Brian & Gabe LIVE #23 - Part 1: We discuss Dell scooping up Wyse

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Brian Madden: Good morning on Tuesday, April 3, 2012.  My name is Brian Madden and you’re listening to Brian & Gabe Live.  Thank you all for joining us.  I’m here in San Francisco today.  Joining me in our newly renovated studio is Jack.

Jack Madden: Good morning, Brian.  Good morning, Gabe.

Gabe Knuth: Hey, so yeah, how’s this new, new studio?  Because I can’t see you guys.

Brian Madden: I put a, I put a photo in our Facebook page of the studio.  Gabe, Gabe is sure to notice that.

Gabe Knuth: Oh, that is, that is the black hole that Gabe will never, ever see.  I, I can’t stand Facebook.  Do you spend much time on there personally?

Brian Madden: No.  I, I don’t have a personal Facebook account, actually, and I only – Well, gosh, now I just sound like the asshole.  Because I only created one for our, for our fan page, which means that I’m the dick that never uses it.  But I mean, I used, I use Twitter, I use LinkedIn, so to each his own.  And –

Jack Madden: Well, and they have, they have a lot of value as far as sharing our opinions and things like that from a professional side.  But from a personal side, like the people that we’re close to, you know, we talk to them and, and, and email and things like that, and so –

Gabe Knuth: Yeah, I guess.  I dunno.  I’ve just never – I, I – Everything I need from Facebook, I get from my wife.  And, because she just tells me everything that she reads, so why the hell should I go read it, too?

Brian Madden: Yeah, that’s a – Right.  

Jack Madden: So this’ll be talking point number one in the show.  We’re, we’re crotchety old guys.  

Brian Madden: What do you mean we?  

Gabe Knuth: Yeah, what about you, Jack?  Because you’re 26.  Are you a Facebook-er?

Jack Madden: Yeah, yeah.  

Brian Madden: So the thing is, so what we did in this – You know, those who – You, you can see the pictures.  Actually, I think if we go to the Facebook page – Maybe you can pull that up, Jack.  We can send links to the pictures in the chat room.  But this studio, I’m using air quotes here, where’s the camera?  There it is.  The studio we have here is a conference room that we took over three or four years ago, and we jam-packed everything into the conference room.  But we have the mixers, Justin, the video equipment, the cameras, all that kind of stuff, and it just got to be too much.  Too hot.  We were just too crammed in here.  

So the past two weeks, Justin took the mixers, the computers, all that stuff and put them into a cubicle outside of the studio, and so now it’s just the empty table in this conference room and we kind of sit in the center, which is great.  So there’s not, you know, there’s just not tons of equipment.  And Justin’s out in the hallway, out in the office I mean.

And it’s, it’s just much, much better.  So I’m real excited to have guests on, on the show today.  Well, on the show soon.  Not, not today.

Gabe Knuth: I, I, I must be – I’m trying to go to the Facebook page.  I must be an admin for it or something because I have all sorts of options that I’ve never seen before.  And then there’s a picture of you with the Muppets.  So –

Brian Madden: Huh.  So click on “Hide” – It’s all those options you’ve never seen, you can minimize that.  Me with the Muppet is like the top of the Facebook page, and then below that you see the pictures of Justin’s little work area and the studio.  And you ought to be able to send the links to those, put those into the chat room.

Gabe Knuth: Hey, these are cool.  Aw, wow, so this is like a real – Well, this is closer to a real studio than the last time, where Justin the producer is sitting not in the studio with us, or with you.  Wow.  I like the aluminum light hangings apparatus.  This is pretty nice, guys.

Brian Madden: Yeah, so, and those Facebook – We, we Facebook experts are still trying to work out how to share this picture, how to get a link to the picture directly.

