Much of the recent buzz around AppSense from AppSense Labs,the research division at AppSense that is responsible for StrataApps, DataLocker and DataNow, its hot new tools to support user installed applications and provide increased security in consumer cloud services. Nevertheless, AppSense has not forgotten its roots and has recently released a major update to its core user persona management platform UV Suite.
Announced the week before Citrix Synergy,AppSense UV Suite 8.4 is both a major functional update and a clear pointer towards AppSense’s strategic direction. as ever, UV Suite is comprised of AppSense is three primary products – AppSense Application Manager, AppSense Environment Manager and AppSense Management Center.
AppSense product numbering may be the cause of some confusion here. UV Suite 8.4 comprises of Application Manager 8.5, Environment Manager 8.3, and the Management Center 8.3. Application Manager and Management Center are both new, but Environment Manager remain unchanged, last updated in August 2011.
AppSense has worked to simplify the installation and configuration process, and includes auto-discovery and auto-configuration tools that can identify PCs and applications across the network. UV Suite also includes more policy based settings with highly granular access controls over PC and network resources.
More significantly, AppSense has has extended UV suite to incorporate self-service features. Users making ill judged operating system or application configuration changes can now have UV Suite quickly and easily rollback those changes using instead of having to laboriously unpick them by hand. You the suite has also been integrated with Microsoft Operations Manager allowing users to submit their own trouble tickets directly if needed.
At a list price of $119 per user, may seem an expensive add-on compared to the bundled solutions provided by desktop virtualization vendors Citrix, VMware, Quest, and the recently announced if much overdue User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) add-on that will ship in the next release of Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP). Still for those organizations that need it, it remains money well spent and these new enhancements only serve to increase its value.
In addition to the UV Suite update, AppSense has opened the public beta of AppSense Labs latest product; DataNow is a universal data access platform linking personal and enterprise data storage with seamless integration of mobile and desktop devices, governed by enterprise class management policies controlling data access through contextual factors. The universal iOS application is now available from the Apple App Store here.
UV Suite 8.4 points the way to AppSense increasing adoption of a user-centric computing paradigm; not just from a systems management approach, but also a general shift towards the incorporation of features that support IT organizations driven by the need to support the increasing consumerization of IT. The availability of new self-service features in its flagship product, along with self-service user installed applications through StrataApps, the ability to integrate enterprise security with consumer class cloud products in DataLocker and DataNow, and last week’s announcement that it is acquiring mobile information management startup RAPsphere, all lead towards AppSense repositioning itself as not just a user environment management leader, but as the go to company for enterprise consumerization.