of RES ONE Workspace. Would they drop RES in favour of their own solution. The idea is to leave RES Software products run along side and see how things go. Integration is not something done overnight, it takes months perhaps years. SHAVLIK was also running side by side for a long time and so is HEAT. There are no plans to move fast on this,the RES customer base is happy with the current products and why upset a customer base if you don’t need to.
Will anything change in the future, of course it will. In due time some products will merge/integrate with Ivanti products. These new products will be offered to new or upgrading customers at that time. The idea is to make transition in the future (important to say, the future which still is far away) as painless as possible with customers gaining more functionality due to integration or merges.
RES Software has a very strong customer base in the Benelux and the nordics. Ivanti is strong in other parts of the world and not so strong in the RES software region. One of the reasons they were interested is the market RES is operating in. The knife cuts both ways, RES Software has tried for several years to conquer the US market and never really succeeded as much as they wanted. With this acquisition they gain access to the Ivanti market which is very good for them as well.
Market penetration is acquired by having solutions that open doors, with acquiring Touchbase they got a hold of a Service management solution and gained access to this market. Suddenly the ITSM market is open and customers there take notice of the other products they offer. RES Software also now has access to those customers and with that gains more market potential.
I kept asking about the choice between DesktopNow and RES ONE Workspace because in the end they might need to choose. We discussed this and both our thought is that UEM as a solution in the long run is a dead end track. User Evnironment Management as a solution was required and solved a lot of problems back then and still today. With all the EMM solutions like AirWatch, Intune and XenMobile evoloving things are changing fast. EMM will soon not be the right term for that, we saw that already last year at VMworld with the Unified EndPoint Management announcement. The line between what products are offering is vanishing, more customers are managing devices with EMM solutions and if they evolve for sure they will be able to manage parts we now do with UEM. We should stop talking about User Environment Management and start by calling it Workspace Management. We see a shift going on to Unified Endpoint Management, where management is done from a different angle. Current environments still need solutions like DesktopNow or RES ONE Workspace but in the future many things offered there will be transferred to Workspace management solutions. Vendors like Citrix and VMware are also already on this track and so is Ivanti. I tell this often when people ask if I update the UEM smackdown, it starts to become a niche solution in a lager field.
It would be a waste of investment and time to try and build a best-of-breed UEM product from DesktopNow and RES ONE Workspace. Therefore leaving both products as they are and just add some integration to other products will do for the fore-coming future.
I think, looking at it after a night sleep and talking to Ivanti, the acquisition is interesting in the long run. If they pull this one off they create very interesting solutions for customers. One thing they miss is a virtual desktop but I heard Citrix is for sale so what is holding you back 😉
There is still much to look out for, the dust is still settling and meeting rooms are still filled. I just wanted to give a short overview of what I know by now. Things might change of course as time passes but this is the current general idea. Let’s wait and see and if more is know more will be written.