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Anunta Tech’s DesktopReady Aims To Make MSPs’ Microsoft Azure Adoption ‘Really Easy’

MSPs can complement the virtual desktop offering with disaster recovery, monitoring and security, says Ashish Bambroo, chief revenue officer for Anunta DesktopReady, adding that Anunta has tried to price the offering so that SMBs, not just large enterprises, can adopt virtual desktop infrastructure.

Anunta Tech is investing in a white-label version of its DesktopReady virtual desktop offering with the goal of attracting MSPs that have been stumped on how to add Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop offering—and the Azure cloud overall—and market them to SMBs.

The version of DesktopReady focused on MSPs comes with two models: one a “turnkey DaaS” (Desktop as a Service) for MSPs that don’t have an Azure subscription yet and a “build-your-own DaaS” model for MSPs with an Azure subscription and some knowledge of Azure, Ashish Bambroo, chief revenue officer for Anunta DesktopReady, told CRN.

“The absence of that complete end-to-end service is one of the reasons why virtual desktops haven’t really been as popular of an investment in this space,” Bambroo said. “We have about a 400-strong VDI specialist team that have migrated close to about half a million desktops.”

[Related: The 10 Hottest Microsoft Azure Tools Of 2021 (So Far)]

The DesktopReady for MSPs offering, built on Azure Virtual Desktop, aims to increase profitability for MSPs through monthly recurring revenue, boost cybersecurity, enable hybrid work for customers and improve compliance to meet federal privacy laws. Anunta—which is based in Mumbai and has offices in Gaithersburg, Md., and Austin, Texas—is also growing its on-boarding, migration and training capabilities for MSPs. It has an advisory council of MSPs and even offers calculator tools for transparency around the cost of adoption.

Bambroo said MSPs can complement the virtual desktop offering with disaster recovery, monitoring and security. Anunta has also tried to price the offering so that SMBs, not just large enterprises, can adopt virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

On Microsoft’s latest earnings call in July, CEO Satya Nadella highlighted new Azure migrations from Campbell Soup, L’Oreal and SAP. “All this innovation is driving larger and more strategic Azure commitments from industry leaders,” Nadella said on the call.

“This is absolutely a big SMB play,” Bambroo said. “VDI has been there in the enterprise for the last 10-plus years. It has been more difficult to get it into the SMB primarily because an SMB doesn’t have the capability to stitch it together.”

Microsoft reported $17.4 billion in sales in its intelligent cloud segment, up 30 percent year over year, driven by Azure revenue growth of 51 percent.

In February, research firm Gartner reported that the number of DaaS users is expected to grow by more than 150 percent between 2020 and 2023.

“One of the major reasons behind this growth will be the need to set up cost-effective secure remote working spaces for organizations embracing the benefits of distributed work,” according to the report. “Historically, DaaS was often considered an IT cost-saving measure for organizations—a business case that failed 80 percent of the time. However, the pandemic brought a simple and compelling need: Organizations needed to keep working but with staff at home and using a range of devices. DaaS provided a secure and scalable solution.”

Gartner published its “Market Guide for Desktop as a Service” in June, reporting that the DaaS market is expected to grow 68 percent in 2021 and 253 percent between 2021 and 2024. By 2024, 80 percent of all virtual desktops will be DaaS, up from 30 percent today, according to the report.

Despite all the potential in virtual desktops, Anunta DesktopReady Director of Channels and Partnerships Jeffrey Smith said that virtual desktops have been “out of the reach of a lot of MSPs.”

“They’ve got enough other things on their plate,” he said in an interview with CRN. “We’re trying to make it really easy for them to take that, provide all the services. You own the customer. You take care of the customer.”

Bambroo said he recognizes that virtual desktops are still out of reach for some companies. For now, Anunta DesktopReady sees it main user base as professional services, law firms, doctors offices, financial services, health-care providers and similar industries.

When asked about margin, Bambroo said “we want the MSPs to add value on top of what we are doing, so we don’t want to set the price.”

He also said he doesn’t view Microsoft’s Windows 365 Cloud PC products, recently made generally available, as competitive.

“In the near term there will be some confusion in terms of where does it end and where do we start” for MSPs, he said. “And I think that’s where companies like us come into play.”

One of DesktopReady’s earliest MSP adopters is MK Tech Group, a Microsoft partner based in Coral Springs, Fla. CEO Matt Kinsey said that a customer’s request for a complete virtual environment made him realize he needed to invest more in his Azure offerings. He liked DesktopReady’s simplicity and the responsiveness of the DesktopReady team.

“It was their services that made it very easy for me to get everything done,” Kinsey told CRN in an interview. “I didn’t have to go through and do all the back end.”

As Anunta continues to add capabilities to DesktopReady, Kinsey said he hopes the company doesn’t make the product too complex. For now, MK Tech Group is happy to manage through Anunta and “make it a full white-glove fully supported process rather than me doing it myself” until it is better versed in Azure.

“That’s the option that is attractive to me, frankly, based on the size of the company we’re at because we’re still learning the Azure environment,” he said.

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