SMB and mid-market focused hyper-converged vendor Scale Computing and cloud-based VDI vendor Workspot have announced a pre-integrated solution that puts Workspot’s VDI 2.0 on Scale’s infrastructure. The collaboration extends both companies’ strategies of partnering to extend their reach.
Workspot’s technology is well suited to hyper-converged platforms, and hyper-converged partnerships are an important channel for the four year-old company. They are also partnered with Nutanix and HPE. Founded by senior executives from Citrix (Amitabh Sinha, who had been General Manager for Enterprise Desktops and Apps at Citrix) and VMware (Puneet Chawla, the founding engineer on VMware’s View product line), Workspot positions itself in the market as a much simpler alternative to both legacy vendors.
“We’ve been looking for a partnership like this for years,” said Jason Collier, Scale’s co-founder. “However, until Workspot came about, there was nothing that fit the bill for our market space. With VDI, you are taking the most complex application you can possibly image and putting it on our platform designed around simplicity. We get asked all the time about VDI – and now we have a checkbox answer.”
“Partnering with anything else out there would have been putting the equivalent of putting a 100 lb anchor on a small dinghy,” said Doug Howell, Scale’s Global Director of OEM Sales.
“Scale has a passion towards simplicity, and from the first time we saw a Workspot demo, we saw this same drive in the development of their product,” Collier said. “It’s incredibly simple to get stood up. Standard VDI solutions have a lot of complexity and with Workspot, a lot of that just goes away. That simplicity led us to push the relationship forward.”
While the companies are claiming their solution can be up in 60 minutes, for half the normal cost of a VDI deployment, Collier said that some customers are doing better than that.
“Last week, a customer tweeted out that he connected it in 10 minutes,” he stated. “With Workspot, you pay for a subscription service, never a perpetual license. When combined with Scale’s elastic infrastructure, it’s made in heaven.”
Workspot sells to all types of customers, from SMBs and mid-market through to the enterprise, but they see the joint solution with Scale as ideal for SMBs and the mid-market.
“It fits this market size perfectly and without ambiguity,” said Brad Peterson, Workspot’s VP of Marketing. “We position and market the solution together in a clean way, making it incredibly easy for partners to represent both products. Since both us and Scale are designed for simplicity, partnering with them allows each of us to reach the success our products are designed for.”
The Workspot partnership extends Scale’s recent strategic initiative to enhance their platform with software solutions designed to solve specific SMB issues. Two weeks ago, they announced a partnership with Business Intelligence vendor Information Builders, which combines Information Builders’ WebFOCUS Business User Edition software and Scale’s HC3 platform into a hyper-converged appliance with BI and analytics for SMBs. The Workspot solution is somewhat different however in that it will be offered as a SKU by Scale, rather than as a specific appliance.
“We spent a lot of time and energy integrating the two products, with both engineering teams working closely together,” Howell said. “They aren’t just velcroed together.”
“To manage VDI, you don’t ever need to log into the Scale console except for the original template,” Collier said. “It’s all handled through Workspot through the tight integration.”
Howell said that this kind of value-add sale means more money for partners.
“VARs getting a couple points on hardware and software doesn’t cut it any more,” he said. “They are looking for ways to add more value. Workspot and us can go to them collectively and teach the sales guys how to sell them. Technically, it’s a little more than showing them a video, but they still get it quickly. We empower the VARs to sell immense value with very low investment from their standpoint.”
“Channel partners jump on this really quick,” Peterson said. “This combination of Workspot and Scale allows partners to get it in for a quick proof-of-concept, and go live in the quickest possible time.”
The companies are looking to capitalize on Citrix’s end-of-lifing of the former Kaviza ‘VDI-in-a-box’ product, aimed at smaller businesses. Citrix bought Kaviza, which played well outside its traditional enterprise market, in 2011, but never did much with it.
Peterson, who was at Citrix during the years Kaviza was acquired and integrated, said that Kaviza was never a good fit for Citrix.
“They acquired Kaviza to address the SMB to mid-market need because XenDesktop was too complex for those markets,” he said. “They did it to protect a flank, and weren’t committed to it, so it was never a top priority. They sold it to about 2500 customers, who now know they have been abandoned. That’s an excellent market for us.”