DaaS Player Desktone Aims At Citrix With New Enterprise Apps5:50 PM EST Tue. Dec. 18, 2012
Desktone, a player in the desktop-as-a-service space, is branching out into application delivery in order to lure customers away from what it considers to be its main rival, Citrix Systems.
Desktone's application delivery service, launched earlier this month, provides access to Windows enterprise apps on mobile devices, such as an expense report on an iPad. This subset of functionality is for organizations that don't need full-blown Windows desktops, and it's all part of Desktone's goal of becoming a one-stop shop for all customer sizes.
Service providers -- Desktone's primary customer type -- are looking to expand their portfolios to application delivery in order to attract new business, Desktone CEO Peter McKay said in a recent interview.
"Slicing up options for workspace is becoming pretty common. It's all about cost -- you don't need to do all these full Windows desktops, or buy all the hardware," McKay told CRN. "You just need to ensure that the data is secure and permissions are granted to the right people."
Adding application delivery to Desktone's service provider platform, which also includes Windows Server RDS and terminal services, will make it an attractive alternative to Citrix XenApp, according to McKay.
"Citrix has a big installed base for XenApp, and some of the earlier versions are nearing end of life in 2013," McKay said. "Many will have to go through a significant architectural shift to upgrade to the next version, which is costly."
Citrix's Project Avalon, a platform that works with Amazon's cloud to deliver Windows desktops and apps in public, private or hybrid clouds, is another major shift that could drive Citrix customers to Desktone, McKay said.
Unlike Citrix XenDesktop, Desktone runs its platform on grid architecture and delivers desktops and apps from its own data centers, McKay said. Another advantage is multitenancy: Desktone can scale capacity up or down as needed, and its platform comes with built-in fault tolerance and high availability, he added.
Desktone has decided that Citrix, and not its partner, VMware, is an inviting and vulnerable target for it to attack. In a recent foray into guerrilla marketing, Desktone posted a video to YouTube that depicts the wizard Merlin trying to retrofit Citrix XenApp, XenDesktop and FlexCast for cloud delivery, describing these as "old-school enterprise applications."
Desktone also managed to lure "five or six" Citrix channel partners into the fold last quarter, McKay said. "Citrix partners are knowledgeable about VDI, which is a skill set that is hard to find. We train and enable partners to sell as a service," he said.
PUBLISHED DEC. 18, 2012