APM, Channel technologies, Mergers and Acquisitions, Mergers and Acquisitions, Distributed Workforce, Virtualization

How Thoma Bravo Is Reinventing LANDESK


What does it take to reinvent and rebuild a business? Sometimes, the answer involves a patient parent. Such is the case at LANDESK -- which is owned by Thoma Bravo, the private equity firm.

Backed by Thoma Bravo, LANDESK is buying AppSense, which specializes in VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) and endpoint protection solutions. The deal is the latest sign that (A) Thoma Bravo is committed to building LANDESK's long-term business and (B) the desktop as a service (DaaS) market is showing some signs of maturity.

What a difference committed, steady ownership apparently makes. Like a software orphan in Silicon Valley, LANDESK bounced around from owner to owner for more than a decade. The business was owned by Intel in the 1990s, sold in 2002, acquired in 2006 and sold again in 2010. But the current owner -- Thoma Bravo, the private equity firm -- has provided a steady ownership hand in recent years. Indeed, AppSense is the seventh acquisition LANDESK has made in the past five years.

With Thoma Bravo's blessing, LANDESK has been focusing heavily on Unified Endpoint Management. AppSense is the latest piece in that puzzle. AppSense's user virtualization technology allows IT to "secure and simplify control of physical, virtual and cloud-delivered desktops," LANDESK asserts. AppSense's customer base includes eight of the top 10 healthcare companies (in the U.S., ChannelE2E believes) and 16 of the top 20 global banks, the company says.

After a bumpy start, the desktop as a service (DaaS) market, which includes VDI, seems to be gaining some momentum, according to anecdotal evidence from multiple companies.

LANDESK has a partner program and also works with MSPs -- though the company's MSP penetration appears to be very limited, according to a searchable database of partners. LANDESK also offers managed services directly to end customers. AppSense, meanwhile, also has a partner program as part of a "channel-first, partner-led" strategy. We're checking to see if or how the partner programs will be merged...

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.