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DISRUPT 2020: IGEL’s Linux OS Is An Azure Windows Virtual Desktop ‘Game Changer’

‘This is the start of the desktop in the cloud computing revolution,’ says IGEL Co-CEO Jed Ayres. ‘It’s the cloud equivalent of when Bill Gates said he wanted a PC on every desk and in every home. We want to put those billions of desktops into the cloud with the IGEL OS and WVD.’

IGEL’s new OS -- the first Linux operating system green-lighted by Microsoft for use with Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) -- is poised to drive explosive MSP sales growth as the Windows operating system moves to an Azure deployment model.

That is the message that IGEL Co-CEO Jed Ayres said he will deliver at IGEL’s DISRUPT 2020 Cloud Workspaces Forum in Nashville which runs from Jan. 27- 29.

“This is the start of the desktop-in-the-cloud computing revolution,” said Ayres. “It’s the cloud equivalent of when Bill Gates said he wanted a PC on every desk and in every home. We want to put those billions of desktops into the cloud with the IGEL OS and WVD.”

Ayres said he sees the DISRUPT Conference - which has grown into a premier VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) conference with a who’s who of cloud workspace leaders including Microsoft, Amazon, Citrix and VMware - as the official start of a new era of virtual desktop cloud computing with the general availability of Linux client support for WVD.

“This a huge money-making managed services opportunity for partners,” he said. “Now is the time to help customers transform to a cloud delivered workspace architecture that is more secure, agile and mobile. For every dollar of IGEL software that we sell there is $20 of services, infrastructure and recurring revenue that goes to our partners. This is a whole new set of technologies and a huge opportunity to build a subscription driven managed cloud workspace service. We are seeing an increasing number of partner-led, million-dollar deals with tens of thousands of seats that are super profitable software deals with an added bonus of recurring revenue. We are in deals with our partners for 40,000, 100,000 and 300,000 seats.”

JD Helms, president of CloudJumper, which bills its Cloud Management Workspace software suite as the “WVD on-ramp to Azure,” said he sees the general availability of IGEL OS client support for WVD as the equivalent of the sales explosion that comes on Black Friday for retailers. “This is like Black Friday for end user computing,” he said. “This is an opportunity for MSPs to add to their company’s valuation by driving cloud computing with secure end points in a way that has never been possible before. It’s an exponential global sales game changer.”

Helms said he sees the cloud workspaces opportunity for MSPs as a once in a lifetime opportunity. “I see CloudJumper combined with the IGEL OS and Windows Virtual Desktop as the killer app for end user computing,” he said. “IGEL is taking the security problem of the endpoint out of the equation. It’s a game changer for MSPs because of the ability to turn any device into a locked down Linux OS. It’s a perfect security solution for all the issues of Ransomware, malware and virus outbreaks on the desktop. It’s a Chief Security Officer’s dream!”

“WVD is powering a “reverse proxy” black box secure connection that is powering a new era in computing,” said Helms. “This is a truly native solution running on Azure,” he said. “It is not a bolt-on cloud workspace just leveraging Azure infrastructure. From an administrative point-of-view it is much easier to manage and secure a cloud workspaces environment than to manage every possible local desktop user configuration. We are at an inflection point where cloud-based computing is more secure than traditional on-premise computing.”

CloudJumper is in the midst of an aggressive MSP recruiting offensive aimed at driving its patented Cloud Workspace Management Suite as the standard for delivering virtual desktops and applications through any cloud provider on any device. “We are making it seamless,” said Helms. “Our secret sauce is our Cloud Workspace Management Suite. It is the RMM (Remote Monitoring Management) tool and management platform for the future.”

Helms said he and his channel team are “amped up” to capture the cloud workspace opportunity. “We are ready to help our partners ride the wave,” he said, noting partners can get on board by going to getwvd.com. “If the partners don’t move quickly here to have this conversation with their customers then the customers will go somewhere else. The partners that ask the questions are winning. The partners that are reactive are losing. The question is do you want to be the next Netflix or Blockbuster? This is the opportunity for partners to become a Netflix type of provider with recurring revenue streams based on cloud revenue as opposed to the traditional model which is going away.”

Helms credited Ayres with leading a secure endpoint OS revolution at IGEL. “Jed has taken the thin client device manufacturer model and has successfully transformed IGEL into a global software provider,” he said. “We are so pumped up that we are going to DISRUPT in Nashville and then in Munich the following week.”

Pete Downing, the chief marketing technology officer (CMTO) of XenTegra, which just won Citrix’s U.S. Partner of the Year award, said in 20 years in the business he has never seen the kind of sales pipeline he has with WVD and IGEL.

“Microsoft has validated virtual desktops in the cloud with WVD and IGEL has just made it easy,” he said. “What Microsoft and IGEL have done is simplified the end point without having to worry about blue screen, patching or whether it is secure. The avalanche of opportunity is just amazing! In the last week alone, I have done five POC (proof of concept) calls with customers. This software play is huge. It is no longer about hardware. It is about software, management and easing the pain of day to day administration costs.”

XenTegra - which is in the midst of rolling out a managed-services offering - is riding the secure end point wave with the IGEL OS with sales tripling in 2019 and a plan to double or triple sales in 2020, said Downing.

The general availability of IGEL OS Linux client support for WVD is “huge because it simplifies the end point and eases the pain of accessing WVD,” said Downing, who is bringing 14 customers to the Disrupt Conference. “IGEL just makes it stupid easy!”

IGEL’s transformation into a Linux OS secure end point powerhouse has driven a channel sales explosion in the last two years under Ayres’ leadership. “Jed has made it really fun to be an IGEL partner,” said Downing. “I am really excited about the future opportunity here.”

Ayres, for his part, sees WVD as the next big chess move in the evolution of Microsoft. “Windows Virtual Desktop and Azure changes everything,” he said. “Microsoft is putting everything in Azure. Customers are going to be highly incented to consume Windows out of Azure. Microsoft ran this play with Office and now 80 percent of the world is consuming Office out of Azure. You are going to see the exact same thing happen with Windows Virtual Desktop. If you want to run a fat Windows client it is going to be more expensive to manage, less secure, less mobile and a less rich experience. The most amazing Windows experience going forward is going to be out of Azure!”

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