So anyway, so I mentioned guests.  So I think the main thing that I want to talk about today, I want to start off by talking about Dell buying Wyse.  And this is something that we – Well, so this, this happened yesterday, and let me just post a link to that, that story.  This is one of those cool stories – I mean, you know this is a big deal when this, our post yesterday got 4,000 views, and the post didn’t actually go live until probably about 11:00 a.m. Eastern time.  So it’s something that, you know, like even though it was sort of a last-minute story, you know, still a very, very popular story.

And I guess we never really talked about this, Gabe, so what I wrote in the story was that yeah, this makes sense because Dell is a huge computer maker services company, and they don’t have thin clients.  And Wyse is a huge thin client company and they don’t have anything else.  And so I always felt like, you know, there’s a whole like thin clients versus regular PCs, which one are better, what are overpriced, is it, you know, thin clients too expensive, where should you use your money.  

And whenever we would go visit HP, they would always kinda say, “Yeah, we don’t care because you’re buying HP.  We, we sell the servers and you need something to connect to it.  If you want to use a thin client, fine, a computer, fine.  Doesn’t make any difference to us.”

But for Dell it was weird, and for Wyse it was weird.  Like Dell was pushing, obviously, computers and Wyse was pushing thin clients.  So to me it makes sense.  And –

Gabe Knuth: Well, and, and, so, and it’s funny because they each had partnerships with, with – Not with each other, but with other similar companies.  Wyse has its partnership with Cisco that, that they built the Wyse technology into the Cisco VOIP thin clients, and Dell had their partnership with Devin.  And so we had two companies that were seeking out partners, you know, dance partners, for their technology.  And then – I mean, I don’t know why they didn’t come together sooner, to be honest.

Brian Madden: Yeah.  That would, yeah.  That was definitely for me – And you know, Wyse was talking about – They were floating this idea of going public and had been talking about – I don’t think they got too far down a path, but you know, just in talking to them over the past years, they were mentioning about wanting to take the company public and having good quarters and all that kind of stuff.  And I just – Oh my gosh, what a disaster that would have been.

So I, I just feel –

Gabe Knuth: Yeah.  You would have ended up with something – Because it’s not a very hot, you know, company.  I mean, the stuff that they do is fine, but it’s not exciting, it’s not something that – I, I don’t know if it’s gonna grow and grow.  I guess maybe if they hinge it on that cloud PC thing, but yeah, you’re right.  I mean, that woulda been – I mean, they probably had to do or wanted to do something, but going public would have, is probably not the answer.

So now they’re public and they’re part of Dell.

Brian Madden: Well, they will be.  So they, they –

Gabe Knuth: They will be, yeah.

Brian Madden: They haven’t closed.  So here’s the crazy thing.  So Gabe, in your post you wrote for this radio show, like yeah, we’ll try and get a guest from Wyse or Dell to join us on the show.  So I emailed –

Gabe Knuth: Yeah, because Jeff commented, so Jeff McNaught from Wyse.

Brian Madden: Yeah.

Gabe Knuth: So I thought –

Brian Madden: No, so I emailed him and the PR guy at Wyse and stuff and just asked if they could join us on the show, even if it was just for like 10 minutes just to share some thoughts.  And they said that the PR for this deal is all being done by Dell, so talk to Dell.

And I talked to the people at Dell, and they basically said well, the deal hasn’t closed yet so we can’t comment.

Gabe Knuth: Interesting.

Brian Madden: But you made a press release.  I mean, this isn’t like something that –

Gabe Knuth: Really, all we want is someone to dial in and then read that press release to us.  That’s all.

Brian Madden: I mean, we didn’t sniff this out.  We didn’t hunt it down.  Like I woke up and in my email box, it was full of people sending me the link to the press release.  And the very first thing I thought was that, was that it was an April Fool’s joke.  But then I guess real companies can’t do that because it probably impacts lives of actual people.

