Yesterday Workspot announced an upgrade to their “Workspace as a Service” offering which includes using RDP to deliver Windows apps to Windows clients. Previously Workspot only had iOS and Android clients, so we put them in the “mobile workspace” category. But now that they have a Windows client (and a Mac OS X client coming soon), it’s looking like they’re shaping up to be a competitor to Citrix and VMware’s end user computing offerings.
What? Workspot? Who???
Let’s back up since there’s a good chance you never heard of Workspot. (Or maybe you ignored them since they were a mobile thing). I like to introduce the company like this: Their two cofounders are Amitabh Sinha and Puneet Chawla.
Amitabh Sinha (CEO) was Citrix’s GM of Enterprise Desktops and Applications. (Like, he literally owned XenDesktop and XenApp and was responsible for $1.4B in annual revenue for Citrx.)
Puneet Chawla (CTO) was at VMware for seven years, most recently in the office of the CTO focusing on EUC. He’s an old-school VMware guy and worked on their VDI initiatives since 2005. (Like even before they bought Propero.)
So when those two guys get together and say, “We think Citrix and VMware are getting VDI and EUC wrong, so we’re going to build a company to do it right,” that’s something you pay attention to!
While we’re talking staff, Workspot’s VP of Products is Rana Kanaan. She’s also from Citrix, having been VP of Product Management for the Desktop and Applications Group for over 8 years.
So… not a bad crew.
Seriously though. What’s Workspot?
Okay, so Workspot has a team worth paying attention to. But what do they do?
Workspot is a software company. They have a product that packages up Windows published apps, desktops, web apps, and files (CIFS, SharePoint, OpenText, HP/Autonomy iManage) and delivers them to Windows, iOS, and Android clients. (And again soon Mac OS X). On iOS and Android they also do device management and can push native apps.
So it’s kind of like XenDesktop, XenApp, Netscaler, Receiver, XenMobile, and Citrix Worx all rolled into one product.
Still… what’s the big deal, right?
The thing about Workspot is all of this is dead simple. You can do the whole thing in 60 minutes. Literally, from “I never heard of them,” to “My environment is done,” in an hour.
Workspot does all this with no servers or services in your datacenter. Sure, your file shares and RDSH app servers are in your datacenter. But there are no Workspot control servers or anything. That all runs from the cloud. (It’s the “control plane” in the cloud to use that trendy term.) They have all the built-in VPN and RSA and security blah blah… Their service runs on AWS and does not store user credentials, and none of your data or apps or connections flow through there. (You can read more about it in their PDF data sheet.)
Anyway, so Workspot is easy to use and it’s one environment that you can set up quickly. There are no servers to add to your current environment. They have reporting across the whole system, remote wipe, Splunk integration, a built-in VPN, and I guess all the rest of the stuff you’d expect.
And of course there’s the price. $12 per user per month for mobile-only clients (iOS/Android), or $15 per user per month if you also include Windows and OS X clients. So that’s $180 per year, versus what, like $700 per year for the whole Citrix stack?
I’m not saying that Workspot is going to win a feature-by-feature smackdown compared to Citrix or VMware. But man, in terms of base functionality that is super integrated, requires no additional on premises servers, can be setup in an hour (for everything) and costs a fraction of the whole Citrix or VMware stack? I’m paying attention…