What’s in a Name: Why We’re Changing Our Name (and More) in 2017

In the timeless classic Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare wrote, “What’s in a name?”

This famous line implies that names are simply labels that don’t really matter. After all, Juliet posits, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

It’s a nice sentiment, but perhaps (like Juliet) a bit naïve.

If a rose were called skunk weed, you would expect a very different experience when you smelled it. And as Romeo and Juliet’s tragic tale demonstrates, names can unite or divide us.

Names matter.

So what does this have to do with LANDESK?

We’re changing our name in 2017.

LANDESK is a strong, stable and well-respected company in the IT industry. Our technologies are known for just working. This means being reliable, easy to integrate and use alongside other IT systems, and giving IT the ability to get the job done—whatever that job is—particularly when it comes to operational IT and remote enterprise systems management.

Add to that the fact that our staff is known for being friendly, willing to listen, and quick to act to make our customers’ lives easier, and we’ve got ourselves a great name and an equally great brand reputation.

So if the name is so great, why would we want to mess with it?

We wouldn’t, except that…

The name LANDESK is so strongly associated with systems management that it is becoming increasingly more difficult to remind the IT industry that we do much, much more.

In recent years, we’ve continued to organically develop and enhance our technology, extending and integrating it in the directions of unified endpoint management (the management of traditional and mobile devices from a single platform) and endpoint security configuration management.

In addition, we’ve acquired several companies that have significantly expanded our focus to include IT disciplines such as:

  • IT service management (TouchPaper)
  • IT asset management (Managed Planet)
  • Patch management (Shavlik)
  • Enterprise-class, ruggedized mobile device management and application streaming  (Wavelink and Naurtech)
  • Mobile email security (LetMobile)
  • Business value dashboards and reporting for IT (Xtraction)
  • User environment management for physical and virtual devices, as well as application management and privilege management (AppSense)

They’ll all change too. All these companies will have only one name in 2017.

These changes come in conjunction with a rapidly expanding partner program, and in advance of other anticipated acquisitions as we further execute on our company vision and strategy. All of which makes LANDESK—a brand that is still almost exclusively known for systems management—simply not big enough to convey all we offer and our vision for the future.

Over the next several months, you will start to notice changes in LANDESK and the brands we’ve acquired. We are evolving. Refining our focus. Transforming in ways we never have before. And we want to bring our customers with us, continuing to help you along your organization’s journey to IT maturity.

We will still be the great company you’ve come to know and trust. We will continue to develop and maintain the world-class IT solutions relied upon by organizations across the globe. But we will be coming together in new ways, under a new company name, and with a new focus.

These are exciting times for LANDESK and our brands. Stay tuned!

Also, be sure to check out our blog post where we show a time lapse video of our booth getting tagged by a graffiti artist at Gartner ITxpo! (The opportunity to signal to 15,000 CIOs and other industry insiders that a change is coming was too good to resist.)

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.

landesk

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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Senator Orrin Hatch Visits LANDESK

As a major proponent of the tech industry, Senator Orrin Hatch carved time out of his busy schedule to meet with LANDESK yesterday.

Employees anxiously awaited his arrival. The positive impact Senator Hatch has had on the tech industry over the years has been significant.

“He is probably the most influential and the most educated on the tech industry,” said LANDESK CEO Steve Daly. “He’s done a lot of good to help the tech industry grow around the country as well as here in Utah.”

As head of the High-Tech Task Force for the Republican Senate, Senator Hatch first ran for public office in 1977 and is now serving his seventh term as Utah’s senator. His many years in the political arena have given him the opportunity to rub shoulders with world leaders and other prominent figures in society.

He has undoubtedly had a front-row seat to some of the most life-changing events in human history.

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Senator Orrin Hatch and LANDESK CEO Steve Daly

After taking a tour of the building—where he met and shook hands with dozens of employees from different departments—Senator Hatch personally addressed the LANDESK group and then opened the floor to questions.

Employees didn’t hold back, asking the senator everything from how he plans to fix the VA problem to who to vote for in the upcoming election.

His answers were refreshingly candid and the discussion was both respectful and enlightening—even in a room full of differing perspectives.

Of course, a meet-up of this caliber would not be complete without a few selfies, and the senator was gracious enough to take photos with anyone who wanted one.

We welcome the senator back any time and appreciate his staunch advocacy for the tech industry and all of his continued efforts on our behalf!

Mobility Management and its Role in Unified Endpoint Management

It’s an annual event that we look forward to at LANDESK, the release of the Gartner Magic Quadrants (MQ) for our various solutions.  For me, the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management Suites is special.  Not because of the days we invest preparing our response (it’s a lot of work), but the MQ gives an opportunity for those of us who live with these products day-in/day-out a chance to step back realize how fast this area of technology moves, and what it means to our customers.

