VDI Vendor Workspot Promotes Tompkins to CEO

Founder Amitabh Sinha moves from CEO to chief strategy officer to develop AI for the Workspot VDI platform.

Dave Raffo, MSP News Editor

April 25, 2024

4 Min Read
Workspot VDI gets lift with new CEO

Workspot has promoted Brad Tompkins to CEO, eight months after he joined the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) platform vendor as president and COO to revamp its sales strategy.

Tompkins replaces founder Amitabh Sinha, who will take on Workspot’s chief strategy officer role and incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into its VDI product. Tompkins joined Workspot from enterprise endpoint OS vendor Igel Technology, where he held several sales roles over six years. He previously worked at Red Hat, HPE, Citrix, Wyse and other companies.

Since joining Workspot in August, Tompkins has helped it transition from a managed service provider to an enterprise platform sold to MSPs. Competition from Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) was part of the reason for the new Workspot VDI go-to-market strategy.

“Workspot has changed dramatically in the last year,” Tompkins said. “Our product was basically an MSP product before that. We built our own cloud-native control plane and went to customers and said, ‘You give us your workloads; we’ll manage your IaaS, and we’ll send you a bill.’

WorkSpot's Brad Tompkins

“Then along came AVD. And the biggest difference there is that it says Microsoft at the top of the building. And that was going to be a kind of a tough road for Workspot. Now, we still feel like we have a better product than AVD. But the decision was made − rightfully − to stop being the MSP,  take what we build, and sell it as a platform.”

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The shift from being an MSP to selling to MSPs required a revamp of the Workspot go-to-market operation. After Tompkins came aboard, he brought on a sales team with experience selling enterprise platforms and built up the channel. He said go-to-market remains his No. 1 priority.

“We didn’t really have a channel when I came aboard,” he said. “As an MSP, there was nothing for our channel to do. There was no value-add situation.”

Mike Strohl, CEO of service provider e360, said Tompkins has made positive changes since joining Workspot last August.

e360's Mike Strohl

“I’m especially pleased to see the progress that has been made regarding Workspot’s channel program,” Strohl said. “Its new structure demonstrates Workspot’s move to a ‘channel first’ company and I look forward to continuing to grow our business together.”

Tompkins said he wants Worskpot to become 100% channel.

“When I was at Igel, we had not $1 of direct sales; ultimately, I’d like to get there,” he said. “I’m not sure how long it’s going to take but we just launched a true viable channel program in January.”

While AVD played a role in Workspot’s go-to-market shift, it’s not the main competition in VDI. Citrix and VMware Horizon dominate the market that Workspot competes in. Tompkins said Workspot VDI does well in the ACE (architecture, engineering, construction) vertical because it can make 3-D CAD files look local. He said that tells him Workspot can win on performance. He also sees its multicloud and hybrid cloud capability and the ability to get up and running faster than competitors as strengths of the Workspot VDI platform. Workspot has a strong partnership with Google and runs in all three major public clouds, as well as on-premises.

“When we go up against Citrix and VMware, we’re not going to win every deal; we get that,” he said. “Some IT professionals have built their entire careers on Citrix and Horizon. But when we get an at-bat and show them how easy it is to use and how fast it is to set up … and we also have observability built right into the product natively.”

Workspot VDI Road Map Includes AI, ML

Tompkins said the 170-person company is not yet profitable but enjoyed 20-times growth in new software annual recurring revenue and two-and-a-half-times growth in transactional profitability last year. He said the company will probably seek funding next year “because we want to put gasoline on the fire. And I don’t want to wait however many months it’s going to take for us to become EBITA neutral or positive.”

Workspot founder Sinha will continue to play a key role for the company. Sinha, who helped XenDesktop at Citrix, is working on adding artificial intelligence and machine learning to Workspot, particularly its observability and data modelling capabilities. 

“We’re not going to just put the word AI in front of our product just to have it there,” Tompkins said. “It's going to have to be meaningful, and it's going to have to actually do something. We don’t have it yet because we don’t have it yet. We don't have a way to integrate it in a way that's not just a marketing ploy. We want it to be meaningful to our customers. That is the charter for Amitabh now.”

Sinha said he is happy to turn control of the company over to Tompkins.

“I'm thrilled to hand over the reins to Brad as Workspot's new CEO,” Sinha said. “His proven executive track record, combined with top-grading our go-to-market team, and depth of experience in the market are perfect for driving our growth.”

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About the Author(s)

Dave Raffo

MSP News Editor, Channel Futures

Dave Raffo has written about IT for more than two decades, focusing mainly on data storage, data center infrastructure and public cloud. He was a news editor and editorial director at TechTarget’s storage group for 13 years, news editor for storage-centric Byte and Switch, and a research analyst for Evaluator Group. In addition to covering news and writing in-depth features and columns, Dave has moderated panels at tech conferences. While at TechTarget, Raffo Dave won several American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) awards for writing and editing, including for column writing.

Raffo covers the managed services industry for Channel Futures. His reporting beat includes the MSPs, key vendors and tech suppliers with managed services programs, platform providers, distributors and all key players in this sector of the market. Dave also works closely on the Channel Futures MSP 501 and our live events.

Raffo has also worked for United Press International, EdTech magazine, Windows Magazine and Data Center Intelligence Group (DCIG) in reporting, editing and research analyst roles.

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