ThinPrint looks to leverage Microsoft endorsement on Windows Virtual Desktop with new partner program

The German print management service provider was named a launch partner around Windows Virtual Desktop, and has designed the new program to assist partners to integrate their ezeep solution into technology and business workflows.

Henning Volkmer, ThinPrint’s President and CEO

Berlin-headquartered print management services provider ThinPrint, which was named a launch partner by Microsoft around Windows Virtual Desktop [WVD], has launched a sub-program specifically for Microsoft Cloud Service Providers [CSPs] to support the integration of their validated ThinPrint’s ezeep for Windows Virtual Desktop into their portfolios. The announcements were made last week at the Microsoft Inspire event in Las Vegas.

“Until now, we have had a traditional service provider program that encompasses Citrix and Microsoft service providers with Horizon View,” said Henning Volkmer, ThinPrint’s President and CEO. “With WVD, the landscape changes. There is now an option for certain partners to absorb the Azure consumption charges for customers directly, and get an itemized bill from Microsoft directly. That is a dynamic we can and should take advantage of.”

The ezeep serverless cloud printing solution, which ThinPrint picked up in a 2015 acquisition, is a key part of their mobile portfolio.

“We have a couple on-prem solutions that can support mobile scenarios as well, but the cloud architecture that supports ezeep is more useful for these types of devices,” Volkmer noted. “It was specifically built for a cloud type of environment.” Specifically, it is designed to be simple, even in complex environments with multiple devices, while also shepherding the user through the process instead of being left to figure things out on their own.

ThinPrint expects that the ezeep cloud printing solution’s selection by Microsoft as a Microsoft-preferred printing approach for WVD will stimulate considerable interest from Microsoft CSPs.

“We haven’t been identified as exclusive for this, but we also haven’t seen any others that do what we do,” Volkmer indicated. “Judging by how much work it involved, we hope we have a decent leg up.”

Volkmer said that they created the new framework as a sub-program of the broader partner program to simplify administration.

“It provides for a simplification and alignment around the new Microsoft ground rules that they are implementing with WVD,” he stated. “It simplifies the whole procedure for the partners. Given that WVD will be a global thing quickly, it allows us to simplify our program to provide support.

“We’ve yet to find a partner who enjoys doing paperwork,” Volkmer added. “We want to make sure that existing partners can fall in as simply as possible, rather than start with a new program.” That does mean that the program does not have its own specific enablement benefits, as these are part of the company’s overall partner program.

“There are, however, joint marketing activities we will do with partners around this,” Volkmer said. The program also provides a simple contract to regulate the framework conditions for the purchase of services and facilitate dynamic, consumption-oriented billing.

While there is a lot of interest by partners in WVD, Volkmer indicated that it was a little quiet at Inspire around their offering. He thought this was because it isn’t yet in General Availability, and won’t be until later in the year.

“Microsoft hasn’t yet drummed up all the activities yet, but there is strong interest, specially around solutions with lighthouse partners, like us, CloudJumper and IGEL,” he said.

“We hope that aside from commercial success, a year from now the entire Microsoft community and the new customers on WVD will look back on this as a worthwhile adventure, that they found the stacks really lined up well, and bring value to customers that they are looking for,” Volkmer said. “We hope that we find that we all did very well as a community, and came together as a community, and made all of this work.”

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