AppSense's Endpoint Security Message Gaining Ground With Customers, Channel Partners

AppSense, a vendor of personalization and management software often used in VMware and Citrix virtual desktop infrastructure projects, says it's seeing a growing number of customers using it for endpoint security.

In the past six months, AppSense has added more than 500,000 seats of its endpoint security product, known as Application Manager, said Jed Ayres, senior vice president of marketing at AppSense, in an interview Monday.

Application Manager blocks unauthorized code from executing on a machine, ensuring that users don't accidentally introduce malware into their organization.

Ayres said Application Manager also has a unique way to bypass whitelisting and blacklisting management issues, using a technique AppSense calls Trusted Ownership. This ensures that users only have access to apps and data they're authorized to work with, he said.

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While AppSense is seen as the leader in the market for user environment management software, its Application Manager business is now growing at a 50 percent year-over-year clip, and the vendor now sees itself as an up-and-coming player in the endpoint security space, according to Ayres.

"Organizations spend a lot of time and energy securing the network through firewalls. But it's the endpoint that has been involved in many recent breaches," Ayres told CRN.

For the first half of its fiscal year ended Dec. 31, privately held AppSense grew total bookings and revenue by 20 percent year over year, Ayres said.

AppSense added 230 new customers during its first half and now has an installed base of 9 million seats. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor signed up several large enterprise customers during this period and is currently working on a deal involving some 90,000 seats of Application Manager, said Ayres.

Ray Jaksic, CTO and co-founder of Coretek Services, a Farmington Hills, Mich.-based AppSense partner, said his health-care and government customers like using Application Manager because users can connect home printers to their laptops without compromising security.

AppSense also has an analytics tool that "provides a deep-level view of everything that's going on in an operating system," Jaksic said. "Using the tool, customers can spot any malicious trends going on in their environments, which is a more proactive type of security."

Paul Pettit, co-founder of Spadafy, a Seattle-based AppSense partner that also works with health-care organizations, often deploys Application Manager in conjunction with Environment Manager, AppSense's personalization software. He said his clients like being able to lock down endpoints and tweak user settings as they see fit.

Mike Hogan, CEO of Hogan Consulting Group, a Chesterton, Ind.-based AppSense partner, said he's also seeing "good momentum on the security side" with Application Manager.

"Making applications accessible on virtual desktops or physical devices is one thing, but being able to restrict who can launch what applications -- and even who can do certain things -- is a huge differentiator for AppSense," said Hogan.

AppSense has sold its software through the channel for the past several years. But it stepped up its game last June with a program in which AppSense direct sales reps get incentives for working deals with channel partners.

This effort appears to be paying off, as Ayres told CRN that 84 percent of new sales were handled by AppSense partners during the first half of its fiscal year.

Brian Gancherov, principal security architect at DynTek Services, a longtime AppSense partner in Newport Beach, Calif., said he uses the technology to manage the virtual desktop user experience for customers.

"AppSense is really easy to work with," Gancherov said. "And its technology lets users be productive without doing dangerous things."