New hosted desktop service aims to bypass IT departments

WeWorkEverywhere delivers Microsoft desktop through the cloud.

Cloud storage

IT consultancy firm Northdoor has launched a new service that combines Windows Azure and Citrix technology to deliver hosted desktops to SMBs.

Dubbed WeWorkEverywhere, the offering is a new brand as well as a new service, according to Richard Reggel, Head of Cloud Services at WeWorkEverywhere.

"The message we are taking to market is not for IT departments (Northdoor's traditional audience), it is SMB ... [and] business user focused," he said. 

Reggel said Northdoor had previously turned down SMBs wanting to procure a hosted desktop service from the organisation as it was "very expensive".

However, due to the level of interest received, the company decided "to bring to market something that makes it very easy to go to the cloud."

"Quite often [the cloud] is out of reach for SMBs because of resource limitations," said Reggel.

Reggel explained that it had used Windows Azure for the back end of the WeWorkEverywhere product as Northdoor has a longstanding, strong relationship with Microsoft. On the front end, the offering uses Citrix XenApp to deliver the desktop to the customer on any device, from tablets to desktop PCs.

WeWorkEverywhere technical architect Dominic Green was, however, keen to note that the service is currently a hosted desktop, rather than a virtual desktop.

"It is a server-based hosted solution skinned to look like a desktop," he said, stating issues around desktop OS licensing prevented the delivery of a virtualised offering for now.

"In the future, we would love to run a proper VDI, but the argument that was put to us is why would [Microsoft] give up a $4 billion per year revenue stream?" Green said.

The offering costs 35 per user per month, with the option of adding Office for 10 per month and/or mail, also for 10 per month.

When asked if the firm was worried about competition from the recently launched Amazon Workspaces proposition from AWS, which costs $35 (21.35), Reggel said: "Once you start looking at adding in [things like] SPLA licences and other things you get with WeWorkEverywhere, Amazon's prices get closer to ours."

The offering is available immediately.

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