About the Author

Brent Bluth | Corporate Marketing

When Britain’s National Health Service Gets Personal

GettyImages-487883321As an American, my affinity for Britain’s National Health Service got a booster shot after being on the receiving end of its kindnesses during a trip to England in July, 2015.

I accompanied my wife Kathleen on her business trip to Preston, England, situated about 30 miles northwest of Manchester. We tacked on a few vacation days afterwards, visiting the cities of York, Cambridge, and London.

While in York I experienced the same symptoms of an infection I had endured weeks earlier at a family reunion near Santa Cruz, California. I spent most of that week in bed at the rented beach house with chills and fever, and only started to improve once I’d received an antibiotic from a physician at an urgent care facility in Santa Cruz.

Hoping to avoid a déjà vu experience in England, Kathleen and I drove to York Hospital, just a few minutes from the city center. The facility is run by the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and serves a population of 500,000 in North Yorkshire.

“That’s our National Health Service.”

After about 20 minutes in the ER waiting room, I was greeted by a nurse, instructed to provide a urine sample, and was then ushered into an examination room and evaluated by an experienced physician. She confirmed the infection and prescribed an antibiotic. She even walked to the in-house pharmacy and returned with the medicine in hand. To me she embodied one of the hospital’s core values: “Always doing what we can to be helpful.”

Kathleen and I then proceeded to the front desk to check out. Both at check-in and during the doctor’s evaluation, I inquired about how to make payment. I did so a third time with the discharge clerk. I told her I had health insurance in the US which covered at least some portion of expenses out of the country. She informed me that there was no balance owed. A bit befuddled, I asked how that could be. She beamed with pride, “That’s our National Health Service.”

It was a couple of days later in Cambridge that I learned from our Airbnb host that I should have at least been charged for the medicine.

No Hospital’s Complete without IT

Since my firsthand experience with the NHS, I’ve gained a keener interest in the respective success stories and videos we’ve produced about NHS customers of LANDESK and AppSense solutions. Here are the links to those stories and videos in alphabetical order you can review should you have a bit of downtime:

Avon Information Management and Technology Consortium is a shared service supporting NHS Bristol, NHS North Somerset, and NHS South Gloucestershire.

“LANDESK has proved our original business case for purchasing the system. Using remote control, we have already made £115,000 worth of productivity savings because we no longer rely on contract staff or moving senior engineers away from other projects. We have also slashed our travel costs and our carbon footprint has gone down by 60 tonnes in the IT department alone.”

—Jason Wallace, Head of IT Services

Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust treats 50,000 people each year across the West Midlands and beyond, carrying out 3,000 operations and delivering more than 8,000 babies.

“Since deploying the LANDESK solution, the number of IT incidents reported to our service desk has fallen by about 20%, from an average of 1,100 per month to 800 per month. We expect this number to drop further as people get to grips with the self-service portal. The benefits are twofold: care-givers can get back to focusing on their core responsibilities sooner, and our ICT employees have more time to devote to proactively optimizing IT performance.”

—Steve Cotton, Head of ICT

Derbyshire Health Informatics Services provides IT services for eight NHS primary care trusts as well as Derbyshire Mental Health Services and Trent Strategic Health Authority. The company employs 160 people and supports some 16,000 NHS users.

“As an organization that serves the public sector, we work within tight budgets, and the need to deliver ever higher levels of service points to the adoption of a framework like ITIL. After a very rigorous evaluation process, we began working with LANDESK to deploy a solution based around LANDESK Service Desk—helping us drive improvements in Incident and Problem Management across the board.”

—Daryl Barber, Customer Service Manager

Imperial College Healthcare is one of the largest teaching hospitals in the UK, consisting of five hospitals across four main sites in northwest London. IT plays a critical role in all areas of hospital operations, including patient care, diagnostic processes, finance, and HR. With AppSense DesktopNow, Imperial College can deliver the responsive environment it needs and ensure that the staff stays focused on care, not the distractions of an underperforming desktop.

“Clinicians need real-time systems. They deal with patients in real time, so we need to deliver information at the point of care in real time.”

—Dr. Sanjay Gautama, Consultant Anesthetist, CCIO, and Caldicott Guardian

Kent and Medway Health Informatics Service serves some 35,000 users, providing the technological backbone that clinicians, care workers, and administrative staff need to ensure safe, efficient, and high-quality patient care.

“We decided to rebuild the entire LANDESK Service Desk landscape, upgrading to the latest version and moving from a console-based system to a browser-based one. We knew that running Service Desk through a web portal would enable us to speed up processes, helping staff to provide a more responsive service to customers. Equally, upgrading the solution would allow us to take advantage of new functionality, introducing greater efficiencies around call logging, device and user management, and reporting.”

