According to the report Global Mobile Virtualization Market 2011-2015, the global mobile virtualization market is projected to grow at an annual rate of 20.1% over that four-year period. Growth will be fueled by the increased adoption of cloud-based computing from both corporate and home users. Researchers also expect that in the coming years, cloud computing application vendors will witness increased demands from corporate clients for customization to cater to their specific business needs. Also, as the use of smartphones to access enterprise applications becomes more common, there will more demand for safe and secure network interfaces in the virtualization market.
New York City–based AppSense is a user environment management (UEM) software solutions provider for user profile management, optimized application response, application feature lock-down, protection from unauthorized applications, reduced log on/log off times, and virtual and contextual desktops. The company was founded in 1999 by serial entrepreneur Charles Sharland and was initially based out of Warrington, England. Two years ago, it shifted its headquarters to New York City.
AppSense management believes that within a corporate set-up, while PCs are the predominant computing platform, there is an increasing presence of new generation virtual desktops and mobile devices. There is thus an opportunity to sell innovative application delivery methods that offer efficiency while maintaining secure networks. Furthermore, the need to shift out of legacy applications is increasingly urgent. For instance, IT organizations are no longer able to avoid the adoption of the iPad or the migration to Windows 7 and are thus looking for cost-effective solutions to work with these platforms.
AppSense offers a user virtualization platform that helps the IT departments manage this change. With its user virtualization platform, user-specific information can be managed independent of the desktop, and the platform ensures that the information is applied on demand to any desktop, whether it be a local install or a virtualized one. Thus IT divisions can standardize desktop build, automate desktop and application delivery, and seamlessly migrate users to new desktops.
The company earns revenues through sales of user licenses. As it is a privately held firm, its latest financials are not published. However, market reports suggest that for the year ended June 2011, the company recorded revenues of $70 million, with orders growing 54% over the year. Revenues have increased steadily from $29 million in 2009 to $46 million in 2010. In 2009, AppSense reported pre-tax profits of $2.5 million, which grew to $6.1 million in 2010. As of 2010, it had more than 4,000 customers, including enterprises and government agencies around the world. Some of its customers include names like BT (British Telecom), ESPN, JPMorgan Chase, and United Airlines.
To date, it has received a $70 million round of funding from Goldman Sachs. The bankers now hold a position on AppSense’s board.
AppSense’s International Expansion
AppSense is rumored to be dyeing an IPO in the U.S. market by 2013. By then, it plans to have an annual turnover of £100 million (~$157 million).
AppSense is thus focusing its efforts within the U.S. Besides opening its headquarters in New York, it also set up a design team in Santa Clara, California. It is already seeing strong demand from the U.S. market and has seen revenue share from that country grow from 25% two years ago to 50% in 2011.
Further international expansion is planned for the emerging markets of APAC and Latin America to cater to those regions’ rapid growth. AppSense is planning to open operations in Singapore to cater to the APAC region and to help it enter the Chinese and Korean markets. It is also growing its presence in Australia and New Zealand, where it now has more than 400 customers. During the current year, it will also open offices in Hong Kong and Brazil.
AppSense Acquires RAPsphere
As part of its product enhancement initiative, AppSense recently announced the acquisition of RAPsphere, a mobile IT company that develops information management solutions for mobile devices. This is the first acquisition made by AppSense. Redwood City, California–based RAPSphere helps organizations deal with disruptive mobile technologies driving the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend and helps them maintain greater governance of users. The growing presence of employee-owned devices in the workplace has given rise to the need to build secure and productive enterprise environments. AppSense will leverage RAPSphere’s capabilities to expand user virtualization across the mobile enterprise.
AppSense believes that the user virtualization market will be worth $2 billion in the next few years. For now, the company seems to be taking the right steps to make bigger inroads into this market.