It makes sense, when you think about it: Users exchange their mobile devices every 12-18 months, and that can cross two generations of smartphone models.  With that compressed lifecycle, and the evolution of functionality that comes with each new generation of device, keeping up with the technology is worthy of an annual assessment like the MQ.  Mobile, on its own (and that’s how the EMM Magic Quadrant is determined) is so dynamic, so when we see the MQ publication, we are always happy to see the market assessment aligning with big challenges our customers are looking for us to help them solve.

One of the biggest changes this past year has been the desire to consolidate the toolsets needed to manage everything users carry – from their laptop (and it could be Windows, Mac, etc.) to their smartphone/tablet/other (Android, iOS, etc.). The term is “Unified Endpoint Management”, and we have been hearing a lot from our customers about the desire for clients of all types (traditional and mobile) to be managed together in this way.  It enables user-centered IT management with huge efficiencies. This is the first time that UEM rankings have been part of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant criteria.

For the IT admin, it offers a single system for configuring and managing everything a user carries.  A truly integrated UEM solution, such as LANDESK Management Suite 2016, delivers this in such a way that make it super easy to see, configure and manage all the devices in a user’s portfolio, together and simultaneously.  For the end user, they can count on consistent access across the screens they use, because the policies are configured uniformly based on their role, not the device itself.  Simple, easy user management.

We don’t want to spoil the fun of reading the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management for yourselves, but we’re extremely proud of our inclusion and move into the “Visionaries” quadrant of the MQ (no vendor saw as significant a shift in the positive direction)!  We’re also honored to have been recognized for our Unified Endpoint Management approach, which leverages our historic strength in Client Management Tools, and brings EMM into the same LDMS product for a truly integrated solution.  Take a look Gartner’s assessments, then take a look at all the devices your users carry.  Do you have all the visibility you need to confidently manage it all?

Is BYOD Going to Die by Lawsuit?

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Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has been a hot topic in tech media and IT discussions since the introduction of the original iPhone. A recent court ruling in California poses a serious limitation to BYOD’s future success. The California Court of Appeal ruled the following in Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service:

“We hold that when employees must use their personal cellphones for work-related calls, Labor Code section 2802 requires the employer to reimburse them. Whether the employees have cellphone plans with unlimited minutes or limited minutes, the reimbursement owed is a reasonable percentage of their cellphone bills.”

A Pioneering Spirit at Christopher Newport University

phpJeNCBMPMChristopher Newport (1561–1617) was an English seaman and privateer. He is best known as the captain of the Susan Constant, the largest of three ships which carried settlers for the Virginia Company in 1607. These settlers established  what is now know as Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, becoming the first permanent English Settlement in North America. 400 years later, Chris Newport’s pioneering legacy lives on at his school: Christopher Newport University.

Stephan Campbell is the Chief Information Officer at Christopher Newport University. Like all IT professionals and pioneers, Campbell and his team faced challenges. And while their challenges weren’t swampy terrain, lack of fresh drinking water and game, or mosquitoes, like their predecessors, they still faced them nonetheless, including tracking inventory and assets. They believed they were losing thousands of dollars in physical and soft assets each year.

CNU is pioneering the use of service desk to track assets. “[LANDESK] Service Desk delivers all the help desk functions we need and much more,” said Campbell. “It integrates business processes into our service management infrastructure, and provides an interface for software licensing, change management, financial management and all of our other management needs.” Learn more from Stephen and the pioneering spirit at Christopher Newport University here [link to story].

 


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Newport

The Bunker Builds Bulletproof IT with LANDESK

 

Bulletproof IT

Earlier this month we announced that Ultra-Secure Managed Services Provider, The Bunker, invested in our LANDESK Service Desk to meet customer Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and help end-users become more autonomous.

The Bunker is located within ex-military nuclear bomb-proof fortresses and provides Ultra-Secure hosting for government, healthcare and financial services. Due to the nature of these sectors, there is a high expectation from customers for suppliers to offer high levels of customer service.  To meet these expectations, The Bunker needed a solution that made IT simpler by empowering users to monitor and manage their own IT, so that they could perform well against customer SLAs. In other words, they needed a bulletproof IT solution.

By working with LANDESK, The Bunker can alleviate the pressure on the service desk team by putting users at the heart of their own IT by requesting new hardware, software and/or services through the Service Desk Portal. As a result, they can benefit from a rise in employee productivity, whilst keeping customers happy.

It’s great that The Bunker has taken a proactive approach to user-oriented IT so that they can maintain good relationships with their customers by performing well against targets. We’re excited to see the journey between The Bunker and LANDESK continue beyond Service Desk in future.

 

Ten reasons to consider LANDESK Managed Services

Top10In the old days, 15 years ago, organizations tried to be self-sufficient. Some even had staff for taking care of the lawns and manning the cafeteria. Now companies outsource that type of stuff. IT departments are no different. They had their own datacenters, phone infrastructures, and every software solution had its own team. Don’t be offended if you still have staff performing some of these functions—well, maybe not the lawns. It may be time to consider strategic outsourcing. As my teenage boy told me as he tried to get me to jump off a cliff at Lake Powell—do it and your cool!