—Darren Spinks, Senior IT Team Leader

I.T. Must Understand Its Users’ Needs üBer Alles

While reading the closing summary section of the eBook “Five Ways to Modernize IT Service Management,” I recently came across this statement that references transportation network Uber in the context of understanding your business and the users you serve:GettyImages-537553196

“Understand who the ultimate customer of your business is (not IT), how the organization is solving its challenges, and how IT could help do it more effectively. This isn’t necessarily the wholesale creation of a new market but potentially the recombination of services and technology in a different workflow—think transportation network Uber.”

I like that “recombination of services and technology in a different workflow” concept.

And speaking of Uber, according to its website the company is about “finding the way—creating possibilities for riders, drivers, and cities. Whether it’s a ride, a sandwich, or a package, we use technology to give people what they want, when they want it.”

Coincidentally, I listened to a National Public Radio (NPR) segment recently where Liz Reid of the Pittsburgh NPR station, WESA, reported that Uber is developing self-driving cars. The company’s “self-driving technology, like its ride-sharing app, will make the roads safer and less congested, make the air less polluted, and increase access to transportation.”

The report stresses that the future of self-driving cars is still a long way off. “Uber is like the Wright brothers testing the world’s first airplanes on the coast of North Carolina. Pretty cool. But not terribly practical yet.”

Your business users are in the driver’s seat

It’s no secret that, on the sexiness scale, advances in IT Service Management (ITSM) technology don’t rival those for self-driving cars. But, like Uber, the point is still to “give people what they want, when they want it.” Your business users are in the driver’s seat, and you must understand and meet their needs.

As explained in the eBook mentioned earlier, advances in technology alone can’t replace a first-rate user experience. You must ensure that the IT experience is engaging, consistent, and memorable, and that it provides outstanding user satisfaction.

A survey conducted by HDI and ITSMF revealed that the top reason for changes made in support centers was to provide a better customer experience (67 percent of support centers).

Organizations that fully comprehend their business users’ issues are able to structure their experiences to help users resolve these issues easily and with minimal disruption to their working day. The delivery of exceptional user experiences requires a comprehensive, user-centered approach to service management. You need to understand your users and what they deem as critical in an experience, in a service, or in an application as you design your interactions.

Offer users a choice of support channels

As stated in the eBook, Gartner Inc. stresses the need to offer choices to business users in terms of support channels: “ITSD leaders must realize that the digital workplace requires multi-channel access and high-value collaborative channels that drive satisfaction, loyalty, and relevance.” Gartner analysts suggest that it’s no longer sufficient to offer telephone and email contact channels only. You must provide alternative channels including chat, walk-up support, IT taxi, and self service.

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Is There Ever a Second Chance at a First Impression of I.T.?

BEM Shows Up

My parents named me Brent when I was born, but my older brother Steve as a toddler could only pronounce it as “Bem”, which stuck as my nickname over the years.

So imagine my surprise while waiting for a haircut circa 1967 at Russ’s Barber Shop in Salt Lake City. I was thumbing through a GI Joe comic book and noticed this “BEM Shows Up!” public service cartoon on the inside back cover. I tore it out discreetly and had it hanging on my bedroom wall for several years growing up. Decades later I re-discovered it thanks to the wonder of the web.

Brains, Emotions, and Muscles each failed miserably in making a positive first impression with the girl at the dance. In contrast, intelligent, empathetic, and able-bodied BEM totally made the scene. Groovy, baby.

First impressions are hard to shake, but it’s possible 

Dorie Clark, a marketing strategist who teaches at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, writes in Harvard Business Review that initial impressions are hard to shake. “We’ve all been there—accidentally alienated a new coworker with a bad joke, underwhelmed the new boss by botching our first assignment, or had a client we just didn’t click with,” she writes. But, she says, “it’s not impossible to change how others view you.”

Clark offers four ways individuals can begin to overturn others’ entrenched beliefs, which I’ve shortened for the sake of blog brevity:

  • Surprise them

People don’t often change their initial impressions because the brain is optimized to conserve energy. If there’s no compelling reason to re-evaluate something, we won’t. You must manufacture a reason by surprising them.

  • Overcompensate over time

A forceful change in behavior may get your colleagues to take notice. But if you only do it once, they can write it off as an aberration. Instead, keep up your new behavior over time, and recognize that in order to change perceptions, you’ll need to do it far longer than the original behavior for which you were pigeonholed.

