Flexxible IT introduces FlexxDesktop DaaS solution

FlexxDesktop builds on Flexxible’s long experience in the VDI market, and provide a subscription-based offering that covers data centres, the edge, and any cloud.

Pete Downing, Flexxible IT’s CMO

Ft. Lauderdale-based Flexxible IT has announced the release of FlexxDesktop, a Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solution. The company has been selling VDI for years, and has had service offerings before, but this is their first modern one under the Flexx brand, and they believe it is well positioned to succeed in the DaaS market.

Flexxible IT is a long-time player in the VDI space, starting out in the U.K. in 2002, before moving their headquarters to the U.S more recently.

“We started originally providing low cost VDI for SMB, then became focused on simplifying the management paradigm for VDI to make sure they are up and running and easily deployed,” said Pete Downing, Flexxible IT’s CMO. “The big move there was in 2018, with the introduction of Citrix Ready Smart Workspaces, which enhanced Citrix Workspaces to better manage and enable the core Citrix VDI environment. In 2019 we launched our Apps2Digital service in Azure to let customers assess and manage applications for remote working. We have become very focused on app modernization to a completely different back end.  Now we are introducing FlexxDesktop as-a-Service, our first DaaS offering under the DaaS brand, although what is now known as DaaS has been part of our business since 2008 – really, before its time.”

There are lots of DaaS offerings in the market, but Downing said Flexxible IT believes that they have a differentiated service.

“Gartner has a market guide for Daas, which last came out on June 21,” he indicated. “They break DaaS into three buckets. The first is client-defined, where the client owns the stack above the control plane, the network, and application user image. The second is vendor defined – everything from the image up. The third is fully managed. We are between 2 and 3 but we aren’t locked into a specific cloud or a specific vendor. We are fully focused on Azure, but we also support AWS. We also aren’t afraid of on-prem and edge computing.”

Downing said that VDI vendors have been forced to make products subscription based, which means that customers have had to re-evaluate their digital workspace strategy.

“We aren’t looking to replace the brokering and display layers of VMware and Cirix,” he stressed. We are looking to put a pay-as-you-go layer underneath those layers, to take advantage of the fact that the pandemic has driven customers to embrace the hybrid work paradigm.”

FlexxDesktop is thus sold through a subscription pricing model, enabling OPEX pricing while still supporting on-prem data centres, and providing a simplified management architecture for any cloud or data centre that lets them use any vendor, their data centre, their edge, and any cloud.

“While the subscription itself is common now, we have two things that are different, Downing said. “We have two pieces to our stack, the on-prem piece – compute and networking – that’s pay as you go. On the cloud side it’s pay as you grow as well. The other is that there is no upfront investment from the customer, and no multi-year lock in, just a one year commit. We also have a great partnership with Equinix, so we can run our stack in their data centres throughout the world.”

The target market for FlexxDesktop starts in the lower midmarket and goes up from there.

“It’s best suited for 1000 seats and higher – from the commercial market up to the enterprise, including public sector and federal,” Downing noted.

Flexxible IT’s channel is important, but it is select.

“In the U.S., we have 15 plus, with a notable one being Kyndryl [which spins out of IBM next week] since our inception,” Downing indicated. “It’s better to have focused partners who want to work with you than try to manage too many partners. I would rather have 10 to 20 quality partners.” He did encourage good Canadian partners to reach out to him, however.

Downing emphasized that FlexxDesktop fits well into a partner’s portfolio today.

“Hardware margins are so low now, that it’s easier to make money by offering as-a-service,” he said. “We can help them build a DaaS offering that’s cost-friendly to both them and their customer base.”