Sources: RES Software Hires Former Citrix Sales VP Monserrat As New CEO

Al Monserrat, Citrix Systems' former top sales executive, has taken the CEO job at RES Software, a Netherlands-based IT automation technology vendor, CRN has learned.

RES Software plans to make a formal announcement of Monserrat's hiring next Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told CRN Thursday. A spokesman for RES Software, which has its U.S. headquarters in Philadelphia, declined comment.

RES Software has been without a CEO since last June when former leader Klaus Besier stepped down after four years at the helm.

[Related: Citrix Shuffles Sales Leadership, Appoints EMEA Sales VP To Replace Departing Monserrat]

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Monserrat joined Citrix in 2000 and had been senior vice president of worldwide sales and services since 2008. In January, Citrix announced that Monserrat would be leaving and tapped Carlos Sartorius, who was previously managing director and vice president of Citrix's Europe, Middle East and Africa business, to replace him.

Monserrat has been a popular figure in the Citrix channel and several partners told CRN they believe his hiring will help raise the Dutch vendor's profile in the U.S. market.

"Al is a great guy and getting him on board would be a big win for RES," Mike Schumacher, president of Lakeside Software, a Detroit-based Citrix partner, told CRN when informed of Monserrat's hiring. "Certainly he is connected, but even more importantly, his leadership skills could help take them to the next level."

RES Software has been around since 1999 and spent several years in a segment of the market known alternatively as user virtualization or user environment management (UEM). Essentially, this is technology that virtualizes user data so it can be easily moved around between desktops and devices.

RES Software is the No. 2 player in this market segment after AppSense, which landed $70 million in funding from Goldman Sachs in 2011. RES Software has raised $12.4 million from Gimv, a European investment firm, according to Crunchbase.

In recent years, RES Software has branched out and become more focused on IT automation and self-services for end users, including tasks like password resets and on-boarding and off-boarding users. RES has a UEM component in its Workspace Manager product that gives IT departments visibility into users and their data.

Both RES Software and AppSense are seeing growing attention from businesses as a result of the bring-your-own-device and workplace mobility trends. And according to sources familiar with the matter, both vendors have been acquisition targets for both VMware and Citrix in the not-too-distant past.

Sources told CRN that VMware held acquisition talks with RES Software last year but couldn't come to terms on a deal. The sources also said Citrix's top leadership had a formal conversation about buying AppSense or RES Software last fall, but didn't come to a decision.

VMware ended up making two acquisitions to address its needs in this space: CloudVolumes, a startup focused on delivering virtual apps to desktops; and Immidio, a maker of a Windows desktop virtualization management software product.

Jason Heinrich, general manager of mobility at Varrow, a Greensboro, N.C.-based firm that partners with RES Software and AppSense, told CRN he thinks UEM is going to be table stakes for both Citrix and VMware connection brokers.

"VMware aims to redefine end-user computing and has painted a clear picture of how they are tying together all their acquisitions in a coherent way," Heinrich said. "Citrix has a powerful and versatile delivery model with Flexcast, but are focused more on improving current state, rather than redefining it."

Ravi Khatod, senior vice president of products and business development at AppSense, told CRN he thinks Monserrat joining RES Software will help validate the UEM space. "UEM is a critical part of any desktop virtualization project," he said.

One longtime partner of RES Software and AppSense said each vendor's technology has its own unique advantages.

"Historically, AppSense has been better at the user interface and getting low-level systems admins to function at a higher level using their portal," said the source, who didn't want to be named. "RES is a great tool if you are a hyper-tech geek who knows everything about Windows registry."