2X Software Highlights
- A private company specialising in desktop and application virtualisation
- Software runs on PCs and thin clients
- Has 15k customers and 1.5k resellers worldwide
- Has sold 60k licences and around 1 million users
- Is a cost-effective alternative to Citrix
- Has added iPhone, iPad and Android clients in latest release
Paul Robinson, UK Business Development Director, 2X Software
We recently interviewed Paul Robinson, UK Business Development Director of 2X Software – an interesting UK based desktop virtualisation software supplier. This week the company announced market availability of VirtualDesktopServer v9 software.
Who Are 2X Software?
2X Software produces server-based virtual computing software, which enables desktop and application virtualisation on PCs and thin client devices.
It is a private company with solid revenues and no venture capital investments to pay off. It has around 15k customers (of which around 3.5k are in the UK/Benelux territory) and has sold 60k licenses. Its UK reference customers include a wide range of organisations in many sectors from utilities to insurance: it is particularly strong in colleges, including West Notts College and Bridgewater College.
It estimates that it has 1 million users, although licensing by server makes it difficult to estimate accurately. We believe 2X is the second largest supplier of terminal server virtualisation software in terms number of desktops.
Its headquarters is in Malta and has offices in the UK, the USA, Germany, France and Japan. Worldwide the company has around 1,500 resellers including TechData, Azlan, Insight, SHI, SoftChoice, PCMall and Dell. About 150 of its resellers are in the UK serviced through Ipswich-based distributor Getech. Paul says resellers tend to fall into two categories – either IT consultancies involved with virtualisation projects or ‘volume dealers’ selling the product online. The former are often bidding projects against Citrix, where 2X’s offerings are claimed to be cheaper and as functional of course.
2X Offers Cheaper Virtualisation Alternatives
His experience in implementing desktop virtualisation solutions over the years has taught Paul that the real challenge is usually in the infrastructure. He is somewhat critical of the low utilisation of functionality within leading virtualisation suites: claiming that many projects stall when organisations spend most of their budget on tools (some of which they don’t need), leaving little for the consultancy needed to help them implement the solution effectively..
In comparison 2X aims to ‘only give what users and partners what they need, creating good margins and freeing budget to focus on the quality of implementation’. 2X can support hundreds of virtual or terminal servers making it highly scalable and Paul claims ‘the bigger the server, the bigger the savings’, with the largest implementations costing many times less than the equivalent Citrix offerings. He also claims that 2X software takes just hours to deploy, as opposed to days for their competitor’s and points out that it doesn’t require a hypervisor in order to virtualise the delivery of desktops and applications.
New Clients For Virtualisation
We asked Paul about whether 2011 was going to be ‘the year of desktop virtualisation’. He believes that many customers and resellers alike are confused, finding the virtualisation solutions presented by leading vendors both complex and burdensome. These vendors aren’t doing enough to make life easier for resellers to sell, for IT departments to implement and for users to use – all of which are pre-requisites of desktop and application virtualisation solutions. 2X’s approach is to make its products easy to implement, maintain and use: to price them sensibly, offering an excellent return on investment. ‘We are doing everything we can to promote these types of deployments in 2011 and beyond,’ said Paul.
Having added iPhone, iPad and Google Android clients with the new version of VirtualDesktopServer he is very enthusiastic about the opportunities for 2X and sees its software could run on many different physical machines in future, linking both consumer, mobile and workplace focused devices with desktop commonality. This, Paul believes, is the future of the desktop – accessible ‘anywhere on anything’.
Some Conclusions – Customers Need More Help With Implementing Virtualisation
Paul has the voice of experience, backed up by research. In November 2X polled 100 resellers and service providers who are expecting a significant increase in virtualisation projects, set against a background of customers who ‘demand greater value, simpler products, quicker installation and faster returns’. It confirmed the fact that many found implementation expensive and often harder than they expected.
ITCandor is a great fan of Citrix, having watched it grow its revenues from $600m to $1.8b (and growing) in the last 8 years. To a certain extent 2X plays within its ecosystem: the degree to which it provides strong competition is good for users in keeping prices down and focusing development on practical solutions for one of the most important themes of modern ITC. 2X’s sweet spot is offering the market far more cost effective desktop and application virtualisation options. It is ambitious, with plans to double the number of UK resellers and also increase direct sales this year. We will watch the company closely, especially if it grows as rapidly as its bigger competitor.
Do you use 2X or Citrix software? Did you have these or other problems in virtualisation projects? Please let us know by commenting on this article.