CRN Exclusive: IndependenceIT Releases Redesigned Cloud Workspace Suite

Workspace automation software platform developer IndependenceIT is releasing its newest cloud workspace suite with new features that make it easier for managed service providers to manage multiple clouds and scale application services.

"The new features are going to be huge time savers," said Jason Shirdon, vice president of operations for IndependenceIT partner and MSP Ease Technologies, based in Columbia, Md. "It is definitely going to reflect on the bottom line."

The new suite, Cloud Workspace 5.0, is the biggest update the company has undertaken since it became a software vendor in 2012, according to Seth Bostock, IndependenceIT’s CEO.

[Related: IndependenceIT CEO: Partners Can See A 50-Percent Margin With New Partner Program]

Sponsored post

The new version has a completely reworked user interface and user experience, with a new layout, menu structure and iconography that was designed to streamline the software's additional features and make it easier to use.

Along with its new look, the suite can now integrate with Microsoft Azure’s active directory and its software-defined data center self-service, allowing for closer integration with Microsoft following the success of Office 365 and the increasing number of built requests utilizing Azure components, according to Independence founder and CTO Chip Buck.

The new Workspace Suite also allows clients to manage multiple data centers from one place. In addition, it makes resource scheduling simpler by enabling providers to automate the availability of resources, providing more in certain instances; for example, if they’re called for in a service-level agreement, or fewer resources with scheduled shutdowns during periods of lighter demand.

IndependenceIT has also improved its app services in the new version by enabling customers to deliver an app or group of apps to multiple clients without the need for individual servers, a capability that also significantly improves scalability of apps.

Finally, Cloud Workspace 5.0 helps clients automate the cross-platform cloning of servers, while the number of defined users fluctuates, without the need to manually build servers to anticipate consumption.

Shirdon said Ease will save time and money because of the new application services in Cloud Workspace 5.0.

He said the ability to deliver one application to multiple clients allows him to save time on updates, which will now happen automatically with his clients.

"If we leverage this software correctly, I am going to be able to update 30 clients, essentially, with one guy doing it one time" he said, "as opposed to today, where we have to go and do that upgrade 30 times."

However, Shirdon said he’s most excited about the new software's ability to be data-center agnostic and enable his company to support clients using any cloud service.

Shirdon said that, for his business - which has differentiated itself as a vendor-agnostic provider - the ability to work with any cloud environment allows him to work with clients in the environment they’re most comfortable.

"This update takes it to a new level and allows us to look at the desktop in a new way and with a different audience, which could lead us to more managed services business as well," he said.

According to Buck, all of IndependenceIT's competitors are focused on providing services for their own solutions. But, with Cloud Workspace 5.0, solution providers will be able to be completely agnostic and "change lanes" seamlessly between data centers as they work.

"The multi-cloud … is one thing that we have, and having the service providers’ team be able to learn one set of actions that are common across all the different platforms is key for driving efficiencies, margin expansion and profitability in the business, and that is our biggest differentiator," Bostock said.

According to Billy Forte, CEO of Jacksonville, Fla.-based IndependenceIT customer Cloud Titan, the suite’s integration with Microsoft 365 holds "huge potential" for his business.

He said that with the active push that Microsoft is making into Office 365, tools to help solution providers such as himself integrate with Azure will make it easier to manage the space.

However, he said, the real value-add in this update is the higher automation that Workspace 5.0 is coming with.

"Really, it boils down to automation," he said," the more we can automate, the more we can reduce the cost of service."

Cloud Workspace 5.0 will automate server scaling and resource scheduling, changing the way that Cloud Titan uses cloud, Forte said. "Before, we were paying for time that wasn’t being used," he said, "but, now, we are able to schedule that time, and use what we need."

With the automation, Forte said he will be able to reduce staff and save the company money right away.

"This is totally different," Forte said, "This is taking our Desktop as a service and cloud workspace as a service to the next level."