There are a lot of reasons things have changed. High speed Internet is #1. It’s allowed companies to let their employees work from home and it can allow you to outsource your LANDESK administration.

How do you know if outsourcing your LANDESK solutions is right for you? Let’s start by looking at some common scenarios.

1. You lost your LANDESK administrator

Has your administrator been called up for military duty? Maybe they retired, went on extended sick leave or simply took a new job.

2. It is difficult to find experienced engineers in your area

I haven’t checked, but it’s possible that they are not any level 3 LANDESK administrators in Williston, North Dakota.

3.You are a new customer and need immediate impact (RIO) and don’t have time to ramp-up staff

LANDESK products solve big problems like security and compliance. Both of these need to be addressed quickly. Most of our customers engage our professional services teams to get setup and configured while their IT staff gets trained on administration. We frequently see customers in a rush to get our solutions running so they can enjoy the benefits. Leveraging managed services for the short term is an option.

4. You have budget but are restricted from hiring additional employees

In acquiring additional staff, having investment funds is only half the battle. There are many reasons why organizations are hesitant to add full time employees. There are other options.

5. Your staff is needed for other key projects only they can perform

You know your staff and their strengths. You also have projects you need them working on. How often do you put projects on hold because your employees too busy to get to them? You may not be able to outsource your project but you can outsource your LANDESK administration.

6. Your need is not big enough for a full headcount

Every LANDESK solution doesn’t require a full time headcount to be managed. Have you ever tried to hire two-thirds of a person? It’s messy! I’ll never do that again. LANDESK has the staff to provide you 1/3, 2/3’s or 7/8’s of a headcount. We will charge you for just want is needed for your success.

7. Your organization does not have the processes in place for managing devices

Most organizations leverage LANDESK for installation and configuration of their solutions. Maybe you want to take that a bit further and have us get the processes and best practices in place before deciding to do it yourself.

8. You need someone to manage long term projects such as: patching, OS deployment or software distribution

 

There is no substitute for experience. You may have great staff that just doesn’t have experience is a certain area. You can send them to training and be patient while they get up to speed. You can also leverage LANDESK to help.

9. Your company is outsourcing so internal staff can focus on core competencies

Each organization has different needs and priorities. Maybe you think email needs to be managed internally. Maybe you think your LANDESK solution can be managed by LANDESK.

10. You would like service level agreements on your IT solutions

Everyone likes a guarantee. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Our statements of work specify what we will provide and that’s what you can expect.

Feel free to come up with your own reason to use LANDESK Managed Services. Feel free to share your thoughts with me. jerry@landesk.com

Vegas or Bust: Tackling Resource Constraints

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In years past, I was considering a major home improvement project. While debating the pro and cons of each approach to the project, the discussion centered around how much to do myself and how much would it cost. During these discussions, one of my friends made the statement,  “Which do you have more of, time or money?” Just like the home improvement project, IT projects have the same resource constraints, time and money. It seems that we can always find one but its tough to find both.

With 80% of IT budget being used for KTLO (keeping the lights on), and reduced headcounts, IT is facing the same constraints of time and budget. As an IT organization, we have to determine what we have least of. We have now identified the biggest resource constraints. After we have identified where we are constrained, we then have to have a strategy to resolve this.

In personal finance there are a number of theories and people who pitch them. We have Smallest Payment First Debt Snowball Method (aka The Dave Ramsey Debt Payoff Method) or we can use leverage to grow wealth. Both of these strategies work and both have limitations. The first step is to pick a strategy and to use continuous processes to improve our implementation of that strategy. In IT, we have the same challenges and we need to pick a strategy. We know that there are constraints so does the strategy align and work with in these constraints.

If we are going with the snowball method, we should identify which resource is most constrained, (time or money) and then identify some low hanging fruit. Even if the gains are small, they can then be applied to help remove the next constraint snowballing the effect. If we find that time (number of man hours) is the biggest constraint then we need to identify what can be automated, what can be moved to a self-service, and even outsourced. As we identify these items, we will have a tendency to just want to go after the biggest gain first. But its like paying off a mortgage, most of the time, its more than we can accomplish in a reasonable time frame and we end up getting frustrated. But if we can identify small debts that can be paid off (automated, moved to self-service, outsourced or just removed from support) then we get a larger pool of resources to tackle the next debt.

Well its time to pick a strategy. Will you leverage up? Borrow some time (usually working overtime) and spend all the budget on a new project that will return huge? Or will you look for constraints, pay off a small debts and reinvest in paying down more debts until you have a rich portfolio of time and money?

As we planned, worked on and then released LDMS 9.6, we continually discussed was what we could implement that would ensure that customers have a greater return on their investment, in both time and budget.  I am excited about this release and the features that enable us to save time and money.

Well I am off to Las Vegas, to invest in the latest high return scheme. I am sure that it will pay of this time! Chime in on your strategy, what’s working? What’s not?