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Matrix42 has been around for more than 30 years. In that time, it has successfully launched several business units into the market. According to CTO Dirk Eisenberg, these components form a holistic total solution.

Last year, during a keynote at Matrix42’s own Digital Workspace World event, the then CEO of Matrix42 talked about three times ten years of innovation at Matrix42. By this he meant to say that the company is basically made up of multiple parts that have their origins in different decades. These three components are DWP (Digital Workspace Platform), ESM (Enterprise Service Management) and SUEM (Secure Unified Endpoint Management). We have mentioned in previous articles about Matrix42 that it can be quite complex to see the forest for the trees with this vendor. Matrix42 has come to a similar conclusion. That is why the company focuses on merging the three components into a single environment, according to Eisenberg. In this regard, he himself talks about a holistic (end-to-end) solution of ESM and SUEM with DWP as the underlying platform.

“It’s not about the IT department anymore.”

For vendors such as Matrix42, in the past it was mainly about helping IT departments in their daily chores, for example in the area of endpoint management. Nowadays, however, the company wants to transcend this department. That is, Matrix42 wants to deliver solutions that matter to the entire company. “99 percent of the interactions within a company are through IT,” Eisenberg points out. With this, he wants to make the point that employees’ perceptions of the organization they work for depend largely on the performance of the IT department.

As an example of the above, Eisenberg cites developments around hybrid working. According to a survey, 75 percent of employees have higher expectations around this topic these days. This not only revolves around Teams, but also other opportunities to interact with colleagues. 39 percent say they would leave an organization if they had to go back to the office entirely. “You need a collaborative way to interact with enterprise services”, he sums up the effect of modern desires. That means integrating ESM with workspace solutions such as Teams, Slack and Zoom.

Dirk Eisenberg, CTO of Matrix42

Once you get to the point where you’re integrating multiple components that are important to the overall employee experience with each other, you also trigger next steps, Eisenberg continues. Automation is an obvious example. That’s a no-brainer to at least consider if you’re linking environments together anyway. Traditionally (since the 1990s), Matrix42 has offered fairly basic click automation, but you can also get into API-based automation with its offerings. Endpoint management also takes on a more important role in this type of environment. Thanks to automation, you can now help employees without anyone having to ask the help desk for anything.

Matrix42 SUEM is a combination of CLM and EMM

Now that we have an overall picture of what Matrix42 wants to offer with its total solution, let’s also look at SUEM and ESM separately. SUEM is actually where it started for Matrix42, thirty years ago. That’s how long Empirum has been on the market, the company’s client lifecycle management (CLM) solution. It doesn’t stop there, however, as Matrix42 also has Silverback, an enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution, within this division. SUEM’s focus is on client self-service. Matrix42 uses Windows Autopilot, which should allow customers to purchase new devices with automatic deployment of OS and applications. According to Eisenberg, this provides the best user experience for customers. “As soon as you have someone else do this, you often end up with needless procedures, or with MSPs,” he points out. This means that customers don’t have full control.

In our opinion, one particularly interesting component within Matrix42’s SUEM offering is what it calls EgoSecure Data Protection. Again, Matrix42 wants to focus as much as possible on what matters to the end user. These end users typically work on multiple devices and are not concerned with pulling up walls around a single device. What is important is that the various devices can send and receive data securely. That’s where EgoSecure Data Protection comes in. With it, Matrix42 provides built-in encryption on-the-fly. “One result of this is that protection is not device-dependent,” Eisenberg points out. A side note here, however, is that you should use devices that are managed within Matrix42’s environment for the best experience. Only then will encryption work on-the-fly. With unmanaged devices, you will have to use a client to decrypt.

Software Asset Management as the basis for ESM

Endpoint management may be more important today than it has been in the recent past, but Matrix42 has also evolved in other areas over the course of 30 years. In this regard, Eisenberg talks about Matrix42’s “transition to ESM” during our conversation. Enterprise Service Management actually consists of the components Service Desk and Service Catalog. The latter is the basis, that’s where you start as an organization. If you have this catalog complete, then you can start getting added value from ESM.

