ThinDesk Inc. has announced the launch of its VAR Program so that VARs can now get a fully managed desktop and hosted infrastructure solution for their clients, running on a VMware platform inside a world-class data centre, at a wholesale price and earn double digit margins on a reoccurring revenue stream.

Channel industry veteran, Peter Sutherland, was hired as Director of Channel Management to develop and launch the ThinDesk VAR Program. He explained that “as a channel executive at other vendors, I used to hear three issues all the time: product margins are unsustainably low, qualified technical people are hard to find and keep, and working capital is scarce. The ThinDesk solution addresses all three”.

ThinDesk VARs typically earn double or triple the margin normally available from product sales. As well, the ThinDesk solution includes almost all the technical resources for both the infrastructure support and the client side support, so VARs do not have to add technical people as they add clients. And the ThinDesk solution is a variable cost to the VAR; even VARs that today offer IT as a service by owning and managing the client’s infrastructure, do not have to use their capital to purchase the equipment when they sell the ThinDesk solution.

Selective Rather Than Mass Recruitment Assures Margin Kept High

ThinDesk is working with a selection of VARs in order to have a smaller number of key relationships rather than a mass recruitment and authorization, in order to avoid margin erosion.

“At other vendors I often worked with hundreds of VAR partners. I used to feel bad about seeing multiple VARs, competing against one another with our products, blowing their brains out bidding basis point margins. I won’t let that happen here”, Sutherland stated.

Sutherland described the types of VARs that ThinDesk is approaching. “One type of VAR we’re working with, can be described as a traditional IT provider, who sells server, storage, networking, PC and software products, and provides deployment, break/fix, MAC, and block time services such as site visits for patches, security updates etc. For these, we offer the chance to transition from periodic low-margin product sales, to higher margin, sticky reoccurring revenue.” He added that small IT consultants, sometimes just one person “love the solution because they don’t have the people to do technical support and deliver services”.

Small Business IT is Often a Mess

ThinDesk General Manager, Ryan Penn, has also owned and operated a small Toronto VAR called Ituitive for several years and he describes a typical small client as “a mess. They have a server beside the lunch room, a bunch of PC’s and laptops of various brands and vintages. They usually have poorly defined backup and security protocols, if they have them at all. They may have little or no dedicated IT staff, or an employee or manager with some tech savvy who muddles around with their IT part-time. And it all costs them way more than it needs to and more than they realize.”

VARs like Ituitive often function as the IT staff the customer does not have. Says Penn, “at ITuitive, we see this kind of thing every day, and to be honest, we profit from it, but at the customer’s expense. The tools available now to VARs to do managed services are a step forward but they really just let VARs manage their customers’ mess a little better. The evolution is to get the customers’ IT off the hard drives of each user, off the server beside the lunch room, off their premises altogether, and into a secure, always on, enterprise data centre where it can be managed way better and at lower cost”.

The IT world is buzzing about cloud computing, virtualization and managed services both in the data centre and on the desktop. “There are so many terms describing what’s happening – cloud computing, utility computing, virtual desktop, infrastructure as a service – it’s really confusing to customers, especially smaller ones that don’t have a lot of IT expertise”.

Many customers are eager to learn about the so-called Cloud Computing trend, but often have concerns. “The first question users ask when you mention ‘cloud computing’ is, ‘where is my data?’ The second one is ‘how do I know it’s secure?’. With the ThinDesk solution, the client’s data isn’t in India or the Phillipines or some server farm somewhere in the US, it’s on a specific, serial numbered server in our enterprise-class data centre in Toronto. We can take clients there and show them – but with retina and finger print scanners required for access, even the clients themselves can’t get inside. Their data is way more secure there than in their own offices”.

Several VARs have approached ThinDesk because their customers are asking the about cloud computing and what it really means. Penn says, “we tell the VAR to book a meeting and we’ll come in and tell the customer all about it. If it makes sense for them, we work with the VAR on a proposal; if it doesn’t make sense, at least the customer gets some education and the VAR has added value”.

The Fundamental IT That Most Commercial Customers Need Regardless of Industry

The ThinDesk solution includes all of the typical IT that most businesses need regardless of their industry, including server and storage resources, hosted Exchange, MS Office, daily incremental and weekly and monthly full backups, firewall, virus, malware, web filtering, web hosting, and Blackberry Enterprise Server, for both desktop and laptop users. Customers add their specific industry applications which are installed by ThinDesk and run in the data centre.

ThinDesk Recognized by a leading IT analyst and publication

  1. IDC – the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets – cites ThinDesk as one of the top 10 Cloud companies to watch.

  2. CDN & IT WORLD awarded the Gold Medal to ThinDesk as the Best Business Solution to SME market in October 2009.
    About ThinDesk Inc.

ThinDesk Inc is a private Canadian company that delivers a totally managed thin computing service for small and medium sized commercial and public sector organizations. ThinDesk supports entire IT environments, from the desktop to the back office, across wide area networks and the Internet – for all company locations, and mobile workers. ThinDesk’s thin computing platform delivers enterprise-class reliability, security and support with an Always On Guarantee 24/7.

For more information about ThinDesk, please visit