Azure Virtual Desktop: Partner Opportunity and MSP Growth Strategies
An overview of Microsoft's VDI offering, the opportunity for partners and strategies for scaling into a broader MSP model.
Azure Virtual Desktop is Microsoft’s cloud VDI solution with centralized security, management, and scalability built-in.
It’s an efficient and flexible approach to desktop virtualization without compromising control.
Azure Virtual Desktop works across your devices and apps, with full-featured experiences for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. The web client also allows you to access your remote desktops and apps from almost any modern browser.
- Set up Azure Virtual Desktop (formerly Windows Virtual Desktop) in minutes to enable secure remote work. Provide the familiarity and compatibility of Windows 11 with the new scalable multi-session experience for your end users and save costs by using existing eligible Windows licenses.
- Access Windows 10 and Windows 11 desktop and applications from virtually anywhere Bring your own device (BYOD) and access your desktop and applications over the internet using an Azure Virtual Desktop client such as Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, or HTML5.
- Choose the right Azure virtual machine (VM) to optimize performance and leverage the Windows 10 and Windows 11 multi-session advantage on Azure to run multiple concurrent user sessions and save costs.
- Leverage the seamless Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Office experience – Provide employees with the same experience they’d have on a local desktop or laptop—whether they’re managing their inbox with Outlook, sharing files in OneDrive, or collaborating with colleagues on Microsoft Teams.
- Modernize your Citrix and VMware virtual desktop infrastructure – Maximize your investments and skills by integrating Azure Virtual Desktop into existing desktop and app virtualization environments with Citrix DaaS for Azure and VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.
- Remote app streaming – Remote app streaming allows you to run your app in Azure and stream it to a remote device. Use Azure Virtual Desktop for app streaming to create a low-latency, high-performance user experience from virtually anywhere on any device.
Forrester offers this report for the ROI of Microsoft’s Azure VDI:
- A three-year 210 percent return on investment and payback on the initial investment in as little as three months.
- Reduced IT costs for maintenance, deployment, and management by 59 percent.
- Reduced VDI licensing and infrastructure costs by up to 34 percent.
- Increased productivity by up to 22 person-hours through improved security response, connectivity, and user onboarding.
The partner site provides an overview of the program for VDI partners, and on their partner blog Lisa James, Senior Partner Strategy Manager for Virtual Desktop, describes the GTM campaign resources available to support channel sales of VDI solutions, including:
- A VDI Specialization. Become certified in this competency. By earning an advanced specialization, partners gain access to associated benefits that help expand their customer reach and drive customer confidence in their validated capabilities.
- The Partner Marketing Center (PMC) campaign includes assets such as an introduction, sales guides, pitch deck, and infographics. Download the assets and use them to educate your sales team and integrate into customer campaigns to generate leads.
- Accelerate adoption with Azure Immersion Workshop for Azure Virtual Desktop. These partner presented workshops help multiple customers develop their understanding in one-day workshops on Azure Virtual Desktop which include detailed hands-on labs.
- The Azure Virtual Desktop partner forum – As a valued partner of Microsoft and Azure Virtual Desktop, you will get to hear from the partner community on product updates, offers and hear from other partners on how to improve and accelerate your Azure Virtual Desktop journey.
An example of a customer opportunity use case scenario is the Modernize VDI to Azure Virtual Desktop SMB & ENT journey, a campaign providing resources addressing the partner opportunity and infographic materials for showcasing the service and it’s potential for enabling virtual working scenarios.
This knowledge base series covers the comparison between Azure VDI and Windows 365.
MSP Business Builder
VDI is an ideal component for an overall Azure MSP strategy, where partners help customers migrate the entirety of their IT estate to the Cloud, a journey Microsoft addresses through their Migration and Modernization Program.
Vendors like Nerdio offer an accelerating platform for expanding into this strategy.
This includes VDI tools such as automated VDI image management, one of the most important and complex tasks in Azure VDI. This allows AVD admins to automatically activate a staged image after a preset number of days while retaining the old image as a backup (or not) to easily revert back to, and Staging allows admins to test newly updated images before deploying them into production.
Furthermore as this blog describes Nerdio is positioning themselves to enable partners to expand into the broader suite of Microsoft services.
They’re expanding beyond virtual desktops and going more into holistic endpoint management, application management, security and other cloud workloads to create a unified cloud management platform for an MSP to build their entire practice on top, as well as moving beyond Azure and infrastructure to Intune, and building in identity management, security and Microsoft 365 management.