Now that WVD has launched, enterprise print management vendor ThinPrint expects to see gradual but inexorable demand for eZeep for WVD, backed by Microsoft’s support for WVD generally and ThinPrint specifically, as their printing launch partner.
Berlin-headquartered print management services provider ThinPrint, which is Microsoft’s exclusive launch partner for WVD printing, has announced the availability of ezeep for Windows Virtual Desktop [WVD], their Azure-based cloud printing platform designed specifically for WVD.
“This is really exciting, and the next couple weeks will be even more exciting,” said Henning Volkmer, ThinPrint’s President and CEO. “There was an initial wave of excitement around desktop back in the first couple of years of ThinPrint, and this feels very similar. It’s a very exciting solution into a market that customers have a lot of interest in. It feels like we are on the cusp of a big thing.”
WVD runs Windows 10 exclusively in the Azure cloud, with the result being that all printers, including network printers, become remote printers. eZeep for WVD is the only print solution for Windows 10 multi-session desktops hosted on Azure, with the ezeep Print App being installed on the WVD instances and eZeep fully integrated into the Azure directory. For connectivity, an ezeep Connector is installed on users’ computers, on print servers or on the ezeep Hub print appliance. When a user logs in with their Azure access credentials, they can immediately use all printers assigned to them, from any device.
Volkmer said that the boom won’t happen overnight, but they expect it to come.
“Windows Virtual Desktop is not something that we believe is going to bring a big shift now of people shifting from on-prem to cloud,” he stated. “That will happen over time. But partners in the Virtual Desktop space have a lot of knowhow to answer questions around this, so this positions them well – that while this solution is new, they know how to do this, so that it becomes easier to move into the cloud. That’s a really fantastic story for the marketplace.”
Volkmer indicated that Microsoft rolled out the WVD launch differently than many expected.
“Most thought that the General Availability would be earlier and on a different scale,” he said. “They thought it would launch in North America or even the U.S. first, and come to the rest of the world a while later. Instead, everyone now has access. In the US, the market in general has used the time very well. We have seen a lot of interest in WVD. Some partners are still trying to figure out what their offerings are, and how they can be of most benefit. With cloud, there’s a fear in the channel space that the customer can just buy stuff online. While that’s technically true, the cloud also reshapes how people work, and opens new opportunities.”
To better enable Microsoft CSPs, ThinPrint announced a new sub-program back at the Microsoft Inspire event in July to support the integration of ThinPrint’s ezeep for Windows Virtual Desktop into CSPs’ portfolios.
“We haven’t had a ton of new partners sign up for it so far, but we have had a lot of conversations,” Volkmer said. “We expect that the next couple of weeks going into Microsoft Ignite, where the end user community will learn more, will be busy. We expect to move from conversations about what we should be doing, to actually doing it. That’s a normal process, which should ideally translate into sales.”
Microsoft’s strong support for WVD – a significant change from their past perspective on end user computing – is the key here, Volkmer said.
“Microsoft’s commitment is really important in making this a mainstream application,” he said. “We have always seen companies like Citrix and VMware bring desktop and virtual applications to the enterprise, but this really will take it to the broad business community. They will have much easier access to the whole story. If Microsoft says ‘this is how things should be done,’ it carries a lot of weight – more so than even when large companies like VMware tell that story.”