Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Michael Thompson, Rachel A. Dines, Adrian Bridgwater, Michael Bushong

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Web 2.0, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

Three Ways to Sell Desktop-as-a-Service

And how a provider can create its strongest allies

Cloud service providers are up against several key challenges when it comes to selling desktop virtualization technology. An understanding of the benefits of desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) rarely exists, and licensing concerns - and their rising costs - are not going away any time soon. Knowing the do's and don't of selling desktop-as-a-service before diving in can solve problems on the front end while ensuring adoption of DaaS occurs in companies of all shapes and sizes.

1. Turn IT administrators into allies, not opponents.
Among the myriad reasons enterprises cite for turning to desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) technology, a few prove instrumental in driving its adoption. When evaluating the decision drivers behind DaaS, it is important to consider what the actual motivators behind a switch away from traditional desktop computing may be, and who it is that must be properly motivated. While some of the most progressive executives of small and mid-sized businesses may themselves be the driving force behind such a switch, it is worth noting that these are not typically the individuals interacting with DaaS providers. On the other hand, those who head the IT department of a company have many potential motivators for spearheading a switch from traditional compute to virtualized hosted Windows desktops. The time, energy and frustration DaaS can spare those who actually administer end-user compute for organizations with dozens - or hundreds - of desktops can be significant. If these individuals are sufficiently aware of the benefits they stand to accrue through a switch to more efficient DaaS technology, it follows intuitively that such heads of IT organizations would be among the strongest advocates for such a shift.

Interestingly, these factors bring into consideration another reality. Providers of cloud-hosted DaaS often find they are interacting with an individual who often does not bear the direct economic cost of his actions. The IT head who would implement DaaS stands to gain all of the benefits and none of the direct costs of the technology. In such situations, the financial decision maker who bears the direct cost thus becomes the primary bottleneck to progress and technological advancement. Evaluation of these factors brings this discussion to its ultimate point:

IT administrators, and the Cloud Hosting Providers who would sell DaaS to them, quite often find themselves with uniquely aligned goals; both parties stand to directly benefit from the technology, and both must sell its merits to those who bear the direct cost of implementation. Cloud providers who are to successfully propagate desktop virtualization technology must hold in esteem these IT administrators as the allies they are. Ultimately, the most successful providers will market their technologies to enterprises through - and not to - their IT departments.

DaaS provides many advantages in flexibility, control, and agility to enterprises with large end-user compute requirements. These advantages may be realized across the board - in terms of increased efficiency, higher availability, and ease of scaling. Additionally, DaaS makes anytime, anywhere access available across a wide spectrum of user devices, driving enhanced productivity. These are all points that can - and must - be spoken to as part of a successful strategy to drive virtualization technology. Those who can speak best to the individualized needs, requirements, and existing pain points of an enterprise's end-user compute pool are those who know their organizations from the inside out. An enterprise's IT department knows the idiosyncratic requirements of their particular organization better than anyone and can therefore best speak to these points in advancing DaaS adoption. These individuals also often have the strongest personal motivators for seeing its successful implementation.

It is not surprising that DaaS would have strong advocates on both sides of the market. Providers must be careful, however, not to alienate those who would otherwise be their greatest allies. Some in IT may fear this technology as undermining their necessity. Much to the contrary, desktop virtualization is a tool that enables, not eliminates, IT departments. This technology makes IT personnel more effective, and thus more relevant. DaaS technology brings unprecedented flexibility and control to the IT specialist, empowering him and giving him greater impact than ever before. The provider of quality virtualized desktops that understands these tenants at their core, and the needs of its customers, is the provider that will enjoy the greatest success in coming years.

2. License customers properly - VDI does not eliminate or replace a license burden.
When signing on new customers, transparency is paramount. It is essential that the service provider supply an accurate representation of licensing costs and be entirely clear about what these costs do and do not cover. Dislike it as we may, desktop virtualization in no way eliminates the need to properly furnish the end user with accurate Microsoft licensing for Windows desktops. Do not deceive your customers when it comes to Microsoft licensing. While it may come as a surprise to some that this point need be made at all, poor licensing practice seems to be an all-too-common trend emerging in the industry. Suspect providers downplay, or avoid mentioning at all, the additional costs of licensing that customers will incur beyond the DaaS subscription itself. Do not be swayed by those suspect service providers offering license free or "rented" license subscriptions.