  • Get closer to them

If you’ve started out on the wrong foot with a colleague, it can be tempting to avoid the problem by staying away from them. But keeping a distance is likely to exacerbate the problem, because—since they’re not receiving any new inputs about who you are—it will only reinforce their existing perceptions. Instead, force yourself out of your comfort zone and find ways to get to know them better.

  • Wait it out

Finally, sometimes the bad impression your colleagues may have formed has literally nothing to do with you. If you’re patient and continue to act in ways you’re proud of, most people will eventually come around. While initial impressions tend to stick, they can—with time, effort, and strategy—be changed, so that your true talents can be appreciated.

Applying these tips to the world of IT service management 

Unfortunately, people also have entrenched beliefs about the services their IT department provides, yet these beliefs can also be changed with time, effort, and strategy.

In the eBook “Five Ways to Modernize IT Service Management,” you’ll discover that the first section is devoted to fostering business relationships. The eBook’s author, LANDESK director of product marketing Melanie Karunaratne, states:

“Remember that every interaction with your business users is an opportunity to develop and improve relationships. Put yourself in your end users’ shoes as you evaluate each interaction they experience with the ITSM team. What little extras would enable you to have a better experience? This includes not only how users work and the services and experiences you need to build into your self service, but also how they would prefer to engage. When your team engages with business users wanting to make a request or resolve an issue, that interaction creates a lasting perception.”

Melanie offers specific recommendations for speedy improvements that LANDESK customers employ to maintain solid relationships with their business users and minimize frustrations that can fracture working relationships. Download the eBook today.

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Just Another I.T. Manic Monday? Automation Can Help

GettyImages-599490676Okay, it’s true. I’m a big fan of the song “Manic Monday” by the American all-female pop rock band The Bangles. Released in 1986 by Columbia Records, the song—written by Prince under the pseudonym “Christopher”—was the band’s first hit.

It’s a sure bet Prince didn’t have the IT Service Management (ITSM) world in mind when he penned the lyrics. But after reading the research report “Anatomy of the Service Desk in 2016” prepared by the Service Desk Institute (SDI), the song’s chorus could be the IT analyst’s anthem:

It’s just another manic Monday 
I wish it were Sunday 
‘Cause that’s my fun day 
My I don’t have to run day 
It’s just another manic Monday. 

The SDI report, created from responses to an online survey sent out to more than 10,000 senior ITSM professionals earlier this year, unearthed some interesting findings. For example, the majority of survey respondents (32 percent) said Monday is the day of the week where the service desk is most productive, up from 23 percent when the survey was first administered in 2012.

In response to the question “At what time of day do you receive most of your calls?”, 60 percent of respondents selected 8:00 am to 10:00 am, while 33 percent chose 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. For a variety of reasons, including password and login issues and issues of people working remotely, only a small number of respondents indicate they receive most of their calls after 12:00 pm.

Concerning the question “Do you feel under pressure at work?”, 67 percent of respondents said yes while 33 percent said no. In addition, a majority of respondents (64 percent) agreed that there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete their work.

Ticket volumes rise faster than IT headcount 

Couple SDI’s findings with data from Forrester Research that “57 percent of service desks struggle with increased ticket volumes, but only 31 percent are expanding headcount.”

SDI and Forrester Research shed light on the fact that IT departments today need to speed up service response, optimize cost management, and shift resources when needed to react faster to the operating environment of the enterprise.

In the eBook “Five Ways to Modernize IT Service Management,” the third section discusses the necessity to adopt automation. The eBook’s author,  LANDESK manager of product marketing Melanie Karunaratne, states: “Recent Gartner research cites the top three reasons for driving organizations to automate:

  1. Efficiency (78 percent)
  2. Cost reduction (58 percent)
  3. Risk mitigation (40 percent)

“Whether you’re aiming to work faster, maintain consistency, or reduce costs, automation can help. Automated service management processes let you refocus your time and resources on strategic activities that support business initiatives and goals.”

Where do you start?

Karunaratne recommends reviewing any routine, low-complexity, resource-intensive tasks such as password resets. “Employing automation to reduce call volumes will deliver immediate value to the operation and the business user experience. Any repetitive request is an opportunity for automation.”

According to Forrester, respondents to one of its surveys reported that “the average cost of resolving a password issue was $31 and that approximately 20 percent of all help desk calls were password-related.”

Enabling business users to access self service and reset passwords automatically reduces direct contact with your team, offers an enhanced experience, and saves administrative costs.

You can gain plenty of other helpful insights by reading the eBook. Download it today.

