Computer Products Corp. (CPC) expanded its relationship with cloud workspaces technology developer IGEL with the introduction of a new business unit devoted exclusively to bringing virtual desktop technology to customers.
CPC has had a long history with IGEL and given its expertise with both IGEL and Microsoft decided to build this new group, said Bruce Poor, president of business development and head of the Cincinnati-based solution provider‘s new IGEL Advantage Group.
While CPC has been focused virtual desktop infrastructure for years, the business took on new urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic, Poor told CRN.
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“Virtual desktops are back in people’s thought processes because of the pandemic,” he said. ”People are looking for better ways to work from home. But beyond that, Microsoft is expanding where people can run their workspace and showing it can be done from Azure.”
The creation of CPC‘s IGEL Advantage Group, however, goes beyond the new interest in virtual desktop infrastructure, Poor said.
“We really see no need for Windows desktops going forward,” he said. ”Microsoft in five years has converted its customers to Office 365, now Microsoft 365. I‘ll give them another three to five years to do the same with desktops as it did with Microsoft 365. And this process may accelerate with the current pandemic.”
As Microsoft is telling customers to move the desktop to the cloud, there‘s no longer a need to leave the desktop on the edge device, Poor said.
“We partner with IGEL to put its IGEL OS 11 on the edge device, which gives customers Microsoft 365 with full data protection, security and scalability,” he said. ”For Microsoft, the more users that move to Azure, the better. And IGEL makes the move faster and more secure.”
CPC is one of the first solution providers to form a separate group focused on IGEL, said Aaron Marcovy, CPC‘s chief marketing officer.
IGEL has expanded its technology beyond thin clients to get into virtual desktop infrastructure and WVD (Windows Virtual Desktop), Marcovy said. “That expansion made us comfortable with this new IGEL Advantage Group,” he said.
Within the group, CPC has people with Citrix Systems, VMware and Microsoft Azure certifications, Marcovy said. The solution provider also has a dedicated practice focused on technology from NoMachine, a developer of network-based computing technology, he said.
“NoMachine is focused on remote desktop products and is fairly common in graphics-heavy industries including gaming and CAD,” he said. ”And NoMachine is a partner with IGEL as well.”
CPC started in the early 2000s as the IGEL North American division, Poor said. It became independent after IGEL set up its own North American division in 2012 or 2013, he said.
IGEL CEO Jed Ayres said that his company has some big partners with large IGEL practices.
“But for a company like CPC to have an IGEL-focused group, and to call it out like this, is unique,” Ayres told CRN.
However, Ayres said, it may not be the last. “We‘re seeing hundreds of people go through IGEL University and getting certified,” he said. ”We’re seeing a lot of technical capabilities coming to market.”
Partners like CPC are important to IGEL given that the company depends on indirect channels for 100 percent of its revenue, Ayres said.
IGEL has been changing the perception that it is a thin-client company and is depending on partners to take its virtual desktop and cloud workspaces technologies to customers, he said.
“We are a software company, and there‘s all these services on the back end including deployment and integration,” he said. ”A year ago we brought on someone who built a very successful services business at IGEL and grew it to $10 million. And it all goes through the channel.”