EXCLUSIVE: Barracuda partners with browser-based unified workspace vendor Awingu

The solution will be easy for partners to put together, and is available broadly through distribution, without requiring certification. It is available now for the Azure cloud, with further cloud support on the horizon.

Belgian-based Awingu, which makes a unified, browser-based workspace solution, has announced a new partnership with security vendor Barracuda Networks. It provides the channels of both companies with an easy-to-integrate combination of Barracuda’s NGFW and Awingu’s workspace solution to deliver apps to any device in a secure solution, hosted either on-prem or on the Azure cloud.

Awingu, based in Ghent, Belgium, was founded in 2011, and is active in 20 countries today.

“We are strongest in Europe, but we have established a presence in the U.S., mainly on the east coast at this point,” said Walter Van Uytven, Awingu’s CEO, “We are a unified workspace solution, with all files in the browser. We are a head-to-head competitor of Citrix, and while we are enterprise grade, our sweet spot is more the midmarket and SMB.”

“We made Gartner Cool Vendor status in Unified Workspaces, which gave us instant credibility,” said Arnaud Marliere, Awingu’s Chief Marketing Officer “Because we are browser-focused, there are no agents to install. Our solution is highly mobile, works on all devices which have a browser, and has strong security benefits. It’s also platform-agnostic, and easy to set up. Compared to Citrix it can also be up to 80 per cent less TCO, although 30-40 per cent is more typical in common use cases.”

Walter Van Uytven, Awingu’s CEO

Awingu doesn’t sell direct, and works with partners in North America through Tech Data and Ingram Micro, backed by a partner program to support the channel.  Their long-term strategic partners include HP Inc, a relationship which is focused on devices, IBM, which is focused around their cloud marketplace, Google, and Microsoft. Marliere also noted that the fact that both themselves and Barracuda are strong Microsoft partners was a key part in making this new relationship come to fruition.

“Being strong partners with Microsoft, particularly around Azure, was one of the things that brought us together,” he said.

The actual coming together was facilitated by Synergics, a Belgian solution provider who worked with both vendors.

“This channel partner brought both of us together,” Van Uytven said. “They were also heavily invested in Azure, and had customers who wanted to move to Azure with an Awingu Workspace. They pulled in a Barracuda NextGen firewall, to make a zero-touch hybrid cloud solution.”

Chris Hill, Director of Business Development EMEA at Barracuda

“We have already had several deployments where we have fit together,” said Chris Hill, Director of Business Development EMEA at Barracuda. “The progress we have put into developing our cloud solution has put us into a strong position, and Awingu was a really good fit with us. Using us together gives an advantage for resellers who embrace solutions, rather than just resell point products.”

“Everyone who sells Awingu should be selling it with a Barracuda firewall,” said Kristof Vanderstraeten, Sales Director for Public Cloud, EMEA at Barracuda. “It enables the right kind of control, the right kind of visibility, and the right kind of upsellability. This is ideally suited for a hybrid cloud market, and today the market is hybrid. 95 per cent of the business we have today is hybrid.”

Vanderstraeten also stressed that while Awingu is primarily in Europe today, and the deal originated in EMEA, this is very much an internationally-focused partnership, not just an EMEA one.

Kristof Vanderstraeten, Sales Director for Public Cloud, EMEA at Barracuda

“The announcement is international, not EMEA,” he said. “We have already done a deep dive in EMEA with partners, and will do one in the U.S, in January, outlining the first steps of execution and how we will expand this story. I see it as an early Christmas gift for the channel.”

Awingu is looking to the Barracuda partnership to expand their channel significantly, especially in the U.S. and Canada.

“Today, we have between 100-150 active partners, but we would like to expand that,” Van Uytven said. “We have made it as easy as possible for new partners to start selling us. Partners who have the ability to work with Windows Server will find this easy to set up. Any partner who works with Ingram or Tech Data can buy this, although obviously partners who are specifically certified on our product get bigger discounts.”

Today, the Barracuda-Awingu solution is designed for a hybrid on-prem and Azure solution, although the intention is to expand the clouds on which it will work.

“Microsoft is supporting it today, but we will be expanding to AWS, and maybe Google,” Vanderstraeten  said. “Expanding the clouds will expand the number of partners who sell this, and we want thousands of our partners to be selling this.”

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