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I.T.’s a Real Ditch Sometimes: Time to Make a Switch

GettyImages-607604884I.T. can be a real ditch

if there’s a patching glitch.

Down in the trenches

amid all the stenches?

Time to make a switch.

Okay, I admit it. I love limericks. So much so that I’ve penned a few on the job about the world of I.T.

Take patch management for example. Even though patching and updating computers have been around for years, organizations of all sizes still struggle to patch systems effectively. Which provides some good grist to wax poetic.

Patching Is “Not a Solved Problem”

Whether computers are behind the firewall or remote, the challenge of patching the OS and applications in a timely fashion persists.

The US National Vulnerability Database, operated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), says that as many as 86 percent of reported software vulnerabilities affect third-party applications, not operating systems. As IT environments become more heterogeneous, the vulnerabilities of third-party applications become larger threats to enterprise security and user productivity.

Whatever the mix of operating systems and applications in an environment, that environment needs protection from malefactors as well as from mistakes by legitimate users and system malfunctions.

At the October 2015 Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Florida, Marc van Zadelhoff, VP, IBM Security, presented on “Rethinking the Challenge of Security.” According to a Ponemon/IBM survey of some 200 customers who have been breached, “only 45 percent of the breaches are caused by malicious activities, and 55 percent are caused by mistakes, inadvertent errors [by legitimate users], or problems with systems—system glitches,” Zadelhoff said.

The challenges to delivering the protection IT environments and users need grow along with the heterogeneity of those environments. Perhaps the most pervasive example of the growth and evolution of that challenge is Microsoft’s Windows 10. With the release of that software, Microsoft replaced its traditional method of releasing patches and updates with a collective, “cumulative” approach. However, such an approach creates additional risk in some environments.

Controls Three and Four of the SANS “First Five”

Those who don’t possess effective methods for software updates open up serious vulnerabilities within their infrastructure.

In the John Pescatore-authored SANS white paper that you can download below, he writes that SANS has created a subset of the Center for Internet Security’s (CIS) Critical Security Controls, Version 6.0. This subset, known as the SANS “First Five”, delivers the highest payback in reducing risk from advanced targeted attacks:

  1. Software whitelisting
  2. Secure standard configurations
  3. Application security patching
  4. System security patching
  5. Minimization of administrative privileges

Let’s consider the third and fourth of the five controls, “Application security patching” and “System security patching,” and how the LANDESK and Shavlik family of solutions can help with continuous vulnerability assessment and remediation.

Application security patching

Patching operating systems is a common practice, but 86 percent of vulnerabilities attack third-party software not part of the OS. Shavlik® Patch™ for Microsoft System Center maximizes your organization’s investment in Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to reduce security risks from unpatched non-Microsoft third-party applications. Shavlik delivers the latest software updates for hundreds of third-party apps, including Windows, Mac, and VMware.

Shavlik also offers several options to deliver software updates and ensure patch compliance, whether a system is on the network or air-gapped: agentless, agent-based, or cloud-based. It also performs hypervisor, offline virtual machine, and virtual template patching.

System security patching

LANDESK Security Suite scans for vulnerabilities that it can remediate with a patch and correlates its actions with vulnerability scanner output. Scan events are logged and can be audited. Vulnerability data is stored based on a first detection.

The LANDESK solution can also scan for vulnerabilities that it can remediate with a patch in authenticated mode with agents running locally. You can use a dedicated account. Role-based access controls ensure that only authorized employees have access.

Shavlik Empower is a cloud-based solution delivers patch management for and asset intelligence about Windows and Mac OS X devices. Empower sentinels scan for devices across your environment, then leverage Microsoft Active Directory to extract and map significant intelligence about your organization’s IT assets. Empower then deploys agents that enable comprehensive, flexible patching of Windows and Mac OS X systems, wherever they are. Shavlik Empower also produces reports that quickly highlight the status of your Windows and Mac devices, their third-party applications, and their patching profiles.

LANDESK assesses state and applies patches across the enterprise, allowing you to establish policies for when devices are patched, leveraging distribution technologies to reduce the impact on the network and disruption to the user. Rollout automation allows for an automated process from definition download through pilot and production rollout phases.

LANDESK uses multiple technologies to distribute patches quickly across the network. Integrated project rollout features can deploy patches at scale and at speed while optimizing bandwidth utilization and hardware resources. Risk rating is based on the vendor patch. Devices can be patched in and out of network.

