Nerdio makes an Azure management solution for MSPs, which extends from comprehensive IT-as-a-Service, through Desktops-as-a-Service down to basic Infrastructure-as-a-Service.
Cloud distributor Pax8 has announced a new partnership with Nerdio, an IT-as-a-Service software provider which is specifically focused on Microsoft Azure. The deal will see Pax8 distribute Nerdio for Azure, an offering which is specifically designed for MSPs.
Despite having a name that sounds like an app on an iPhone, Nerdio is plumbing – very useful plumbing. It is a brand of Adar, an MSP with an exclusive focus on hosted virtual desktop services, first with terminal services, then RDS, then VDI with VMware View. They productized their offering as a platform for use by other MSPs at the beginning of 2016, and created the Nerdio brand to take it to market. Nerdio for Azure came a year later, when the company decided to bring this capability to the public cloud. So they took the same model from the VMware stack, designed it specifically for Microsoft Azure, and brought it to market in 2017.
“They used to compete with DaaS [Desktop-as-aService] companies and now they compete with software companies,” said Ryan Burton, VP of Product Strategy at Pax8. “They are the software in front of Azure.”
Nerdio has honed its focus on the Azure market specifically, but what makes its offering more attractive to MSPs today is Windows Virtual Desktop.
“When we first started talking to them, they were focused on a virtual desktop play, and they had interest in us because they knew Pax8 was interested in DaaS as a category,” said Ryan Walsh, Chief Channel Officer at Pax8. “Two things specifically made this relationship happen. One was Microsoft’s support for Windows Virtual Desktop, and the other was Microsoft’s interest in encouraging Pax8 to help MSPs build a Microsoft cloud practice.”
“WVD just came out of public preview, and Nerdio has been working closely with Microsoft to build support for it,” Burton said. “You can use Nerdio’s tool to optimize Windows Virtual Desktop around pricing. It also makes sure that the partner can accurately post and quote, as well as deploy it. It lets them manage users and desktop profiles, and optimize underlying infrastructure as well. Nerdio is the orchestration and management layer with Azure and Office 365.”
The timing overall environment could not have been more ideal for this push, Burton stressed.
“The timing around the end of life on Windows 7 as well as on SQL 2008 couldn’t be better, as they force partners to upgrade to a new OS,” he said. “It provides an opportunity for us to show Windows Virtual Desktop as a better way to deploy the desktop to the user.” That fact that Microsoft actively supports this initiative – in stark contrast to virtual desktops in the past – aids this further.
“Nerdio has lots of competitors, but those competitors have designed their functionality for enterprise companies – not small MSPs,” Burton said. “In addition, everything in our market is standardized. Small businesses look the same. Enterprises have customization, but this market doesn’t. Nerdio has done a very good job of creating templates to manage small businesses quickly and easily.”
The MSP focus is critical, Walsh emphasized.
“That MSP focus resonates with this market. he said. “It tells the MSP that ‘we know what you do for a living and we built this tool to make you more successful’. That’s why we are so excited about the value proposition of this It makes MSPs lives easier and makes them more successful. MSPs say that you not only have to have a great product, but have to make my life easer when using it.”
Walsh said that Nerdio is an excellent complement to Pax8’s efforts to drive MSPs to develop Azure cloud practices, and adopt WVD.
“We simplify the billing and buying experience around this,” Walsh stated.
Nerdio’s first global distribution agreement was with Pax8 competitor SherWeb. That agreement also remains in force.