The cloud desktop services market has another competitor. This week, cloud communication and networking services provider Appia Communications entered the growing desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) market with its own flavor of offering.
Within its new services offering, Appia is providing customers with cloud desktops based on Microsoft (MSFT) Windows 7, but the company also noted it can include Microsoft Office, hosted Exchange, free applications such as Adobe Reader and various browsers, and line of business applications such as accounting apps. It's also providing customers with file, print, domain and storage servers, as well as secure backup.
"We believe that small and midsize companies and organizations will be moving desktops to the cloud, just as they have moved their phone services," said Victor von Schlegell, Appia's president, in a prepared statement. "Both save capital and operating dollars and free up IT staff to focus on more mission-critical projects. In addition, cloud desktops provide much better security since data are stored in the cloud, not locally."
That's one of the many benefits of cloud, of course. And with more organizations entering the DaaS space lately. Amazon Web Services (AWS) threw its name into the hat in November 2013, essentially declaring war on Microsoft, VMware, Citrix and many other DaaS providers. VMware bolstered its own DaaS offerings by acquiring Desktone in October 2013 and has since launched its new Horizon DaaS offering.
Distributors are also getting into the business through various partnerships with cloud services providers. Arrow added independenceIT's DaaS offerings to its ArrowSphere marketplace last month.
And there likely will be others entering the space or expanding their existing DaaS offerings in the next several months. It's a service many small- and medium-business (SMB) customers are considering, and it's something cloud services providers and channel partners can provide.
According to von Schlegell, "The experience of working from a cloud desktop is just like working from a local desktop or laptop. But people can also work from smartphones and tablets, which enables much greater mobility."