Security vendor Imation has called on Microsoft partners to help it build a "brand new market" for Windows To Go devices.
Imation is one of five drive partners for Windows To Go, a new Microsoft feature that enables enterprise users to run Windows 8 or 8.1 from a USB flash drive, wherever they are.
Vice president of EMEA sales Nicholas Banks said Imation, which hails from a storage background, needs to build ties with Microsoft resellers to help it seed the market for this "PC-in-your-pocket"-style product.
"Windows To Go will be huge and we are looking for a new channel to sell this product. We want resellers to work with us to create this market and then enjoy the benefits of being a creator," he said.
Of the five Windows To Go drive partners – Imation, Kingston, Spyrus, Super Talent and WD – only Imation and Spyrus offer hardware as well as software encryption.
"We have got software encryption, hardware encryption and management and have a long history in this market, so it does put us top of the pile," Banks said.
Microsoft has indicated to its drive partners that it expects the Windows To Go market to be worth upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars annually over the next three to four years, Banks said. The product is pitched at staff who need to access a corporate image of their desktop while hotdesking, at a friend's house or in a hotel, for instance, as well as outside contractors.
Imation's resellers can net five per cent extra margin on deal registration and three per cent on MDF to run their own Windows To Go seminars, Banks said.
Imation is looking to lure large Microsoft partners such as Cisilion, Bytes and Trustmarque as well as Microsoft "MVPs" – one-man consultancies that play a big part in shaping enterprises' Microsoft strategies.
"This is a great way for resellers to do deployments of Windows 8 into their corporate customers," he said. "A lot will have only just gone to Windows 7 but this enables them to move certain people to 8 without taking them off 7 as a corporate standard."
Rob Quickenden, chief technology officer at Cisilion, confirmed the VAR is looking to build a Windows To Go business with vendors including Imation.
"At the point it launched last year, we felt that Windows 8 To Go Solution was a bit flaky and it's taken 8.1 to make it really useable," he said. "Now 8.1 is out, people will look to adopt it. We really see this as a way in which businesses can embrace UYOD – ‘use your own device' – rather than BYOD, negating the need for complex MDM solutions."
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