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Deodorize Your IT Security With These Hygiene Basics

I recently studied the John Pescatore-authored SANS white paper entitled “Improving Application and Privilege Management: Critical Security Controls Update.” It’s an informative paper highly worth reading and you can download it below.cleaning a laptop

On page four of the paper Pescatore states:

“For many years, real-world experience and studies such as the Verizon DBIR have been finding that the majority of attacks are enabled by failures in basic security hygiene: the failure by businesses and government agencies to focus on the security basics that raise the highest barriers against real-world attacks.”

I have to confess that the word “hygiene” frequently sparks two memories for me—the first one not so pleasant and the second downright hilarious:

  1. I’m one week into junior high gym class, standing in single file with 30 other naked 7th-grade boys near the locker room’s shower area, waiting to exchange my used towel for a clean one. Enough said.
  1. The Cosmo Kramer character in the Seinfeld sitcom is trying to shorten his daily shower time. He boasts to his friend Jerry that he’s down to 27 minutes, only to discover soap suds behind his ears and dripping out his trouser bottoms. “I’m all lathery,” he exclaims. Determined to learn new skills, the fully clothed Kramer observes guys showering at the YMCA and busily jots down notes. He ends up with a black eye.

The Basics of Security Hygiene: The SANS “First Five”

In Pescatore’s white paper he talks about Version 6.0 of the Center for Internet Security’s (CIS) Critical Security Controls. It’s a prioritized list of 20 controls that, “when implemented well, have proved effective in blocking most advanced target threats and supporting faster detection and resolution of those that do get through initial defenses.”

The net result of Version 6.0 was to increase the emphasis on a few control areas that have shown to be immediately effective against real-world attacks and saving organizations a few figurative black eyes. “A subset of the highest priority controls within the CIS Controls provides ‘quick wins,’ with immediate risk reduction against advanced target threats,” Pescatore says.

SANS has listed five controls that deliver the highest payback in reducing risk from advanced targeted attacks:

  1. Software whitelisting
  2. Secure standard configurations
  3. Application security patching
  4. System security patching
  5. Minimization of administrative privileges

Solutions to Help You Implement Security Controls

Let’s consider the second of the five controls, “Secure standard configurations,” and how LANDESK and AppSense solutions can help.

First off, LANDESK Management Suite smooths the custom deployment of images while LANDESK Security Suite enables you to audit and implement specific security configurations.

LANDESK enables you to create provisioning templates to integrate all of your upgrade processes, including communications with users, moving user profiles, and standardizing Windows and Mac OS images. LANDESK uses hardware-independent imaging to configure machines quickly with the appropriate drivers. With AppSense also included as part of the build, workstation and server images are protected from unauthorized changes to prevent image sprawl.

The LANDESK core server uses distribution package hashes to verify distribution packages in scheduled tasks. What’s more, LANDESK enables you to control devices remotely from any HTML5 browser with secure, browser-based access.

The LANDESK directory monitoring capabilities enable you to specify folders to be monitored for file addition, deletion, and modification. AppSense is able to enforce digital signature checks on executables as they launch if required. By using SHA1, SHA256, or ADLER32, AppSense can ensure that only executables that match can run. When using AppSense for whitelisting, AppSense also monitors any file rename or overwrite in addition to monitoring the ownership properties of a file.

AppSense enables you to set up a corporate desktop environment and specify what users have access to, how they access it, and what they can do with it. Policy settings are decoupled from the corporate desktop and managed independently, increasing your ability to deliver efficient service to the business, minimize desktop management costs, and ensure users remain compliant with policies.

LANDESK enables you to bundle multiple applications and deploy them anywhere by targeting users and distributing software to their devices. A built-in Gantt chart allows you to monitor progress and provide automated updates to stakeholders.

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On March 14, 2016,  LANDESK acquired AppSense, the leading provider of secure user environment management solutions. Check the AppSense section of the blog for all of our AppSense-related content.

Focus on the ‘Rat Pack’ of CIS Critical Security Controls

Protection background. Technology security, encode and decrypt, techno scheme, vector illustrationIn 1960, Hollywood released two popular films that had numbers in their titles: Ocean’s Eleven and The Magnificent Seven.

But unless you’re a hardcore movie geek, you’d be hard-pressed to name the 12 actors who played Danny Ocean and his 11 accomplices who robbed five different Las Vegas casinos on New Year’s Eve. For most people, only Frank Sinatra as Ocean and his Rat Pack pals Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop come to mind.

And what about the actors in The Magnificent Seven—or The Dirty Dozen that was released in 1967? The point is, the larger the crowd, the foggier the focus.

Which is why I’m a fan of the SANS “First Five” IT security controls discussed in the John Pescatore-authored SANS white paper that you can download below.

