One of the issues that has prevented VDI (true centralization of end user OS and application images on back end servers) from taking off as fast as server virtualization (really server consolidation) did is that the hard dollar ROI for desktop virtualization just has not been as obvious as the ROI for server consolidation. Now there are claims to the contrary, for example this excellent case by Steve Kaplan, but in general the ROI for VDI has not gotten to the point where it is as obvious as the server consolidation ROI.
However, Liquidware Labs announced two things on 9/28/09. The first was a new pricing and packaging option for its Stratusphere platform that was specifically designed for Managed Services Providers (MSP’s) who have an existing business managing fat client desktops for large enterprises, and who wish to virtualize all or a part of these desktops. This new offering is called the Managed Virtual Desktop Alliance program, and it is all about helping both the MSP and the MSP’s customer benefit from the cost savings associated with moving a physical desktop into a virtualized state.
The second part of the announcement was that Perot Systems has signed on to be the first member of this new alliance program and that Perot Systems will be using the Stratusphere platform precisely in the manner described above – to go to existing customers where Perot manages the desktops on an outsourced basis, where Perot can use Stratusphere to assess and plan the project to migrate these desktops from physical to virtual, and then enable Perot and Perot’s customer to share in the economic benefits of the new centralized managed desktop.
The new offering, the alliance wrapped around it and the participation of Perot Systems are all significant for the following reasons:
- In the case where an MSP is already managing physical desktops on an outsourced basis, there are clear hard dollar savings to be had and shared between the MSP and the customer associated with moving those desktops from a distributed physical to a centralized virtual model. This creates a new ROI for desktop virtualization that is obvious and compelling and should drive some very large VDI projects in the immediately foreseeable future.
- In the case of Perot Systems, Liquidware Labs appears to have won two pieces of business – the upfront assessment piece and the piece focused upon the operational monitoring of the resulting virtualized system. It was always Liquidware Lab’s intent to end up with both pieces, and having done so with a major partner like Perot Systems who in turn has huge enterprise customers is a significant win for Liquidware Labs.
- As this method of delivering and funding VDI gains traction, the definition of the desktop will evolve. The current definition of a piece of hardware and two layers of software will get replaced by a definition that is comprised of two layers of software and some managed services.
- Dell, who has just acquired Perot Systems, has probably figured this out – and views Perot not just as a services organization that will allow Dell to compete more effectively for enterprise virtualization projects, but as the embodiment of what might be the new business model for corporate desktops.
- There are many large service providers that are in the business of managing physical desktops for large enterprises on an outsourced basis today. Not all of them are expert in virtualization, so this is another opportunity for the VMware VAR channel (that does have this expertise) to either themselves become one of these next generation MSP’s, or to partner with these companies and provide the virtualization expertise required to execute upon these transitions.
The complete Liquidware Labs and Perot Systems announcement is below.
LIQUIDWARE LABS LAUNCHES MANAGED VIRTUAL DESKTOP
INFRASTRUCTURE ALLIANCE PROGRAM
Alliance Brings Together Key Technology Vendors, Enables Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Implementation
ALPHARETTA, GA, September 28th, 2009 – Liquidware Labs Inc. (LWL), the market leader in virtual desktop and application assessment and diagnostics, today announced the launch of its Managed Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Alliance Program to enable Service Providers in Hosting, Outsourcing and Data Center businesses to offer VDI assessment, diagnostic and migration services based on LWL’s Stratusphere™ platform. The company also unveiled that Perot Systems (NYSE:PER) (www.perotsystems.com) has signed as one of the first members of LWL’s Managed VDI Alliance Program.
“Many enterprises wanting to leverage virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) are concerned with its complexity and cost, so we are turning to trusted Service Providers with greater expertise, resources and specialties. Using Stratusphere from Liquidware Labs, Service Providers such as Perot Systems can enable customers to gain the benefits of VDI while reducing cost and complexity,” commented Steve Gant, vice president of Strategy and Business Development, LWL. “By joining forces with LWL, Service Providers can offer customers new, value-added services, across the Managed VDI life-cycle through high-margin, repeatable services. It’s a testament to the program that Perot Systems has joined LWL’s Managed VDI Alliance Program.”
“Managed VDI is an excellent opportunity for our customers to help reduce the challenges and expense of deploying desktops,” said Eric Hutto, director of Global Market Development at Perot Systems commercial solutions group. “Perot Systems’ clients can now deploy desktops completely as a service, and pay on a monthly basis for only the desktops they have deployed, as a pure operating expense. Perot Systems can manage everything for our customers right up to the end-user’s device: the datacenter, infrastructure, software, connectivity and operations.“
LWL’s Managed VDI Alliance Program
LWL’s program includes Service Providers who are already in the hosting or outsourcing business and who want to leverage their existing data center assets to drive significant revenue through Managed VDI services. Alliance members will be able to increase quality, speed of deployment, and customer satisfaction with end-to-end VDI services and monthly subscription offerings.
Benefits to Service Providers
LWL accelerates VDI deployment and subscription revenue by providing the capability to assess physical desktops, migrate user profiles as well as data to the data center, while simultaneously monitoring and diagnosing virtualized desktops. With this program, service providers can:
- Improve customer adoption of VDI services
- Access world class methodologies from thought leaders in VDI
- Receive world Class sales enablement tools and training
- Access products and programs designed specifically for service providers
- Accelerate VDI sales cycles by offering custom-branded assessment and design services
About Liquidware Labs Inc.
Liquidware Labs Inc. (LWL) is the market leader in virtual desktop and application assessments, bringing a completely new and innovative approach to accelerating the adoption and consumption of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Their comprehensive machine, user, and application diagnostics platform, Stratusphere™, coupled with their user profile provisioning, management, and migration tool ProfileUnity has been described by the industry as providing the “On ramp to VDI”. LWL provides a combination of software and consulting methodology to intelligently assess desktop and application viability for virtualization as well as provide true end user experience metrics for ongoing diagnostics. The company’s Stratusphere™ platform provides organizations unprecedented visibility into the configuration, usage and performance of their virtual (and physical) desktop infrastructure and deployments, and ProfileUnity enables the daily tasks of managing and migrating user specific settings between sessions and between platforms elegant and easy.
The LWL leadership team is comprised of virtualization industry veterans that collectively have skills within professional services, software development, virtualization assessments and deployments and have been selling and marketing virtualization since 2002. LWL products are VMware and Citrix certified, and are available through a global network of certified partners. Visit www.liquidwarelabs.com for further information.
About Perot Systems
Perot Systems is a worldwide provider of information technology services and business solutions. Through its flexible and collaborative approach, Perot Systems integrates expertise from across the company to deliver custom solutions that enable clients to accelerate growth, streamline operations and create new levels of customer value. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, Perot Systems reported 2008 revenue of $2.8 billion. The company has more than 23,000 associates located in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific. Additional information on Perot Systems is available at http://www.perotsystems.com/.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. For factors that could affect our business and cause actual results to differ materially, please refer to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and available at http://www.sec.gov/, as updated in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed after such Form 10-K, for additional information regarding risk factors. We disclaim any intention or obligation to revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future developments, or otherwise.