Why I Became an Investor and Team Member of FSLogix
This article was previously posted on the FSLogix Blog.
Here’s my little story of becoming an FSLogix investor earlier this year: Since launching my first technology startup when I was a university student, I’ve always been watching the international startup ecosystem very carefully. I’ve had the opportunity to be in leading positions at several international startups over the last 15 years, including my own (visionapp, Immidio and REX Analytics just to name a few). I’ve learned that equity investments, where the funders get a piece of the company, are a great way of directly participating in startups at an early stage. And this is exactly where FSLogix comes into the picture.
My decision to make an investment in FSLogix was driven by my strong belief that FSLogix has the potential to grow big. FSLogix products fill some significant gaps in modern application delivery architecture designs. More importantly, they allow for a smooth transition from on-premises Windows application delivery to a (hybrid) cloud-based Desktop-as-a-Service model. FSLogix has outstanding technology for containerizing Windows application, personal data, and user profiles. The FSLogix founders have invented and implemented significant aspects of application and user profile virtualization in their previous roles in companies such as VMware, Symantec and RTO. They have already invited me to become a member of the FSLogix advisory board as early as 2013, when they were still in stealth mode. And to be honest, I have competed with them at certain times in the past, which included the analysis of their pre-FSLogix products. Well, and I’m that kind of techie who only believes in what he is seeing with his own eyes. This means that I have tested the FSLogix products thoroughly in my own lab. As a result, I have no doubt that these guys know what they are doing, both from a technology and from a business point of view.
FSLogix makes me so excited that I don’t want to be just an investor. I’ve come to an agreement with the founders that I will participate more actively and join the FSLogix team in Central Europe as a contractor. Part of my role will be about identifying gaps in enterprise application delivery designs and suggest smart new add-ons or product extensions to the FSLogix engineering team. But the most important part of my role is to help FSLogix to get established in the economically attractive but very conservative German-speaking DACH market (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). I will be acting as a business developer, evangelist and technical consultant with the goal to align FSLogix with a market that has extraordinary high quality, reliability and compliance requirements. It will be my job to level out the differences in business cultures and etiquettes. It kind of sounds like converting the best of American football and European soccer into a brand-new game.
Now let me share with you what the technical reasons were for my decision. With Office 365 Containers, FSLogix Apps and FSLogix Profile Containers, FSLogix is already offering multiple products. Roaming search indexes for Outlook across virtual desktops, dynamically hiding (masking) Windows applications based on user roles, and optimizing login and application start times by getting rid of folder redirection in user profiles are the most important use cases. I know from my customers that these use cases are addressing real pain points. The ultimate goal is to make the virtual Windows workspace perform as good as or even better than a local Windows workspace. With my long history in remote end-user experience benchmarking, this is exactly my thing.
But what about the future, will this Windows application delivery story stay relevant in a market with rapidly growing numbers of native mobile apps? Or more specifically, will FSLogix stay relevant with the potential to grow rapidly? My answer is simply yes. A survey conducted by industry experts Ruben Spruijt and Mark Plettenberg, published under “VDI Like A Pro” (https://vdilikeapro.com/) shows that the significance of Windows applications is even growing in enterprise environments. Who would have thought this? But it also reflects what I’m seeing at my customers. To a large extend, enterprise IT is built on Windows applications and we are talking about 100 millions of enterprise workspaces that need to be transformed to a new delivery model over the next years.
But there is more, this market is at the beginning of a revolution, despite the Windows application lock-in described above. Citrix — and most probably other major vendors following soon — are moving their application delivery control plane to the cloud. Such a Platform-as-a-Service model bundles all necessary backend components required to access remote Windows desktops and applications hosted either on-premises or in the cloud (or both). This is a significant change of today’s application delivery model and FSLogix provides some critically important add-on components – with the potential to add many more. As a German, I compare this with an automobile parts supplier, producing highly sophisticated mechatronic components and delivering them to the major car manufacturers. Many of these “hidden” suppliers are generating revenues far beyond $1b.
FSLogix has the potential to grow into the same position with their components extending the Microsoft, VMware, Citrix, Amazon and Google application delivery platforms. And in my opinion the current FSLogix product portfolio is just the beginning. From a workspace transformation perspective, there will be many more white spots on the map that need to be filled. Why would I not want to become part of this journey if possible? I am energized by the solution and its capabilities, let me know if you have any questions.