The 20 CIS Controls

In Pescatore’s paper, “Improving Application and Privilege Management: Critical Security Controls Update,” he talks about Version 6.0 of the Center for Internet Security’s (CIS) Critical Security Controls. It’s a prioritized list of 20 controls that, “when implemented well, have proved effective in blocking most advanced target threats and supporting faster detection and resolution of those that do get through initial defenses.”

Here are the 20 controls, updated roughly every 18 months through an open, community-driven effort:

  1. Inventory of Authorized and Unauthorized Devices
  2. Inventory of Authorized and Unauthorized Software
  3. Secure Configurations for Hardware and Software on Mobile Devices, Laptops, Workstations, and Servers
  4. Continuous Vulnerability Assessment and Remediation
  5. Controlled Use of Administrative Privileges
  6. Maintenance, Monitoring, and Analysis of Audit Logs
  7. Email and Web Browser Protections
  8. Malware Defenses
  9. Limitation and Control of Network Ports, Protocols, and Services
  10. Data Recovery Capability
  11. Secure Configurations for Network Devices Such as Firewalls, Routers, and Switches
  12. Boundary Defense
  13. Data Protection
  14. Controlled Access Based on the Need to Know
  15. Wireless Access Control
  16. Account Monitoring and Control
  17. Security Skills Assessment and Appropriate Training to Fill Gaps
  18. Application Software Security
  19. Incident Response and Management
  20. Penetration Tests and Red Team Exercises

Pescatore says the net result of Version 6.0 was to increase the emphasis on a few control areas that have shown to be immediately effective against real-world attacks. He adds that “a subset of the highest priority controls within the CIS Controls provides ‘quick wins,’ with immediate risk reduction against advanced target threats.”

The SANS “First Five”—the “Rat Pack” with the Highest Payback

In the context of “quick wins”, Pescatore says SANS has listed five controls as providing the highest payback in reducing risk from advanced targeted attacks:

  1. Software whitelisting
  2. Secure standard configurations
  3. Application security patching
  4. System security patching
  5. Minimization of administrative privileges

If you’re looking to prioritize your implementation of security controls, the SANS “First Five” refines the focus for the highest payback.

And while the CIS Controls can help you protect assets and mitigate the risk of attack via known vulnerabilities, the Controls can also impact business efficiencies if not properly implemented and managed by IT. That’s where LANDESK, Shavlik and AppSense solutions can help.

Take software whitelisting for example. Automatic discovery in LANDESK Management Suite and LANDESK Security Suite leverages file execution, the MSI files database, and other techniques to identify software assets. This automatic discovery supplies a comprehensive list of all software assets on every device and provides extensive usage information about those assets.

In addition to traditional whitelisting and support for digital signatures, AppSense Trusted Ownership only allows the execution of applications introduced by trusted administrators to reduce the administrative overhead associated with traditional whitelisting. What’s more, LANDESK whitelisting can block or allow applications based on sources of trust, including reputation, file attributes, locations, etc.

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On March 14, 2016,  LANDESK acquired AppSense, the leading provider of secure user environment management solutions. Check the AppSense section of the blog for all of our AppSense-related content.

You Can’t Spell Britain Without ‘IT’ — How the Brits Brilliantly Benefit LANDESK

There’s no doubt about it. Those Brits are smarty pants. Or, to be more “Britically” correct, smarty trousers.

And their scientific heritage dates back centuries and boasts a long line of firsts.

Discoveries, inventions, and other British breakthroughs:

  • The laws of motion and illumination of gravity – Sir Isaac Newton
  • The discovery of hydrogen – Henry Cavendish
  • The steam locomotive – Richard Trevithick
  • The theory of aerodynamics – Sir George Cayley
  • The first public steam railway – George Stephenson
  • The incandescent light bulb – Joseph Swan
  • The first practical telephone – Alexander Graham Bell
  • The discovery of penicillin – Sir Alexander Fleming
  • The world’s first working television system and color television – John Logie Baird
  • The invention of the jet engine – Frank Whittle
  • The invention of the hovercraft – Christopher Cockerell
  • An early digital computer used in code breaking in WWII – Alan Turing
  • The structure of DNA – Francis Crick
  • Advances in genetics leading to the development of in vitro fertilization – Anne McLaren
  • Theories in cosmology, quantum gravity, and black holes – Stephen Hawking
  • The invention of the World Wide Web – Tim Berners-Lee

LANDESK and its customers are also fortunate beneficiaries of British brilliance through two LANDESK acquisitions—Touchpaper in 2008 and AppSense in 2016.

