NComputing looks to drive North American business in 2019 on both enterprise and SME fronts

At Citrix Summit this week, NComputing will be displaying a new device, the RX-HDX+, to strengthen their enterprise platform, and is looking to make major gains this year in the enterprise, with strategic partner Citrix, as well as in the SME space, with an aggressive push of their Verde offering into the MSP market.

Richard Sah, NComputing’s CTO

Desktop virtualization vendor NComputing is positioning itself for aggressive growth in 2019, with a strong focus on improving their positioning in North America. Last year, they were heavily involved in the development and rollout of the Citrix Ready Workspace Hub solution, their RX-HDX offering. They expanded their enterprise proof-of concepts [POCs] around this last year, and are looking to see strong adoption and channel pickup going forward. To this end, they have announced a new device, the RX-HDX+, which adds 5Ghz WiFi connectivity and gigabit ethernet and is based on the Raspberry PI 3+ platform. The enterprise is only one of NComputing’s market focuses however, and while the others have more recently been stronger outside of North America, they are looking to make a major push in both North America and EMEA in the SME space through selling their Verde offering through managed service providers.

“We have solutions for three markets,” said Richard Sah, NComputing’s Chief Technology Officer. “Our vSpace desktop virtualization platform was our bread and butter, and is now more of an Asia play, aimed at low cost computing environments. This focus emerged after Google Chromebooks came to dominate the education sector in North America, and we and the other VDI vendors all lost market share in the education space there. However, for the session-based market, adding Remote Desktop Protocol [RDP] as another use case is significant. In addition, Verde, which we acquired in 2017 and which is focused more on the SME market, is getting some traction. We are looking at growing Verde through the MSP market, and entering North America and EMEA.”

The focus at Citrix Summit however is on the enterprise. NComputing has been partnered with Citrix in this market since 2012, and deepened this relationship last year around Workspace Hub.

“The larger enterprise market is dominated by VMware and Citrix,” Sah said. “Our strategy is to closely partner with Citrix, and we have worked with them closely on Workspace Hub, on which we were a founding design partner. With Citrix in the enterprise, we will continue to focus on the adoption of the Workspace Hub initiative.”

Sah emphasized that Workspace Hub is more than just a traditional thin client device.

“It opens up some really innovative use cases based on Citrix beyond the traditional thin client market, such as proximity applications and IoT integrations,” he said. “We work closely with Citrix as an enabler, and their stack sits on top of our thin client solution. We are focusing on the growth opportunity in the Citrix space. The commitment we have made to them is very large, making sure Workspace Hub is capable is being used by the user community. There are hundreds of thousands of Citrix devices and a high level of interest in this. We are finding new use cases as well, such as in health care, having these low wattage devices sit on carts on wheels in hospital. They also provide an opportunity for doctors and nurses to do session roaming in Workspace apps.”

NComputing’s channel has been comparatively slow off the market with Workspace Hub, but Sah expects to see a major change there in the year ahead.

“It always takes longer for the channel to come into play with new technology,” he said. “They want to see the demand first. We have 70 POCs running now, and have had 100 in the last few months, which is demonstrating that demand. We are looking on Workspace Hub as a very large growth opportunity for the channel in 2019. They don’t see it just as a hardware sale.”

David Valentino, NComputing’s VP of Enterprise Sales

“These successful POCs are starting to roll out in higher volumes, and they are critical in the enterprise, because they don’t just roll out 10,000 devices at once,” said David Valentino, NComputing’s VP of Enterprise Sales. “This year, we are well positioned to start looking at high volume deployments because the customers have gone through their early process with the POCs. Citrix and Citrix partners are key to our success here.

“Customers say that part of the advantage of Workspace Hub is the ROI,” Valentino added. “They say that they spend between 25 and 35 per cent of their costs on end devices currently, and they want to reduce that. We enable that, to provide them with more budget and more money. We are also drastically reducing their set up times. In conference rooms, we can get their session up and running with Workspace Hub in a few seconds as opposed to 20-30 minutes.”

“The endpoint cost is a third of the traditional thin client, and we can provide a 70 to 80 per cent saving in the endpoint budget in terms of service and overall maintenance,” Sah said.

Verde is the focus of NComputing’s Desktop-as-a-Service [DaaS] efforts.

“We aren’t seeing adoption here in the large enterprise space,” Sah said. “Some are dipping their toes in, but the large majority of enterprise customers still do on prem because of their investment and the number of employees involved. “We believe that Verde will be the key to our DaaS strategy moving forward. SME is a stronger market for this, and we are focused on the MSP play here, enabling MSPs to offer it to their customers. It is easy to provision, and easy to set up.”

Verde, like the vSpace session-based platform, has also been strongest in price-competitive geos.

“The principal initial focus with Verde has been Japan, Korea and Latin America, where price for VDI is very sensitive, and where they don’t need a whole lot of customization,” Sah said. “We are now moving back to the US and Europe, focusing on MSP enablement.”

While RX300 remains NComputing’s flagship VDI product, and serves the vSpace market, NComputing recently supplemented that with a new RX-RDP device, which is aimed more at customers using Microsoft Remote Desktop Services as well as Verde, and which Sah said also has strong promise in the North American market.

“Our main target audience for RX-RDP is solution providers focused on Microsoft ecosystem, and their SME customers,” he indicated. “We think that will make a lot of noise, and will be a strong channel play in both North America and EMEA. A third of thin client customers are primarily using the RDP protocol.”