So I mean, yeah.  So anyway, so I guess they’re not saying anything.  But there’s a pretty good conversation that happened on in that article, and so a couple things about that.  The, so the first, I guess the first thing is Gabe, you mentioned Cisco has their stuff based on Wyse technology.  And I think – I don’t ever remember – I don’t think Cisco, they didn’t brand it as Wyse, right?  It was just like Wyses were the OEM of the Cisco thin client device.

Gabe Knuth: Yeah.  I don’t think that it’s talked about a whole lot.  I just had remembered – When this broke, I remembered hearing something about that before, so I Googled for it and confirmed it.  And but yeah, I don’t think that Cisco is saying, “Buy our Wyse VOIP terminals with the phone on them.”

Brian Madden: Yeah.

Gabe Knuth: That kind of a thing.  I think that they’re just built into Cisco technology.  And that was, that was really the first place I went with this, was thinking like, “Wow, okay, so what’s going to happen there?”  Because now that Cisco is in the server business, too, they’re not selling endpoints.  So maybe, I mean besides these phone, these VOIP clients.  But now that Cisco and Dell are not in a –

Brian Madden: They’re not selling them, or they’re –

Gabe Knuth: Competitors, I wonder if that goes away.  And I’m sure it will.  I mean, I don’t see how it can exist.

Brian Madden: Yeah, and then I, I love this idea of Cisco – So right.  So if that eventually – And there’s, that might take multiple years to unwind because I’m sure they have some kind of long-term deal or something like that.  

Gabe Knuth: Yeah.

Brian Madden: But, so maybe after that unwinds, then where does Cisco go for their thin clients?  And I love the idea that someone put in the comments.  I think was it maybe AppDetective talked about maybe Cisco buying NComputing, which I thought was strange, but they said no.  Because NComputing has this numo thing, and I just put that link in the, in the chat.  Which is NComputing is doing, is, is one of the system-on-a-chip vendors that, you know, when strict HDX on a chip –

Gabe Knuth: Oh, right.

Brian Madden: So it, so it, NComputing does have a system on a chip doing HDX, and there’s – NComputing has a really, like a lot of really kind of high-level famous people working there.  So maybe Cisco buys something like them that gives them access to some, you know, capability there.  But I don’t know.  This is –

Gabe Knuth: Well, I, I wrote a little bit about that and speculated about NComputing for an article that is yet to be published on Search Virtual Desktop.  And the – And so I wanted to, I was trying to figure out who’s, who’s number three?  

Brian Madden: For thin clients?

Gabe Knuth: I mean, yeah.  If you look at like sheer number of deployed thin clients, I think NComputing blows everybody away, even for the number one spot, right?  Isn’t – It is – I thought they had some goofy claim to fame for like number of physical NComputing branded units out there in the world.  I thought that they were super high.

Brian Madden: I don’t know.  I don’t think – I don’t know if that’s true because I think Wyse has like over 20 million now, and I thought NComputing was in the single digit millions.

Gabe Knuth: Okay.

Brian Madden: Where NComputing was, was they were doing more V – They had the claim to fame for the most VDI users.  I don’t know if this is true also now, but I know NComputing at one point had like 2 million users who were using like legitimate VDI.

Gabe Knuth: Okay.

Brian Madden: Versus –

Gabe Knuth: And then they had all the other, like, multi view or multi seat or whatever those, those other – Like the, the original NComputing technology, it wasn’t Ethernet based, it was just remote mouse and keyboard it was going to.

Brian Madden: Right.

Gabe Knuth: So maybe, maybe I was thinking about that.  

Brian Madden: Right.  So someone – So John Smith in the comments is saying, “Yeah, number 3, iGel?”  I don’t know.  iGel, they’re the ones that do a lot of custom products, right?

Gabe Knuth: No, you always say that, and, and that is not the case.  But –

Brian Madden: What?

Gabe Knuth: The first time I, I introduced Jack to iGel, Jack’s like “So, you guys do the custom stuff?”  And he’s like, “No.”

Brian Madden: Well, who did we talk to – Which ThinkLine vendor was by the food table at VMWorld last year?

