Home Cloud Computing NetApp’s Spot PC: a foundation for a new desktop paradigm?

NetApp’s Spot PC: a foundation for a new desktop paradigm?

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After I wrote about NetApp’s Spot PC last month, I had a surprisingly nice call with Spot PC’s general manager, Jeff Treuhaft. He reminded me that this is still a very young offering and, given that, it makes more sense to focus on the product, not the channel or the brand. So, while Treuhaft didn’t disagree with my thoughts, he suggested NetApp has a plan to deal with issues once the Spot PC has proven itself in a few initial deployments. 

Given that the plan isn’t yet in place and because of confidentiality about the move, Treuhaft couldn’t share more. So, I want to focus on what it could be and how it could transform the PC experience into something less aggravating and closer to what users say they want.

Currently NetApp sells Spot PC through an existing channel of managed service providers (MSPs).

Partnering or merging to create a new class of PC company

The world we live in is very different than it was even a few years ago. Rather than working in the office being the norm — and working from home the exception — we seem to be locking down on either a solid work-from-home model or a hybrid of work from home and office. Some of the reports I’m seeing from companies that demanded employees return to the office indicate that this forced march is resulting in unsustainable levels of resignations and that employees are migrating en masse to competitors who promote aggressive work-from-home policies.   

But work-from-home has significant support problems. You can’t cost effectively send out techs at scale and, given that support is also likely remote, you also can’t always assure that user problems are addressed timely. Thus, the focus must be on reducing the number of problems any user — particularly a remote user —must deal with.

The Cloud PC, which is the latest iteration of the Thin Client, would seem to be an ideal path; it tends to be more flexible (you can specify you just want an instance with more performance), more secure, and potentially less expensive, both initially and over time due to economies of scale.  Particularly for those at home, it’s better, faster, and cheaper than a traditional PC approach.

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