Santa Clara-based client virtualization provider NComputing, the number three manufacturer of thin clients, has made its initial foray into the desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) market. The new offering is a solution for service providers powered by NComputing’s vSpace desktop virtualization platform, that service providers can use to offer a hosted virtualized desktop offering to SMBs. They also announced their first partner, So-net, a member of the Sony Group, who will make the solution available in Japan.
“We offer a complete end-to-end solution for service providers, a one-stop shop for a turnkey solution which isn’t offered by another vendor,” said Dave Burton, NComputing’s Vice President of Global Marketing.
Burton also said service providers will be able to combine this offering with the NComputing oneSpace workspace-as-a-service solution NComputing announced in February, It is a unified workspace solution that permits unification and secure delivery of applications and files as a service to a variety of devices, including iPads and Android tablets.
“The idea is that service providers can start with DaaS and extend it to WorkSpace as a Service (WaaS) to cover mobile devices,” Burton said. “They can start with DaaS and seamlessly extend DaaS to WaaS. It’s a great service provider opportunity. The pay as you go licensing model allows them to start with nothing up front, and they can scale as they grow their business.”
Unlike Citrix and VMware, the major players in the desktop virtualization space, NComputing uses a Server Based Computing model rather than VDI. While VDI has the advantage of being one-to-one, permitting a high degree of personalization because every user gets their own image, in use cases where these advantages are less important, and cost and simplicity matter more, Server Based Computing has advantages.
“We target a different market than Citrix and VMware,” Burton said. “They are VDI, while we are Server Based Computing, which is much lower in complexity than VDI, and requires less storage and fewer licenses. Server Based Computing appeals to many SMBs because of these cost and complexity issues. VDI has focused on the enterprise so the SMB market has been underserved, and we have had a lot of success in markets like education and health care.”
“We have engaged with service providers in the past, but purely as technology partners,” said Ananth Appathurai Vice President of Global Business Development and Alliances at NComputing.”We will unlock a new Go-To-Market route with this.”
There will also be a role for some of NComputing’s traditional channel partners to offer a hosted solution to customers.
“We believe a portion of our existing channel who are evolving their businesses will pick up on this,” Appathurai said. “We see a number of our present partners becoming true service providers. To become a service provider now, you don’t need to build your own datacenter, because you can lease that from the Amazons and the Rackspaces. We are targeting mainstream MSPs and cloud service providers, but several of our existing channel partners will be critical to our success.”
So when will this become available in the North American market?
“In the second half of 2014, we will announce a formal service provider partner program,” Appathurai said. “We will be focused and deliberate in the selection of these partners, because we do not have the scale of Citix and VMware to enable a thousand partners to be service providers. The ones we select will be meaningful for customers, and will also include geographies and verticals where we don’t have footprints now. We will add a couple of partners here in 2014 and will exponentially ramp up in 2015 and 2016.”