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Ivanti makes surprise buy of UEM provider RES Software

Ivanti acquires user environment management vendor RES Software for its automation and identity management tech. The deal follows Ivanti's 2016 deal for RES competitor AppSense.

Ivanti raised the eyebrows of IT experts with its second acquisition of a user environment management provider in as many years.

Ivanti acquired RES Software on Wednesday for its automation technology and large international customer base, according to the company, which renamed itself after systems management provider LANDesk merged with Heat Software earlier this year. Ivanti will continue to sell RES Software's products, use its own, larger support teams to assist RES customers, and offer different product bundle combinations, CEO Steve Daly said. Experts did not expect this deal because Ivanti acquired another user environment management (UEM) company, AppSense, in March 2016.  

"Like many others, I am very surprised by the acquisition," said Rory Monaghan, an independent consultant in Phoenix. "In my opinion, it's also a better overall product than AppSense. If it was me, I would have just bought RES Software."

What you get with RES

RES Software sets itself apart from other UEM software providers through its automation and identity management capabilities. The purpose of the RES ONE line of products is to save IT professionals legwork by automatically assigning appropriate policies to users' PCs and mobile devices when they onboard at an organization. The software also establishes a digital profile for each user to track their credentials and allow and disallow them access to corporate content.

On the other hand, AppSense offers different security features, including application whitelisting capabilities. Ivanti plans to offer bundles that include different combinations of stand-alone products from AppSense and RES Software, plus other technologies in its portfolio, to customers in the long term, Daly said.

Ivanti offers multiple UEM products such as Endpoint Manager from LANDesk and DesktopNow from AppSense to manage an organization's PCs and assist with OS migrations. The company's major offering is the IT Asset Management Suite for tracking hardware and software licenses, costs, lifecycles and more. It also offers patch management software such as Patch for Endpoints.

"In the next 30 to 60 days we'll have a clear roadmap for customers on how we'll move forward," Daly said.

What comes next?

Ivanti will not discontinue any products from RES Software and will continue to support existing customers, who will have access to the same sales and support people they have now, Daly said. Ivanti has more than 2,000 employees, so there will be a larger support staff globally than RES Software customers may be accustomed to today, he said.

Through the acquisition, Ivanti also gains RES Software's international customer base. In Europe, RES is stronger and has a stronger presence than AppSense did, Monaghan said.

In the next 30 to 60 days we'll have a clear roadmap for customers on how we'll move forward.
Steve DalyCEO, Ivanti

"In the U.S., I have worked with many more customers who used AppSense," he said.

The motivation behind Ivanti's multiple acquisitions is to compete with larger vendors in the UEM market, such as Citrix and VMware, said Eric Klein, director of mobile software at VDC Research Group in Natick, Mass. Ivanti is a large company with more than $500 million in revenue, Daly said, but is competing with larger vendors worth billions.

"They wanted to be a bigger player here and go beyond what they acquired from AppSense," Klein said. "They are putting themselves in a place to be a strong [end-user computing] player."

Ivanti will try to take market share from both VMware and Citrix among medium-size organizations and use its combination of acquired technologies to attract them, Klein said.

The acquisition closed July 5. The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal. 

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