Good to mention here is that Matrix42 is certified for 11 ITIL processes. An additional module is Software Asset Management for license and contract management. Combined with Firescope, a company that Matrix42 acquired some time ago, this gives you the ability to achieve an accurate and automated CMDB.

A good ESM solution enables organizations to handle the knowledge that exists or needs to exist within the organization much better. It enables them to act quickly when something needs to be done. With a good setup, a service desk employee can access all relevant knowledge. This knowledge is in a knowledge base, not in separate tickets. That makes it a lot easier for employees to make use of it.

Having a knowledge base is interesting, but it also needs to be filled and maintained with content. That’s usually the role of an analyst. However, writing a knowledge base article is quite a chore, especially if you start with a blank page. Matrix42 wants to speed up this process with AI and already fill in part of such an article for the analyst. “In the end, it’s all about making everything faster,” Eisenberg sums up the importance of ESM in this regard.

Matrix42 builds everything in a low-code platform

The platform Matrix42 offers around managing the digital workplace consists of various layers. Certain components are prerequisites for higher layers. Going all the way back to the platform’s code, we also see something striking there. Matrix42 uses their low-code SolutionBuilder to build and extend the platform. In fact, “everything we offer, we built with SolutionBuilder”, Eisenberg says.

This low-code development environment is not only there for Matrix42 itself. Customers can work with it as well. That way, they can build their own extensions. In principle, you can develop indefinitely with it, Eisenberg points out. “The platform can solve any data-driven problem,” he states confidently. As an example, he mentions a customer in Germany with 30,000 end users. They have built a very specific data-driven application on top of their IAM platform, all with SolutionBuilder.

The development environment also includes WorkFlow. This part of Matrix42’s solution is designed to get things, especially data, moving. Think about responding to events, triggering workflows, automation. Matrix42 can build that into solutions, but customers can also do it themselves. Basically, nothing is really standard in the solutions that are made this way. On the one hand, that may not be very convenient, because it makes it difficult to reuse things. On the other hand, it also means that customers can make adjustments to their heart’s content to fit a solution optimally into their environment.

Matrix42 needs flexibility

Based on our conversation with Eisenberg, we get a strong sense that the platform doesn’t fit every organization. That is, the degree of modularity and the sometimes very specific capabilities it brings to customers will not be of equal interest to everyone. Eisenberg indicates that the sweet spot in terms of customers lies with organizations with between 500 and 3,000 seats. This is not so much about the complexity of the organization, he indicates, but rather about whether that organization needs an extremely flexible solution. Indeed, that is what Matrix42 is ideally suited for, he says: “While we are very good at building ESM tools that are perfectly compliant with ITIL, there is so much more.”

It is possible to get very specific with Matrix42’s platform. We saw this above with the example of the large customer who built an application on top of an IAM platform. You can also add a so-called private view to the platform. This allows you to build additional modules that you only use. There are also blueprints for setting up more complex modules to suit your needs. With Service Desk and Service Catalog you can basically do anything, Eisenberg says. Matrix42 always asks how an organization wants to use them. If you only want tickets, that’s possible, but if you want or need to go full ITIL 4, that’s also possible. “We want to deliver exactly the product the customer needs,” in Eisenberg’s words.

That last statement is an excellent summary of how Matrix42 sees its own offering. It does not want to force an unwieldy solution on customers, but rather to offer a great deal of choice. With that, the offering as a whole can be called modern, not least because of its low-code base. However, it also places a great responsibility on Matrix42 to ensure that the story actually lands well with (potential) customers. With a portfolio that interconnects in all sorts of ways, yet is also modular, that can be quite a challenge. Matrix42 is currently working hard to tell this holistic story.