When Technologies Collide

Nov 1, 2017

As folks know, Landesk/Heat/Ivanti has made many key acquisitions over the last year. I have been in and around the technology industry approximately 20 years. I started in IT, was a sales engineer but spent the bulk of my career being a product manager. Now that I am out of product management, it is refreshing but exciting because I now see things from the customer point of view. As I read the latest blog from my friends at Ivanti, I found it interesting both as a partner and customer, but with the mindset of an ex-product manager. As a customer of AppSense or RES ONE Workspace, step back, take a moment and read this great blog that will explain your future.

In my product career, I have integrated products (Ardence to Citrix), built new products (NetScaler Cloud Bridge) and even end-of-life a product (XenClient). Joining RES, I had the distinct privilege to take on a product in an extremely tough space, keep it afloat and push it through a two-year (actually eight years) re-coding effort (RES ONE Workspace). I also had a side hobby of mergers and acquisitions. In my opinion, AppSense is the platform of choice. If you are an RES customer, I would advise you to prepare for change because the next generation of Ivanti Workspace Manager will almost certainly be more AppSense code than RES. If you want to get ahead of the curve, moving over to AppSense (Ivanti Workspace Manager) now wouldn’t be a bad move. That and AppSense is a solid product!

Remember, being a product manager is a tough job!

My Take: If I Were Ivanti

Ivanti (Clearlake Capital Group) has a tough job ahead. They have overlapping products up and down the stack. I could write a whole blog just on that, but today – we focus on RES ONE Workspace and Appsense. If I were Ivanti, here is what I would do…

  1. Focus on ‘Webifying’ the GUI. Right now, AppSense has FOUR GUIs (and web-GUIs to manage File Director and Insight), and RES ONE Workspace has a clunky old VB-based GUI. RES ONE Workspace was working on an excellent web GUI out of Romania, and it was making significant I would say Ivanti should make the web GUI a priority. This does two things; simplifies the management AND paves the road for a cloud-based offering. I would bet that they are already working on this one.
  2. Look at the commonalities across PC, mobile and virtual hosted scenarios because you will see three things… apps, data, and identity. They ALL have it yet there is NO single vendor that I have found that can manage ALL three. Ivanti holds the key with RES ONE Identity, RES ONE Automation, and File Director. What is interesting, the Unified Workspace Market is projected to be an $18.06B market with a CAGR of 17.6% from 2017 to 2021 (Source: http://bit.ly/2liVSiE). Workspot is trying to play in this space, but Citrix and VMware are the powerhouse vendors thus far. What are they missing – physical endpoints!
  3. Context is vital because in the day and age where security is top of mind and users do not care about company data, ensuring they see what they are supposed to see when on or off the corporate network is critical! ‘Bring your own’ device is everywhere whether you genuinely adopt it or not! 52% of workers have 3+ devices, and 60% use them for work and personal. Ivanti needs to focus on device unified solutions that provide context awareness across ALL devices and ALL scenarios (Source: Forrester and Forbes).
  4. Data is Therefore, you need to protect it! Ivanti has this great solution called File Director. I like to call it the ‘on-premises version of Dropbox.’ My favorite feature is the fact you can log into a clean desktop session, and File Director only will put a pointer to files into the target folder and sync as needed. Data loss in the enterprise is a huge problem and with the amount of data RES and AppSense collect, they could analyze the user behavior and prevent data loss even at the basic level. The end goal: avert data exfiltration!
  5. Mobile is everywhere whether we like it or not. No real solution can provide context awareness on mobile. Imagine if Ivanti could determine what apps you have access to and when you get access to them based on location, network, time and more. ‘Bring your own’ users HATE mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) software on their phones because they think it is a battery hog and they technically own the device. This is not an easy one to solve.
  6. Make security user-centric so end-users like securing their devices instead of loathing it! AppSense and RES have one silver bullet – they care about the end user. Streamlining self-authorization, simplifying whitelist management further and ending the need for users to be local administrators will enable Ivanti to grow in the security space. This will make security more user-centric while securing the device, making both the CISO and the end-user happy.
  7. Develop with a ‘cloud first’ mentality to make enabling a SaaS solution down the road seamless. Focus on appliance-based products, a single, self-updating agent and keep it simple!

In short, Ivanti has a tough job ahead, BUT as a customer, you should be excited because they have TWO excellent user environment management products! If I were Ivanti, I would work from a clean slate and pull in essential features, but that would take years.  So naturally, they must pick a platform and run with it. AppSense makes sense in my book, but I would figure out a way to merge the consoles into a web GUI, move to a single database and pull in context awareness from RES ONE Workspace. As a customer, yes, the next few years will be uncertain, but I am confident in my friends at Ivanti.  They will do right by the customer and give the proper path to upgrade. Patience is your friend and remember; being a product manager is a tough job!

Watch for more blogs on Ivanti — there are a lot of hidden gems in their stack!