Cloud Desktop in the Channel

Advantages for Systems Integrators and Service Providers

The business segment of Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) providers is more varied than it might appear at a first glance. The booming DaaS market offers systems integrators and service providers interesting business opportunities. This sales potential should be exploited now as its time has come.

Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) providers take on hosting and maintenance of the infrastructure of computers, data storage and data access for their customers. At the same time, they also look after the provision and administration of software and applications as well as licence procurement and management. They receive a monthly fee for this service from their customers, who obtain DaaS using one of three cloud platform types – private, public or hybrid.

The DaaS Potential already recognised

Leading IT and cloud providers have already entered the DaaS business or are planning to offer desktop services in future. There is a good reason for this as a growing number of organisations sets up cloud infrastructures – either based on private clouds, public services or a mix of both of them. More and more companies are losing their fear of the cloud and appreciate that even business critical infrastructure components are safe in cloud-based environments. Many companies, which are already using a cloud offer such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service, are also considering the acquisition of virtual desktops from the same cloud partner. This has the advantage, that these are hosted in the same data centre as other existing resources.

Trend: Mobile Devices in the Workplace

Another factor promising success to DaaS service provider is the fast growing trend of mobile devices in the workplace, irrespective if they are part of a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) programme or in-house products. Adding hundreds or even thousands of mobile devices within an organisation equals a plus on desktops, which have to be administered, which in turn results in a higher cost factor. Here, the use of DaaS and virtualisation can be a far more cost efficient option. Organisations also receive support on how to offer their staff quicker data access. And this results in another added value from which the DaaS business benefits from. Mobile workers expect nowadays that they have access to their data and the enterprise network, irrespective of their location. DaaS offers exactly this type of flexibility, which users want and need of their modern desktops.

Disaster Recovery and Security

Furthermore, DaaS can also present an effective measure in a disaster recovery and business continuity strategy. Virtual desktops can be provided quickly and scaled during current events and other emergencies. It is therefore quite lucrative for VARs, such as managed service providers, to offer DaaS and advise their customers in this regard. In particular, given the fact that these services address businesses of any size and almost in any sector. The channel can also score with customers by providing a secure DaaS environment. Some of the cloud offers of large providers are supplied with security options. For example, Amazon’s WorkSpaces provides customers DaaS with pre-installed anti-virus software. And VMware’s Horizon DaaS has in-built security functions such as a direct connection via a secure point-to-point network connection and network isolation. But not all platforms on offer come with integrated security measures. This presents itself as another business opportunity for resellers and managed service providers, who can develop this market.

DaaS Provider as a Security Advisor

While cloud providers advertise the potential advantages of DaaS, customers of systems integrators and service providers want to know in detail how secure these new offers will be. Even though big advances have been made regarding security improvements and reliability of hosted environments, many companies still have doubts. They are concerned about the risks, when placing their business critical data or key components, such as desktops, in the hands of an external service provider.

Conclusion

If systems integrators and service providers take on only a spectator role in the fast growing DaaS market, then they risk missing out on a potentially growing sales opportunity. It is most likely, that the triumphant advance of cloud platforms will continue as organisations will want share the positive desktop experiences gained by their staff in every location.

It is not surprising, that more and more cloud providers describe DaaS as “the next big thing” in the fast developing cloud services market. This trend presents an opportunity for resellers and managed service providers to support their customers with the provision and maintenance of a DaaS environment and to make sure that virtual desktops really can be implemented securely.

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