Here are the top four reasons for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to offer VDI as a solution to their customers.
1. Apps are moving to the cloud, but the desktop is staying on-premises
More individual apps are moving to the cloud. Customers are deploying Office 365, Salesforce, Hubspot, and other applications that run in the cloud. However the Windows desktop is still the primary means of work and that has not moved to the cloud. Why?
The Windows desktop allows IT to create workflows that connect together apps whether they run on-premises or in the cloud - receive an email in Office 365 and click on a link to approve an order in SAP. These workflows only work on a Windows desktop today. It's difficult to move the desktop to the cloud because most of the apps inside the desktop are on-premises.
2. Well defined business use cases for VDI
There are many definite use cases where VDI is the best business solution, e.g., security (where you don't want data leaving your data center), remote access, access for contractors/consultants, call centers, hospitals, and others. Brian Madden has talked about the top 5 reasons why people choose VDI.
3. Customers are looking for help to run VDI
VDI is a new workload for most customers. SMB customers, e.g., regional banks, regional hospitals, schools, manufacturing companies, etc., have small IT teams and cannot afford to train them on running their own VDI implementations. These customers are looking for a service provider that can enable this new solution for them.
4. VDI is a great workload for MSPs to get closer to the end user
A VDI desktop is delivered to end users. This is a mission critical service. If the service is unavailable then the user is un-productive. As an MSP running this mission critical service, you are on the frontlines of servicing and providing significant value to end users. You are also responsible for understanding how to make the service more efficient and cost-effective over time. Should more applications be migrated to the service provider? Should you migrate some applications to the cloud? Should applications stay on-premises because of the security/data requirements.
As an MSP, you become the trusted solution provider to your customers for a set of their end users. In the next post, we will talk about the challenges for MSPs with using VDI 1.0 solutions from Citrix and VMware to deliver VDI as a solution. And after that we will talk about how VDI 2.0 enables an MSP to provide higher margin VDI solutions to their customers.