FrontRange Solutions, one of the core 6 ITIL Helpdesk Software suppliers, is appointing proven executive Mike Kohlsdorf as its new CEO, effective immediately.
A quick competitive note on this management appointment:
Good Match, Good Time
From an outsider’s perspective, it might be good timing and a good match for both parties.
Mr. Kohlsdorf has more than 25 years of executive management experience and has an extensive background in leading rapidly growing software and services firms.
Most recently, from 2006 till 2011 Mike Kohlsdorf has been President and CEO of Aderant, a privately owned but leading global provider of enterprise software for top law firms, large accounting firms and other professional services organizations. Aderant, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, has a flagship product called Aderant Expert, which is an integrated, comprehensive solution that enables law firms to improve information visibility and access, and indirectly work the firms’ bottom-line.
From ‘work practices’ ~ ‘data access requirement’ points of view, help desk providers do have lots in common with lawyers and accountants and so Mr Kohlsdorf’s knowledge-base and experience is a good fit.
Mr. Kohlsdorf actually left ADERANT last February after 4.5 years of service, and has since been an Operating Partner with Francisco Partners, a global private equity firm focused exclusively on investments in technology and technology-enabled services businesses. This position has given him a really good chance to study what will be next in bloom in the field of IT, and it may well be helpdesk software for larger service firms.
Mr. Kohlsdorf, the new asset in the management portfolio of Francisco Partners, is now tasked with realizing rapid growth in one of its investments, FrontRange Solutions.
Where is FrontRange Solutions at?
FrontRange Solutions offers integrated IT Service Management, Help Desk, IT Asset Management and CRM software for mid-market enterprises and distributed enterprise organizations. FrontRange Solutions services the help desk software market through its award-winning HEAT help desk software and ITIL standards-based modules for complete service management. HEAT integrates core service and support components into one complete help desk software solution to reduce costs and increase operational efficiency. FrontRange’s product family also includes GoldMine for Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
FrontRange Solutions was founded in 2000. In 2005 it was acquired by Francisco Partners, an important global private equity firm (~ it raised $7 billion in capital ~) with an exclusive focus on structured investments in technology and technology-enabled services businesses.
Mr. Kohlsdorf succeeds Michael McCloskey as CEO of FrontRange Solutions, who concludes a seven-year tenure which was successful: the company’s current market position is stronger than ever. Mr McCloskey was particularly hailed in the earlier years of its tenure, when he was considered for the Stevie Award as “Best Turnaround Executive”.
Kohlsdorf will have a different agenda than McCloskey. He’ll have to bring more focus in product development and market penetration, as well as create an upbeat corporate culture to FrontRange Solutions, with mutual respect and harmony between investors, management and staff.
Mike’s target of ‘rapid growth’ befits his extensive experience. This skill may enable the company to dominate specific market segments, allowing the firm both a leadership position in the ‘help desk software’ (and other IT) markets. Market dominance typically brings superior corporate returns, and this is, after all, what an investment company is after. Furthermore, when strongly positioned in favorable markets, he might to be able to ride the wave of overall help desk software market growth, when help desk software is going to be ‘hip’, ‘in vogue’ and wanted by all. This might be very soon.
The Help Desk Software Market
It is our take that the help desk software market is poised for a new growth phase and increased popularity. Right now, the help desk industry is not much in the news. However, help desk software is profitable and there’s a lot of virgin market still to be captured.
Consider, for example the opportunities amongst mid-market enterprises:
Mid-June, Dell KACE’s global survey of almost 850 IT professionals on service desk trends, revealed that 71% small and midsized organizations (SMBs) did not consider ITIL support as a factor during the purchase of their service desk tool, even though half indicated having adopted ITIL in some form. 92%, has either not adopted ITIL at all or only use it as a guideline. Additionally, the survey showed SMB’s preferred ease-of-use over advanced features.
“Our survey revealed IT departments believe they can achieve increased efficiencies by integrating their service desks with other processes to rapidly provide complete information about the endpoints they service,” said Diane Hagglund, senior research analyst for Dimensional Research and the study’s author. “Although most organizations see the value in integrating their service desk solutions with other systems, few SMBs have been able to implement this important integration.”
Of course, ITIL help desk software makes most sense for companies with over 400 employees, and amongst such companies certain industry silos are further advanced with ITIL help desk adoption than others.
ITIL Help Desk Software Vendors
As we said in the beginning, FrontRange Solutions is one of six core ITIL help desk software suppliers. It’s competition being SalesForce.com’s RemedyForce; ManageEngine SD from Zoho; ZenDesk; Axios and SysAid.Conclusion
Kohlsdorf’s extensive experience of leading rapidly growth, managing operations, technology and service firms are bound to make FrontRange Solutions a strong participant in help desk software and related industries.