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December 8, 2010

‘Infrastructure-out won’t cut it anymore’: Q&A with Steve Daly, CEO of LANDesk

CBR catches up with the boss of PC lifecycle management, endpoint protection and IT service management software specialist LANDesk to talk about where the company sits and what it can do for CIOs

By Vinod

Steve Daly, LANdesk CEO

Can you help both me and the CBR audience understand exactly what your company does, please?
Sure, would be glad to. Our mission is to help IT be in full control of the end user environment. To that end, we focus on the person trying to use the IT infrastructure to get their job done, in the office, on the road, at home, wherever – we give IT the ability to control and manage that user through three means, which we call ‘pillars’.

The first is systems management, about how do we make sure what they’re trying to access is always appropriate and useful to them. So we provide you as IT leader with a clear view of what it is, what kind of hardware, software they are using, so you and your team can keep that updated and make sure they have latest release, it’s fully patched, and so on.

The second pillar is make sure that whatever they are secure from the end user perspective, so that’s all about being able to download and apply the latest patches, being able to ensure if that’s policy that they can’t put a USB device in and copy data by locking down ports, and being able to enforce policy that they cannot run applications x or y or whatever because it’s against our policy.

Finally, the third pillar is around managing that user experience and keeping those screens up and running – service management – so if there’s an incident IT can track it, trouble shoot it and understand it to get them back to productive as soon as possible.

What’s the company story re finance and ownership?
We are a private company – we used to be part of bigger company that had been acquired by Emerson Electric but as of end of September we were spun out of that and bought by a private equity operation. We are now solely focused on this space and I am in control of the company, basically.

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OK, but do you find terms like ‘end point management’ that helpful in explaining what you do? I think a lot of people would struggle to know what ‘box’ to put you in as a result of the breadth of what you say you can do.
That’s an interesting perspective, but we see clarity in the idea of an end point – there is end point management to manage, secure and maintain service …

[Interrupts]: Let’s attack the problem from another perspective; how big are the markets you operate in?
In Gartner and IDC terms, we would be under PC lifecycle management with Gartner or end point security with the latter. I can tell you that Gartner puts the systems management space that we play in at $2.6bn, security management is reckoned by IDC to be a $1bn market and Gartner, again, would see the type of service management we contribute to as a $1.7bn market. Add all that together and you end up with a substantial opportunity, we believe, over $4bn at least.

Maybe you can net it down for me is give us some examples of real-world engagements where you’ve helped organisations like the ones who read our magazine?
What I can help CIOs do is move his organisation from being reactive and chaotic to being in fully control and proactive. So one of the organisations where we’ve done that very well is a South Eastern USA power utility firm that was having a lot of trouble understanding how much software it had, it didn’t know if it’d bought enough, were there illegitimate copies floating around and were they therefore out of compliance and so on. In that case we went in and monitored what apps were actually being used in the environment and found out they were overpaying by a million dollars, a cost they were immediately able to get back.

OK great, but do you not have any more local, UK example?
We have some great UK engagements. At the London Borough of Hillingdon, for example, they were able to implement our technology and limit the number of calls they got into the helpdesk, double first line support resolution from 30% to 60% and cut volume of calls by 5%, all of which it’s told us equals a saving of around $100,000 in contractor costs.

Sounds very positive. Why don’t you sum up what it is you are trying to communicate to the CBR audience?
The message I want to give the CIOs reading this is that to make a really productive and successful IT environment they have to take a truly ‘end point’ view into the organisation. In other words, if you’re looking infrastructure-out, you’re going to fail, as that’s not the best way to truly understand the end user environment. That’s where our strength is and where we have focused for 20 years and our experience and perspective has shown that really is the only way you can be successful.

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