LANDesk: High Times

In late 2002, LANDesk was pushed out of the nest by its former parent, Intel. Since then, the desktop-management software vendor says, it has flapped to 40% yearly revenue growth—and says patch management software has provided a good part of the lift.

One downside? As an independent company, LANDesk now seems “tied more to cash flow,” says Brad Carpenter, senior information systems analyst with Lane County, Ore. In his view, the company charges for features that previously would have been incorporated into the core LANDesk Management Suite. For example, it sells LANDesk Security Suite—which includes Patch Manager—for a list price of $59 per computer, separate from the full desktop management package, listed at $89.

However, Carpenter adds, Patch Manager has been “worth every penny.” The tool has cut his time to patch 1,550 desktops by 75%, from 16 hours per week to four. “They’ve built a really world-class patch management tool,” he says.

Dave Taylor, LANDesk’s vice president of marketing, says splitting from Intel has let the company invest more in R&D. He wouldn’t provide specific figures but notes, for example, that LANDesk has a team of 65 engineers in Beijing who test patches all day.

The extra engineering effort shows, says Jan Chojnacki, desktop engineering lead at video game publisher Electronic Arts Canada. LANDesk sometimes issues fixes for Windows vulnerabilities to customers before even Microsoft itself does, he says. “They’re very proactive, and you know their patch updates will deploy correctly,” Chojnacki says.

But Electronic Arts still uses Microsoft’s Windows Server Update Services for some of its 3,000 machines “because LANDesk’s patching can be intrusive,” Chojnacki says. Some employees have “freaked out” when the LANDesk agent software pops up a prompt to reboot the machine after applying a patch. The Microsoft patching tool doesn’t offer as much control as LANDesk’s but is “more accepted because it’s part of the operating system,” he says.

On the other hand, some customers that already use LANDesk’s desktop management suite find Patch Manager the best option, because it uses existing computer configuration data and screens. “It runs like the rest of LANDesk,” says Spencer Kartchner, network manager at Swire Coca-Cola USA. “It’s one less thing I have to manage.”

Security Patch Management

Landesk Software
698 W. 10000 S.
South Jordan, UT 84095
(801) 208-1500

TICKER: Privately held


Joe Wang
President & CEO
Hired when Intel spun off the company in 2002. Previously in charge of Symantec’s enterprise administration software unit; prior to that, he was president and CEO of 20/20 Software, a software-distribution tools company acquired by Symantec in 2000.

Tom Davis
VP, Engineering
Spent 11 years at Intel,
most recently as director of engineering for the software division, which included the LANDesk products.

LANDesk Security Suite automatically detects and applies security patches, checks for vulnerabilities, updates antivirus definition files, and enforces security policies. It includes Patch Manager (also sold separately), which supports Windows and Macintosh systems and scans Linux and Solaris.

Reference Checks

Electronic Arts Canada
Jan Chojnacki
Desktop Engineering Lead
[email protected]
Project: Video game company’s studio near Vancouver uses LANDesk software to deploy software and security patches to 3,000 machines.

Avalonbay Communities
Ben Harris
PC Technician
[email protected]
Project: Real-estate investment trust company, which operates 152 apartment building complexes, manages 1,200 desktop computers using LANDesk and deployed Patch Manager last year.

Kent Jones
Systems Administrator
[email protected]
Project: Provider of kidney dialysis services manages patching for 8,641 desktops at 750 locations with LANDesk.

Swire Coca-Cola Usa
Spencer Kartchner
Network Manager
[email protected]
Project: Beverage bottler and distributor in Salt Lake City distributes patches to 500 laptops and desktops at 28 offices with Patch Manager.

Lane County
Brad Carpenter
Senior IS Analyst
[email protected]
Project: County government in Oregon with 1,550 Windows desktops deployed Patch Manager two years ago; also uses the full LANDesk suite.

Hughes Supply
Steven O’Sullivan
Dir., Infrastructure
(407) 822-2600
Project: Distributor of construction and maintenance products in Orlando, Fla., uses Patch Manager to update 8,200 desktops in 500 offices.

Executives listed here are all users of LANDesk’s products. Their willingness to talk has been confirmed by Baseline.

Revenue, 2004: $65.0M (Hoover’s est.)
Revenue breakdown by geography: 49% North America; 51% international
Investors: Intel, Vector Capital, vSpring Capital
Total funding: Not disclosed

Acer, Dell, Gateway, Hitachi, IBM, Lenovo, NEC, Symantec, Toshiba, Unisys

South Jordan, Utah (HQ); Reading, U.K.; Tokyo; Beijing

Financial services: Raymond James Financial, Wells Fargo
Food service: Aramark
Government: City of Chicago, U.S. Army
Manufacturing: Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Sharp Electronics
Media: Bertelsmann, Chicago Tribune
Pharmaceutical: Bayer, Merck
Transportation: FedEx