NComputing on Thursday launched Office in a Box, a desktop virtualization bundle that includes software, licenses, hardware and peripherals that small and midmarket companies can use to get their backs up off the wall of the virtualization party.
One erroneous assumption companies make when deploying desktop virtualization is that the return on investment will be just as quick to arrive as it does when virtualizing servers. But as any solution provider will tell you, desktop virtualization typically costs more, and its ROI takes some time to materialize. This has slowed growth of the desktop virtualization market.
However, NComputing says its all-in-one approach can deliver the cost benefits of desktop virtualization in a much quicker time frame. "When you propose a desktop virtualization solution that's replacing incumbent PCs and tell the customer it costs more, that pauses the conversation. But we believe it has to cost less at the point of acquisition," said Jim McHugh, senior vice president of global marketing, in an interview.
With Office In a Box, NComputing pre-tests everything from software down to the keyboard and mouse, and it works with partners to add additional elements like network attached storage. This allows for easy deployment and management for SMBs, many of which are intrigued by the cost cutting potential of virtualization but have been spooked by the technical complexity.
According to McHugh, Office In a Box can reduce a customer's upfront PC acquisition costs by 75 percent, lower maintenance costs by 75 percent and cut power and cooling expenses by 90 percent. NComputing can achieve all this by hosting up to 30 individual users on each individual virtual machine.
This level of user density makes Office In A Box a compelling proposition not only for SMBs, but also for the educational market, which NComputing also serves through its Classroom In A Box offering, which hit the market in January.
"The reality is that they're not only saving on the power drain of machines, but also on things like HVAC and cooling systems," McHugh said. "Companies can take these savings and invest in other things that can make their office more productive, like higher bandwidth and new switches."
Office In A Box includes hardware as well as NComputing's vSpace virtualization software, and that allows partners to generate software margin while also offering the customer a tangible box, McHugh said. The product also plugs in nicely in VMware and Citrix environments. "You can start with Office In A Box, and when you need to scale, introduce vSphere on the server or View on the desktop. We integrate and scale up with that," he said.
CDW is one of NComputing's largest partners, and the company also sells products through Eplus and Tiger Direct, but McHugh said the company is looking to recruit virtualization savvy solution providers with VMware, Citrix and Microsoft backgrounds.