Nerdio CEO: ‘We Are Expanding Our Value-Add To Physical Endpoints’
‘MSPs’ have a point of view of one or a point of view of thousands,’ says Nerdio CEO and Co-Founder Vadim Vladimirskiy. ‘We‘re able to take that perspective and come up with very innovative solutions that partners will look at and say, ‘Wow, this is really transformative for my business.’
Microsoft Azure automation provider Nerdio has big plans for the future, and it’s not just helping MSPs with virtual endpoints and Azure. With the Nerdio Manager platform, the firm is now helping managed service providers and enterprise partners manage physical endpoints as securely as they do virtually.
“For every MSP who has X number of customers that are using Azure virtual desktop, there is another number of MSPs with a significant proportion of customers that are not using virtual desktop, but everyone is using a physical device,” Nerdio CEO and Co-Founder Vadim Vladimirskiy told CRN. “Those devices still need the same care. They need security, management, patching and application installations. They need all of the same requirements that you would normally apply to virtual devices.”
Chicago-based Nerdio held its third annual NerdioCon conference in Cancun, Mexico, this week and unveiled its 2023 road map along with added capabilities for Nerdio Manager for Enterprise and Nerdio Manager for MSP, which expands the company’s value-add and impact to its partners.
Vladimirskiy told CRN that the new capabilities are focused on the current needs of MSPs.
“Those needs have to do with adoption of Microsoft Intune primarily,” he said. “Microsoft Intune is being pushed or targeted towards MSPs, and it’s seen as fairly complex and overwhelming for MSPs. We are trying to repeat what we’ve done with Azure several years ago where we helped MSPs demystify, make it more cost-effective and easier to use in their own practice. I think Intune is ready for that as well.”
Nerdio Manager for Enterprise is a modern, unified management platform for Desktop as a Service and physical endpoints. New capabilities include Nerdio Unified Application Management , which aggregates Windows applications from a range of archives, delivers them across multiple Windows devices and reports on usage, performance and licensing; and Nerdio Advisor, which is a suite of technologies delivered in phases to estimate cost, simplify and automate deployment and recommends features based on usage patterns.
Nerdio Manager for MSP is a multitenant, workflow-powered cloud management platform that helps MSPs accelerate Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows 365 and Microsoft Intune deployments. New capabilities that will soon be rolled out include Unified Endpoint Management, which provides MSPs with single-pane-of-glass management for all Windows devices and applications leveraging Microsoft Intune; and Multi-Tenant and Cross-Tenant Management, which allows MSPs to manage multiple tenants and apply policies across customers.
CRN spoke with Vladimirskiy about how he plans for Nerdio to be an even greater value-add to its partners, how ever-changing technology is a challenge and what’s to come for Nerdio in the future.
How will Nerdio Manager for Enterprise help companies scale their business?
It really focuses on endpoint management. We started our journey with Azure virtual desktop, which was obviously the most complex thing when it first launched, and we were able to add value there. We‘ve since expanded into helping enterprises manage their Azure virtual desktops and Windows 365 cloud PCs all within one single pane of glass. Now we are expanding into physical endpoint management as well. So that means that IT teams within enterprises will have a single portal that they will be able to go and manage all of their Windows and non-Windows devices.
To get an application to a user, not only does it deliver the app, but as that app gets updated it keeps it updated on their device to make sure it‘s always patched and made secure. It can even test the application against upcoming patches or upcoming releases of Windows, so before someone gets the latest version, those systems will automatically produce a report saying that the upcoming version may or may not be compatible with these number of apps. Currently, IT admins have to deal with this and Nerdio Manager just tries to abstract that complexity and make it seamless and more automated.
What are your partners’ biggest pain points right now?
When we think about MSPs challenges, we kind of have four categories that we’ve identified. Number one, the management tool just isn’t designed for them. It’s sort of like working with Phillips screws using a flathead screwdriver. You can do it, but it’s just not convenient, it’s not efficient and it’s not easy to do. The second thing is the complexity and the rapid rate of change of Microsoft and other technologies. MSPs servicing their clients are also supposed to be technology gurus and always stay up to date on all of these things, and that’s just difficult. It‘s not part of their normal day job but they must do that in order to be successful. This rapid rate of change and complexity are a big challenge.
We also found that configurations of each customer in a customizable way is expensive. If you have one or two or three customers, it‘s manageable. But when you have 30 or 100, dealing with each one without those templates and standards that can be automatically applied and monitored becomes very labor intensive. Finally, we see a lot of risks that MSPs are taking. With cloud services, it’s consumption based, it’s pay for what you use. But if you don‘t use the right thing, or you buy more than you’re using than you’re charging your customer for, you’re carrying that risk. If you don’t monitor what you’re purchasing, what kind of licenses you are using, what types of servers are running, the customers are going to pay for it and you will pay for it. So you‘re putting your own health of your business financially at risk by not being very diligent about wrapping your mind around the entire customer’s state of cloud service.
Those are the four areas that we tried to help with. We provide a single pane of glass platform, we try to abstract the complexity, automate and standardize the deployment and configuration. We help MSPs with auto scaling and license optimizations, all sorts of technologies that help them.
You said in a statement that in 2023 you want to expand the company’s value-add for its partners. Can you double down on that?
If our existing value add was primarily around helping MSPs be more efficient and build better practices with Azure virtual desktop and Windows 365, than we are expanding that value add to not just virtual devices and virtual endpoints but physical endpoints as well. For every MSP who has X number of customers that are using Azure virtual desktop, there is another number of MSPs with a significant proportion of customers that are not using virtual desktop, but everyone is using a physical device. Those devices still need the same care. They need security, management, patching and application installations. They need all of the same requirements that you would normally apply to virtual devices.
We see that there‘s a huge opportunity for MSPs to use the Intune license that all of their customers, or a vast majority of their customers, are already paying for but they’re not using today. We‘re looking at a lot of that value and obviously adding a tremendous amount of business value to our partners as a result.
What is your biggest challenge right now?
It’s the rate of change of technology. We spoke about it from the MSP perspective but also as a technology vendor, being in between the MSP and Microsoft in many cases, and helping MSPs abstract that complexity…for us it’s keeping up with everything that‘s changing and maintaining that MSP perspective on things. The way we approach technology is we look at it from an MSPs’ point of view. When Microsoft releases X, Y and Z we think, ‘How would an MSP use that to make their service delivery better. How would they make more money on it and how do they sign up more customers as a result?’
Having people that have been in MSP shoes gives us more eyes and more feet on the ground to look at what’s changing in technology and have a MSP-based perspective. That’s kind of another challenge, is keeping up with the change and always making it relevant to MSPs in our own technology that we create on top of others.
What’s your top priority for 2023?
Growth. It’s ultimately growing the value that we deliver to our MSP partners and to our enterprise customers. As a result, it’s growing the company to bring on additional people that can help us reach more MSPs, more geographies, and help them grow their practice.
What can we expect to see from Nerdio for the rest of the year and into 2024?
I think for the rest of the year, and hopefully far beyond, is you’ll see a lot of innovation that continues to come from Nerdio. From a technology and product side of things, we’re always listening to what partners need. We’re always reacting to that directly, but we’re also taking a much broader view into solutions that partners haven‘t considered. They have a point of view of one or a point of view of thousands. We’re able to take that perspective and come up with very innovative solutions that partners will look at and say, ‘Wow, this is really transformative for my business.’