Touchpaper

Today, Touchpaper technology is marketed as LANDESK Service Desk and is developed in Bracknell, England.

The solution helps customers manage and automate IT Service Management (ITSM) processes to improve service delivery and modernize IT support. Some customers of Service Desk (that you can read more about) include MBDA, a European consortium of defense technology design and production; 21st Century Oncology, a leading provider of advanced radiation therapy; the London Borough of Lambeth; and sustainable seafood purveyor North Pacific Seafoods.

AppSense

The AppSense acquisition also has a significant British angle. While the corporate offices of AppSense have been in Sunnyvale, California, the company’s primary engineering and technical support center—along with the lion’s share of employees—are situated between Liverpool and Manchester in Daresbury.

The acquisition married two companies with a shared focus on the end user.

Case studies

You can learn how customers are using AppSense solutions through several case studies, including O’Neill, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Mechanics Bank, and British Energy. You can also watch a brief video on how Sharp HealthCare has been using solutions from both companies prior to the acquisition.

“Using both AppSense and LANDESK at our multiple hospitals has stabilized the IT environment at Sharp HealthCare significantly,” said Donald Nelson, technical system administrator, who helps administrate the organization’s 16,000 desktops and 800 Citrix virtual servers. “Everybody is using the same image and the same policies and procedures.”

There’s never been a better time to be associated with LANDESK, no matter where you are around the globe.

The combined organization now has more than 1,200 employees in 22 countries, 18,500+ customers, 25+ million endpoints, and more than 750 partners.

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The Evolution of LANDESK: A Snapshot of the Past 11 Years

Old classic computerI just hit my 11th anniversary with LANDESK on August 22. Time flies—even when you’re not having fun. Just kidding. Working at LANDESK has been a genuine blast. It’s amazing how much can change in just over a decade.

For example, in the 11 years spanning 1972 to 1983, I finished high school, performed two years of volunteer church service in Germany, completed college and graduate school, landed a job, got married, and became a father to boot.

Fast forward to August 2005. I was hired by LANDESK as a technical content writer in corporate marketing.

LANDESK in the early 2000s

Back in 2005, LANDESK was a standalone, privately held company, having spun out of Intel in September 2002. Little did I know how much was about to change.

For example, only nine months into my writing job, LANDESK was acquired by Avocent Corporation, a Huntsville, Alabama-based company on April 27, 2006.

John Cooper, CEO of Avocent, stands with Joe Wang, CEO of LANDESK (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret Morning News)

John Cooper, CEO of Avocent, stands with Joe Wang, CEO of LANDESK, in 2006
(Scott G. Winterton, Deseret Morning News)

Steve Daly, who had been Avocent’s senior vice president of corporate strategy, replaced departing LANDESK CEO Joe Wang as executive vice president and general manager of LANDESK.

By July 2008, Avocent had acquired the British firm Touchpaper. Its IT service management solutions were rebranded and marketed under the LANDESK name.

Today, for example, LANDESK Service Desk is developed in Bracknell, England west of London. The solution helps customers manage and automate IT Service Management (ITSM) processes to improve service delivery and modernize IT support.

 LANDESK president and CEO, Steve Daly. (Jim Urquhart, The Salt Lake Tribune)

Steve Daly

On December 14, 2009, Avocent, in turn, was acquired by Emerson Network Power, and within ten months, what had been Avocent’s LANDESK business unit was spun out of Emerson and acquired by private equity firm Thoma Bravo.

Steve Daly was named president and CEO of LANDESK in 2010.

And then there were the acquisitions…

Since 2012, LANDESK has embarked on an acquisition mission of its own, acquiring seven companies.

landeskConcerning the two most recent acquisitions, the Xtraction data-aggregation technology lets IT departments connect multiple data sources into a single, easy-to-use solution. Even non-technical users can visualize the state of their IT environment quickly and make informed decisions to improve processes and service levels across the business.

The AppSense acquisition brings LANDESK additional Unified Endpoint Management capabilities, extending its offerings to the management of both physical and virtual devices, and eliminating the need for separate tools and processes. AppSense also expands the LANDESK vision for endpoint protection and strengthens its security offerings.

Constancy in the midst of change

With all the growth and expansion, LANDESK today boasts 1,200+ employees in 22 countries, 18,500+ customers, 29 million endpoints, and 777+ partners.

And through it all, it’s the fabric of constancy interwoven among senior executives like Steve Daly, Tom Davis, Mark McBride, Josh Baxter, and Steve Workman, complemented by the more recent entrance and contributions of Sue Urses, Steve Morton, and Mitch Rowe, which continue LANDESK’s steady advance.

