Once one of the biggest names in Colorado Springs software, FrontRange Solutions Inc. became far less visible when it moved its headquarters and most operations to California in 2004.
But the company never left entirely, keeping a small team that supports its information technology service management software and related products. It has survived more than a decade of mergers, acquisitions and buyouts. The team has added 15 employees over the past year to grow to 65, and Colorado Springs has become a key expansion site by its new parent company, Salt Lake City-based Ivanti Software Inc.
"This is the hub of our customer-retention team. As we do acquisitions, will we move those operations here or to Salt Lake City? If it is related to service management or security, then it should be here," said Steve Daly, Ivanti's president and CEO, during an April 27 visit to the Colorado Springs operation. "We are also adding cybersecurity, virtualization and identity and automation production support to this location."
Daly expects the 1,800-employee company, and the Springs operation, to double over the next three to five years, from acquisitions and from 21 percent annual growth of its $500 million annual revenue. Ivanti occupies about 16,000 square feet in the Briargate Tech complex, 8415 Explorer Drive, and has options on more space in the 48,000-square-foot building to accommodate growth in the next few years, he said.
"IT service management is a key part of our strategy, and that industry was born here with Bendata, the Help Desk Institute, FrontRange and later with Cherwell (Software). There is a lot of expertise in that industry here, but we also are finding that a growing number of people want to come here and work for us," Daly said. "The products that generate about half of our revenue are managed out of here, and this team supports products that generate 70 percent of our revenue."
FrontRange was started in Dallas in 1982 as Bendata Management Systems Inc. It moved to Colorado Springs in 1990. Bendata was acquired in 1999 by a South African company that changed its name to FrontRange. The company grew to 750 employees worldwide, including 340 in the Springs, before moving its headquarters and most operations to Milpitas, Calif., in 2004. A year later, San Francisco-based private equity firm Francisco Partners acquired FrontRange for $200 million.
Clearlake Capital Group LP, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based private equity firm, acquired Front Range in 2015 and merged it with Lumension Security Inc., a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company that makes software that helps users track devices in a system and ensure their software is secure and up to date. Clearlake formed Ivanti last year by acquiring desktop management software maker Landesk and merging it with FrontRange, then called Heat Software.
"It is a testament to this team that through all the changes, they kept the team together and expanded. It is hard to keep a team together through so many acquisitions." Daly said. "This is a site where we are bringing more and more (IT)disciplines because we are impressed with the available workforce and skill sets, along with the willingness of people to move here."
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