After its acquisition by Thoma Bravo, LANDesk will be focusing on expanding its new automation management platform and expanding its endpoint security and mobile device management services.
With the distractions of the past year finally over,
LANDesk Software is looking ahead to expand its desktop and security management
offerings on top of its automation platform, according to CEO Steve Daly.
The past year has been an uncertain one, with the company
focusing on business as usual while awaiting a buyer. LANDesk had been part of
a data management company called Avocent when it was acquired by Emerson for
$1.2 billion in October 2009. Emerson wasn't interested in keeping LANDesk,
Daly said in an interview with eWEEK. In
fact, Emerson listed LANDesk a "discontinued operation" in February and
entertained bids from a number of buyers before closing the deal with
investment firm Thoma
for an undisclosed sum in August. The acquisition closed late
Under the deal, LANDesk became an independent company
with Daly, formerly the executive vice president
and general manager, at the helm. Thoma Bravo saw a way to build a platform
around LANDesk's product, and the private
equity firm's experience in security software and systems markets will help LANDesk build adjacent markets, such as
mobile device management, he said.
LANDesk will "continue to invest and build synergy" in
its line of desktop and security management products, said Daly. Underpinning
the strategy is the management automation platform it unveiled in October, he
said. Designed to enable organizations to easily define, design, implement and execute
cross-platform IT automation tasks, IT managers will be able to automate
business processes, Daly said.
As much as 30 percent of the IT department's time is
spent on redundant and repetitive tasks, he said,
noting that many of them are poorly documented, if at all. These tasks are a
"waste of time" for IT as the administrators can be working on more strategic
initiatives or complex projects, he said.
The automation platform allows the community to share
workflow processes, by using the process engine to create templates. The
platform has four tool areas for content and resource, best practices, software
development kit, and connections, allowing IT departments to automate and
manage repetitive and manual processes, according to LANDesk. The platform also
supports operating system migrations to Windows 7 and to perform software
license audits. By standardizing operational processes, companies can also
ensure they are compliant with regulatory requirements, as well.
The software asset management feature will be built into the platform, letting IT administrators to look at how many licenses were
purchased, whether it was over-deployed, and
whether there were users who had software they didn't need them, said Daly.
Companies can save money by reclaiming licenses this way. LANDesk is also renewing its focus on the endpoint. By
tmid-2008, there were more laptops than desktops in the enterprise, and by
mid-2011, the shift will be to smart devices like the iPad, according to Daly.
"There has been an explosion in the number of endpoints that need to be
managed," he said
Another "huge problem" facing IT administrators is the
number of unsupported devices in the enterprise, Daly said. The increasing
number of operating systems also makes the user environment much more complex.
An organization may be running Microsoft Exchange for mail, but the employees
are reading their messages on an unsupported iOS device via ActiveSync.
"IT used to worry about Steve's laptop. Now IT has to
struggle with Steve's user environment, such as the iPad, his iPhone or Android
phone," said Daly. IT departments have to shift from managing individual
devices to managing the users.
With LANDesk Mobility Manager, IT administrators can get
the "visibility as to what is out there," he said.
Seeing what they have in the environment was the first step for administrators
to gain control. Future enhancements will be targeted towards the ability to
secure, provision and control mobile devices, the company said. One such
feature is the ability to perform remote wipes on mobile devices, according to
Daly. If a user brings an unsupported device into the enterprise, the IT
department will get the employee's agreement that if the device is lost or
stolen, then it can be remotely wiped for data security reasons, Daly said.
Originally part of Intel back in the 1990s, LANDesk was
"the first company" with a desktop management suite, he
LANDesk competes against the likes of Novell with its
ZENworks platform and Altiris in the the PC management space.