Flexxible IT launches new SMB-focused hybrid cloud virtual workspace appliance

UK-based Flexxible IT has been focused on Europe, but has opened a US office with ex-Appsense channel chief Jim Airdo running the North American business.

Sebastian Prat, Flexxible IT’s CEO

Today at Citrix Synergy, UK-based Flexxible IT is launching a hybrid cloud appliance to provide ready-to-use virtual workspaces for SMBs using the Citrix stack. The company is combining its product launch with a drive into the North American market, where the new offering will be the feature product. They have opened an office in Fort Lauderdale, and hired Jim Airdo, most recently Vice President of Global Channel Sales at Appsense, to run their North American operation.

Flexxible IT has been in the market for years – since 2002 – but has been focused on larger companies until now. Their Flexxible|VDI System is a high-end product that goes to market through an integrator channel. It scales up to 50,000 VDIs and includes multi tenancy with multi-tier, multi-domain, billing, and centralized administrator/orchestrator web shell.

“We have 500 clients, which include some of the big names in Europe, and In Europe we are strong and one of the top companies,” said Sebastian Prat, Flexxible IT’s CEO.  “Our business has been high end, but with the the Flexxible|SMB Cloud Hybrid Appliance, we are targeting a market no one else has. In North America, we will be targeting a market that goes from 50 users to about 800 users.”

Other efforts have been made in the past to bring the Citrix stack to SMBs, without a great deal of success. Prat said that this appliance will get it right by giving the SMB market both the right price and the right performance.

“We have done a lot of research on this, and have focused on providing full automation, as well as a good user experience, and a good price, which we are trying to keep as low as possible,” Prat indicated. “This is a huge market to cover with plenty of needs, and we take away all the obstacles such as price and complexity that slow the sales motion into small business. We are ready to attack that market.”

The validated Citrix Ready solution combines SDI (shared desktops), Apps and VDIs. It comes pre-integrated with the hypervisor, Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop, Windows 10, Windows 2016, Microsoft Azure Overflow, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Azure Backup and NetScaler. Services are managed through the Flexxible|VDI OS.

“We have automated the whole daily task that the users have to do,” Prat said. Deployment takes only 30 minutes, after answering prompted configuration choices. With two clicks the service deploys a new Template with Windows 7 or Windows 10 or Windows 2008 R2 or Windows 2012 R2 or Windows 2016.

“We have also completely automated the deployment of Office 365,” Prat added. As with the initial configuration, Office 365 is automatically deployed by answering prompted questions. The solution also has a centralized web console for managing the virtual workplace stack.

“We were an HCI company, and are now using HCI with our software to automate the whole stack,” Prat said. “The HCI is only one part of our system. We are deploying all the Microsoft and Citrix stack in less than two hours. That’s a huge differentiation that makes life better for IT and the client.”

Six capacity sizes are available, ranging from 50 to 400 users in a single unit and stackable to scale to 2,000 users. Three OEM servers are available — Dell, HPE and SuperMicro.

While Flexxible IT sells entirely through channel partners, and will sell that way in North America, their channel will start out relatively select considering the scale of the SMB market the company is addressing.

“Initially we will focus on a few dozen partners, and will deal direct with them,” Prat said. “Eventually we will need to spread out the operation more, but right now we need to create demand.”