HEAT platform to drive LANDESK MSP business in new company

LANDESK CEO Steve Daly, who will head the new firm created by merging LANDESK and HEAT, talks about how HEAT will enhance LANDESK’s service management business, especially on the MSP side. He also discusses integration issues, the new company’s strategy, and channel issues -- as well as why the new firm will likely have a new name.

LANDESK CEO Steve Daly, who will lead the new company formed by the merger of LANDESK and HEAT.

Earlier this week, LANDESK was sold by one private equity firm, Thoma Bravo, to another, Clearlake Capital Group. While LANDESK was technically the party being acquired, in reality this amounts to the company making another acquisition. This is because Clearlake will be merging LANDESK with cloud service management provider HEAT, which it already owned, and because LANDESK CEO Steve Daly will be the CEO of the merged company.

That company is very likely to have a new name.

“We have been asking for a while whether the LANDESK name is still appropriate,” Daly said. “The issue here is that LANDESK is associated with desktop systems management. However, this is our eighth acquisition in the last four years, and today we are much more than a desktop management company. This isn’t your grandfather’s LANDESK. We are a different company than 20 years ago when we came up with that name.”

Going forward, Daly said that it likely makes more sense to have a new company name – while having strong branding of all the sub-brands that users like.

“These companies we have acquired have brand equity of their own,” he said. “We will come up with an umbrella name and have the sub brands under it – like ‘Powered by AppSense,’ and ‘Powered by Shavlik.’ We don’t want to lose any of the brand equity.”

Daly said that the key element HEAT will add is their cloud service management platform, which will strengthen their capabilities in the MSP space.

“One of the things HEAT has spent has spent a lot of time on is building a cloud service management platform,” he stated. “They have invested six years of time and a lot of money there. LANDESK has been slow in that migration to cloud delivery services. This gives us an ability to build a robust suite of solutions in that space. We think this is something that over the next three to five years will be really important to us.”

A year ago, HEAT introduced HEAT MSP Cloud, a new service management solution purpose-built specifically for MSPs, something they had not had before.

“They’ve got some good lighthouse accounts with this,” Daly said. “We also think some of the synergy with LANDESK will help there. LANDESK has our MSP program, and we have good MSPs, but we have had a hosted solution. HEAT has a true multi-tenanted solution, which is more cost effective for MSPs, so superior to what LANDESK has done in the past. We see this as a big growth vector for us, as we are getting a lot of requests for these types of services.”

Daly said that much of the integration between LANDESK and AppSense, which LANDESK acquired a year ago, has been completed, and that in comparison, the HEAT integrations will be simpler.

“We have done most of the integration with AppSense where customers have asked us for it,” he indicated. “On the security side, we have done the integrations with patch and application control. We still have some work to do on UI integration. There’s not a lot of that, because many customers like what they have there with AppSense, but there are some areas. This will be done by the middle of 2017. The delay isn’t because it’s a big deal, but because of the timing with product releases. We are waiting for a delivery vehicle for them. In integrating HEAT, the main work to do here is to architect the AppSense technology in a way to put it on the HEAT platform. Our architecture will let the rest of the technology that HEAT has plug in quick to our platform infrastructure.”

Daly emphasized that the HEAT platform will facilitate the new company’s ability to make further acquisitions.

“Historically, endpoint technologies have been very siloed, such as managing users in the office versus on their mobile devices,” he said. “Somebody has to bring those together, so you have integrated management and security in the onboarding and provisioning of the end user. We see along this line that there has to be a marrying of IT operations and security. Right now, there are too many handoffs between the two, and we need to bring these together in full lifecycle management. We see the possibility of strengthening ourselves in areas that are close to this, like vulnerability management, and incident response in the security space. These are interesting to us. So is software asset management. We have been doing this, but we could advance the technology around both SaaS-delivered apps and server apps.”

Daly also indicated that they expect the new company will have significant opportunities for channel growth.

“HEAT historically hasn’t had a very robust channel program, until last year, when they brought in a world-class channel team which did some good work,” he said. “It’s our intent to roll their program into ours, while combining the best of both programs. We think we can push a lot of their business that wasn’t going channel before through the channel.”