3. Don't focus on cost. Focus on quality.
So, you have on board a new client with 100 virtual desktop licenses. Now, can you guarantee the client the highest degree of uptime and reliable, consistent access to its hosted desktops? The answer should be a resounding yes. At the end of the day, the availability of your cloud infrastructure will prove the most important consideration for a business customer. The cost of your customers' losing productivity is very high. Payroll for a 100-person company on average is $35,000 per day. If those employees can't work because your VDI cloud is offline, there will be problems. Quality here is key - you may be able to acquire customers with an attractive price, but you will lose them just as quickly if you can't back up your price with availability of service. With promises of increased availability and easier administration, DaaS can be a double-edged sword. Increased availability is only realized when the provider can back its promises. For this reason, the cost of a DaaS subscription comes second in importance to its functionality. The real cost - or savings - of VDI comes as a function of its quality.

More Stories By Marshall Lincoln

Marshall Lincoln is a Cloud Marketing Analyst at 8x8, Inc. (NASDAQ:EGHT). 8x8 is a provider of cloud virtualization services, under the Zerigo brand, with public and enterprise-grade solutions for Desktops as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, Cloud Virtual Private Servers and Virtual DNS. 8x8's Zerigo Hosted VDI enables businesses to capitalize on the myriad user benefits inherent to VMware's View with a simple, proprietary user-interface and on-demand desktop provisioning.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Cloud Expo Breaking News
"We are automated capacity control software, which basically looks at all the supply and demand and running a virtual cloud environment and does a deep analysis of that and says where should things go," explained Andrew Hillier, Co-founder & CTO of CiRBA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mac Devine, Distinguished Engineer at IBM, will discuss bringing these three elements together via Systems of Discover.
All too many discussions about DevOps conclude that the solution is an all-purpose player: developer and operations guru, complete with pager for round-the-clock duty. For most organizations that is not the way forward. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bernard Golden, Vice President of Strategy at ActiveState, will discuss how to achieve the agility and speed of end-to-end automation without requiring an organization stocked with Supermen and Superwomen.
"In my session I spoke about enterprise cloud analytics and how we can leverage analytics as a service," explained Ajay Budhraja, CTO at the Department of Justice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at 15th Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, Vice President, Product Strategy of LogMeIn's Xively IoT Platform, will show you how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
“We are starting to see people move beyond the commodity cloud and enterprises need to start focusing on additional value added services in order to really drive their adoption," explained Jason Mondanaro, Director of Product Management at MetraTech, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immediate and actionable interpretation of events as they happen. Another aspect concerns how to deliver data in a meaningful way, one that really delivers on what end-users need to maintain a competitive position in fast-changing markets.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gigaom Research has been named "Media Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, will also lead a Power Panel on the topic "Choosing the Right Cloud Option." Gigaom Research provides timely, in-depth analysis of emerging technologies for individual and corporate subscribers. Gigaom Research's network of 200+ independent analysts provides new content daily that bridges the gap between breaking news and long-range research.
“The Internet of Things is a wave that has arrived and it’s growing really fast. The concern at Aria Systems is making sure that people understand the ramifications of their attempts to monetize whatever it is they build on the Internet of Things," explained C Brendan O’Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect at Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the Internet of @ThingsExpo, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Internet of @ThingsExpo 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading IoT industry players in the world.
“About two years ago Brother launched a new group called Brother Online. We thought it was a good idea for a hardware company to get into the cloud services market and our first step into that market was web conferencing,” explained Courtney Behrens, Senior Marketing Manager at Brother International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
"So many teams have been stuck in their own practices for the last ten years and it's really hard to sell all the latest and greatest tools, but the reality is all the tools around operations have evolved so much you are starting to see a big shift toward upgrading that tool set, focusing more on automation, more on cloud," explained Dustin Whittle, Developer Evangelist at AppDynamics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the DevOps Summit, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City.
“We provide disaster recovery services as well as solutions. We also provide back-up solutions that work across your internal on-premise assets as well as in the public and private cloud," stated Joel Ferman, Vice President of Marketing at InMage Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo® (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com/), held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Harbinger Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Harbinger Systems is a global company providing software technology services. Since 1990, Harbinger has developed a strong customer base worldwide. Its customers include software product companies ranging from hi-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley to leading product companies in the US and large in-house IT organizations.
“Distrix fits into the overall cloud and IoT model around software-defined networking. There’s a broad category around software-defined networking that’s focused on data center, and we focus on the WAN,” explained Jay Friedman, President of Distrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the Internet of @ThingsExpo, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Internet of @ThingsExpo 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading IoT industry players in the world.
“Dell Cloud Manager is a cloud management environment for the consumption of cloud resources and we provide a consistent interface, both in terms of API and in terms of user interface for doing a wide variety of activities core to deploying and operating software in cloud," explained James Urquhart, Technologist & Director of Cloud Management Solutions at Dell, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.