*This post originally appeared on the AppSense blog prior to the rebrand in January 2017, when AppSense, LANDESK, Shavlik, Wavelink, and HEAT Software merged under the new name Ivanti.

I’ve known Al Monserrat—the newly appointed CEO of RES Software—for over ten years, and I value his wisdom, experience and high-integrity leadership. I count him as a friend. So it’s especially exciting that we both joined companies categorized within the user environment management (UEM) market within the past week – AppSense as the clear leader and RES as #2. There’s nothing like a worthy competitor to put a bounce in your step and give you some added focus during your first week on the job.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the UEM market is drawing some of the sharpest talent out there–from the executive suite to the frontlines. It’s clearer than ever that managing the user experience is the most important element in the success of a virtual desktop deployment and that for enterprises today, the problem simply isn’t being solved by Citrix or VMware alone despite over a decade of attempts and numerous acquisitions.

AppSense and RES are sometimes viewed in similar light, and we certainly compete with one another on a regular basis. Yet we’ve put very different corporate strategies into motion. Here at AppSense, our singular focus is on elevating the strategic value of UEM solutions. We’re doing this in three ways:

1. Simplify Everything

AppSense software is used by over 3,500 enterprises and runs on over 7.5 million endpoints. Any discussion about UEM includes AppSense – we’re generally acknowledged as the clear market leader and are at the top of most prospects’ list. However, the more our capabilities expand, the more critical it becomes to make UEM deployment and administration simpler. Simplification, without sacrificing value or scalability, is now at the center of everything we do, and every new product release delivers more evidence of this, including our latest.

 2. Double Down on the Channel Globally

I spent 20 years at various solution providers and know first hand that the UEM story is much richer when matched with the services and customer relationships our channel partners bring to the table. In addition to making our products simpler to deploy and use, we’re also making them simpler and more financially lucrative for our partners to sell.

These topics will be front and center at the two partner conferences we are hosting this month: AppSense University in London and AppSense Elevate in the US. This significant and lasting commitment to the channel is good for AppSense, good for partners, and ultimately good for customers globally.

 3. Innovate in UEM

Don’t mistake our laser focus on UEM for standing still. Rather, this focus enables us to enhance the value UEM brings to customer environments. We’re leveraging our experience with customers and partners to create a fresh, new UI to a next generation, unified DesktopNow solution that you’ll simply have to see and experience to believe. The new UI leverages our proven, scalable agent technology and IP and harnesses it in an elegant and user-friendly way.

Plus, with the introduction of AppSense Insight, we’ve brought a powerful new dimension to UEM: the ability to set UEM strategy and policy based on real-world endpoint data instead of guesswork. Only AppSense can both help customers understand what is happening in their user environment and give them the management tools to do something about it.

Through the introduction of AppSense DataNow and our efforts to integrate user data management with the core personalization and policy capabilities of Environment Manager, we’ve made it possible for 100% of the user environment to roam with the user to any physical or virtual workspace. No other company–large or small–can match our capabilities in this area, and it’s become a major growth engine for us.

We’ve seen RES take a significantly different approach with their business in recent years, steering away from UEM solutions into new areas like IT service management, an approach they call the IT Store. This is certainly an interesting direction, but it’s also process centric and one that is very distinct from UEM and very well served by established players like Microsoft and ServiceNow. As Al takes the reins at RES, I’m sure that assessing this strategy as trumpeted by the RES Founder, versus a shift to focus again on UEM will be a key choice. Regardless of the direction RES takes moving forward, we’re excited to have another sharp executive focused on our piece of the industry. Strong competition makes us all better. Iron sharpens iron.

IMG_7903Over the past ten years I’ve spent enough time with Al to know he is a charismatic leader and a fierce competitor. I look forward to the battle ahead as we help our customers solve one the most important challenges of this mobile cloud era.  Welcome to the UEM party my friend!

PS…I attach a picture of Al in 2014 at the MCPc Game Changers event he keynoted in Cleveland. I look forward to seeing Al at Synergy 2015…maybe we’ll take an updated shot. LOL.