And of course, it also takes the knowledge, skills, teamwork, and commitment of all employees to help propel the company forward.

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Analyst research firms like Gartner Inc. and Forrester consistently rank LANDESK as an industry leader. IDC reports that LANDESK customers experience a payback period of 7.7 months after deployment and an ROI of 696 percent.

LANDESK solutions require less server infrastructure and network bandwidth, so they can scale as your business grows. And our customer support services are renowned, having achieved a 93 percent customer approval rating over the last six consecutive years.

It’s no secret that change is constant. And to be honest, it’s the constant change that continues to make LANDESK an exciting place to work.

Eleven years into it, I still feel fortunate to be part of the team.

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The Info-Tech Quadrant: Why LANDESK Is Different

Until I read the 66-page Vendor Landscape: IT Asset Management (ITAM) report from Info-Tech Research Group (which you can download below), I had no clue what Harvey Balls were. And the report is chock-full of them.

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Created in the 1970s by Booz Allen Hamilton consultant Harvey Poppel, Harvey Balls are round ideograms of qualitative information commonly used to indicate the degree to which a certain item meets a particular criterion.

Harvey Balls and Harvey Ball aren’t the same thing.

I also learned that Harvey Balls are not to be confused with Harvey Ball. Turns out Mr. Ball was a graphic designer and WWII vet who received the Bronze Star for bravery on Okinawa, started his own ad agency in 1959, and designed the original “smiley” in 1963 that has become an enduring, international icon.

sssssssssssThe bottom line is this: As you’ll discover in the Info-Tech report, if a particular IT asset management solution—like LANDESK IT Asset Management Suite—strings enough “solid” or “nearly solid” Harvey Balls together, it lands in the “Champions” quadrant of leading products from leading vendors. And that puts a “smiley” on the faces of a lot of people.

Well I (be) TAM’d. LANDESK’s a champion!

Info-Tech evaluated 15 competitors in the ITAM market, focusing on those vendors that offer capabilities across multiple platforms and “that have a strong market presence and/or reputational presence among enterprises.”

The report states, “table stakes represent the minimum standard features that determine whether a product even gets reviewed. If table stakes are all you need from your IT asset management tool solution, the only true differentiator for the organization is price. Otherwise, dig deeper to find the best price to value for your needs.” Indeed, the report (with all of its Harvey Balls) is a chance for you to dig deeper.

The Champions quadrant features LANDESK and five other notable performers: Aspera, BMC Asset Core, IBM Control Desk, Scalable Software, and Snow Software. Though not quite in the Champions quadrant, ManageEngine was recognized for its overall value.

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As the report recommends, each vendor offers a different feature set and organizations should concentrate on what their genuine needs are and balance the individual strengths of the solutions evaluated to meet those needs.

LANDESK ranked as an exemplary performer along with IBM, BMC Remedy, and ManageEngine in offering ITAM solutions along with integrated desktop management and systems management tools for IT operations. The report states that LANDESK IT Asset Management Suite “is designed to work alone or in full integration with the service management suite, including CMDB, with auditing to validate against proposed changes.”

The report continues, “LANDESK takes a practical approach to asset management, considering end-to-end processes for technicians and managers. LANDESK has a strong focus on systems and service management with discovery built in. Where a complete asset and systems solution is needed, this could be a good fit. However, on its own, Data Analytics is not a complete asset solution.”

The greatest differentiator? Green.

Perhaps the greatest differentiator is that only LANDESK offers every single feature that Info-Tech evaluated. Only green lights. No yellows or reds.

ITAM

In the report, Info-Tech uses green, yellow, and red traffic lights or “stoplights” as visual representations of individual features. Fully present (green light) means “all aspects and capabilities of the feature described are in evidence.” Partially present (yellow light) means “some, but not all, aspects and capabilities of the feature as described are in evidence, OR all aspects and capabilities of the feature as described are in evidence, but only for some models in a line.” Fully absent (red light) means “all aspects and capabilities of the feature described are missing or lacking.”

ITAM

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Download the report to learn more!

No solution is the right fit for every organization, but LANDESK IT Asset Management Suite is definitely worth a serious look. The suite encompasses Asset Central, an on premise or cloud-based solution designed to manage your assets’ lifecycles from purchase through allocation and usage and eventually to disposal.

In addition, the Suite includes Asset Intelligence, a product built to discover and inventory owned hardware and software, connect with vendors to monitor new purchases, and track how your users interact with your IT assets.

When combined, Asset Central and Asset Intelligence deliver a complete view of your IT asset management position in a single ITAM suite.

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