The newest “as-a-service” to enter our cloud vocabulary may be DaaS, or desktops-as-a-service. Salt Lake City-based DaaS provider Nuvestack, announced this week that it has entered an agreement with provider PlanetOne Communications, Scottsdale, Arizona, to sell its DaaS through the master agent’s IT channel.
Nuvestack’s NuveCenter technology automates and simplifies the migration, set-up, management and support of cloud services, including DaaS. NuveCenter also provides users with secure access to their virtual desktop on any Internet-connected device, simply by first downloading and installing a thin remote desktop client.
“Demand for secure desktop virtualization is growing as businesses of all sizes expand their mobile workforce and seek out new ways to become more agile, productive and cost efficient,” said Jonathan Hartman, vice president of sales, in PlanetOne’s release. “Our new alliance with Nuvestack enables channel partners to address the market’s increasing demand for virtual solutions and cloud services, and actively pursue new opportunities and service revenue streams with and around DaaS.”
According to Lanny Gray, senior vice president of sales at Nuvestack, the drive to DaaS is particularly strong among the regulated verticals — health care and finance. With only video, mouse and keyboard signaling passed between computer and remote user, sensitive data remains stored within the company’s own secured data center (or secured host). There’s nothing to hack at remote user sites. Health care now represents 13 percent of virtual desktop users, and finance 19 percent, Gray says.
Faster than your physical desktop?
Nuvestack’s remote desktop introduces no latency, says Gray. Given a mere 300Kbps connection, he guarantees DaaS response to be faster than a physical, on-site PC. “This is because of how we architected our platform,” he says, entirely atop Microsoft. “There’s no VMWare or Citrix” intermediary elements. Further, Nuvestack will provide end-user support or work behind the scenes if partners want to be the single point of contact. Says Gray, “We have a support structure in place that takes care of the customer from the presales process all the way through the life cycle.”
DaaS may be an excellent first IT service in a telecom agent’s cloud portfolio. While virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) has been around for a decade, it’s relatively new to MSPs like Nuvestack, which manages back-end data storage, backup, security and upgrades. “It’s the last cloud piece to go mainstream,” says Gray. “The fact that we’re on the front end of this means that
there’s a tremendous upside to layering it atop services being provided to existing customers or finding new customers.” Currently, less than 5 percent of the business PC market is in a virtual environment.
The funnel is full
Lauren Shapiro, PlanetOne president, adds, “What’s exciting to us is our sales partners have existing relationships who are immediate prospects. It has nothing to do with when their contract is ending. It’s just a matter of bringing the right relationship to the table and letting Nuvestack engage. It’s ideal for the channel. We already have a great funnel.” And it’s complementary to what already exists, says Gray. “It’s the same desktop. The difference is how it’s accessed.”
With the launch of their alliance, PlanetOne and Nuvestack are offering channel partners access to sales, marketing, training and technical resources that will help make the business case for DaaS. They can start by downloading PlanetOne’s “An MSP’s Guide to Desktops-as-a-Service” white paper.
And while according to that paper, DaaS makes the most sense where dispersed employees share the same set of applications, Gray says that hybrid cloud scenarios work too. “If they have some proprietary or financial applications that they want to keep in their data centers, we can provide one desktop that gives access to both. It doesn’t change the way that customers work.”
The service retails for one flat fee of $99.50 per seat per month. PlanetOne is one of only four master agents selected to take Nuvestack’s service to market. “We didn’t go larger because we want to focus our time and attention on the very best, who get this and understand the opportunities,” says Gray. Shapiro adds, “We work very closely with our partners to help them understand, identify and qualify good opportunities.”