Gabe Knuth: Food table?  I dunno.

Brian Madden: Remember how it like we couldn’t figure out how the food –

Gabe Knuth: It wasn’t iGel.  So iGel is the hardened Linux one that they’ve been around for a long time, and obviously anybody will do customizations if you throw enough money at them.  But I, I don’t remember one – And, and there – So this is part of the challenge of finding, picking the third place one, right?  Because there’s so many.  It was always HP Wyse or Wyse HP, and then pretty much everybody else.  And there’s the Tenzig guys where, you know, they were Bosanova, now they’re Tenzig, and PC, Thin Labs.  Hell, I Google for Thin Kleinhart yesterday and found three new ones that I’d never heard of before.

Brian Madden: But where are you going with this?  So like what’s the point?  Like who cares about number three?

Gabe Knuth: Like who’s, who would be an acquisition target for Cisco?

Brian Madden: Oh, oh, I gotcha.  Or does Cisco even need to acquire?

Gabe Knuth: Well, that’s – Yes, that’s true.  But so the reason I think that Cisco is gonna be looking for something is if they lose the Wyse partnership, they’ve lost kind of the remote desktop foundation of their, of their VOIP terminals.  I forget what the product name is.

Brian Madden: Oh, right, because they do need –

Gabe Knuth: I mean, they need something to fill that gap.

Brian Madden: Right.  They do build – Right.  That’s what I was thinking.  Like if you’re Cisco, pardon me.  If you’re Cisco, why do you care about devices at all?  But I guess if they do have phone/VOIP terminals, then you need some capability to connect into applications also.

Gabe Knuth: Yeah, exactly.


Gabe Knuth: Also what I speculated, then, was – Are we having some Skypiness?

Brian Madden: Oh no, go on.

Gabe Knuth: Also what I was kind of speculating there is I wonder like if Cisco, is Cisco – If this does happen and, and the Wyse stuff gets pulled out, is Cisco going to be willing to put themselves out there for that sort of thing happening again, like to where they have a partnership and they build a platform based on this, and then they decide to get acquired and then Cisco has to do it again.  So I wonder if Cisco’s not going to invest in the technology kind of grass roots and build their own or purchase and just kinda fold in some thinkline technology into their own stuff.

Brian Madden: Yeah, and who even knows if they – I mean, I don’t know how many of these VXI endpoints they sold, anyway.  So I dunno.  Maybe that’s the ques – So maybe that’s the target.  We have to get someone from Cisco.  I know, who’s the guy who is – Is it Bert Stoma?  Is he at Cisco now?  The guy from – He was at –

Gabe Knuth: Sounds right.

Brian Madden: Mocha Five, I think?  Is he Mocha Five or Ringcube?

Jack Madden: He was Mocha Five.

Brian Madden: And he’s at Cisco, I think, now?  I dunno.  Let’s make some phone calls and find someone from Cisco here.

Jack Madden: Is it Doug?

Brian Madden: Doug Dooley.  Oh yeah.

Jack Madden: Yeah.

Brian Madden: Doug Dooley was at Cisco now.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  That’s right.  Let’s see if we can find him.

Jack Madden: And so Anonymous in the forum mentioned all of the, all of that SaaS stuff that Wyse has as well, and I’d, I saw a bunch of that a couple weeks ago, and like what happened to that story, you think?  All that –

Brian Madden: What is all that SaaS stuff?

Jack Madden: It’s like cloud management of, of mobile devices, of, of all their other endpoints, their cloud-to-PC stuff.  There’s an article on CIT from a couple of weeks ago –

Brian Madden: You’re up on the article.  You tell me what –

Jack Madden: Consumerized IT.

Brian Madden: Yeah.  But what is this stuff, Jack?

Jack Madden: Well, well they, they acquired an MDM vendor last fall.  They were, were sort of beginning to tell a whole post-PC story with some data management stuff as well, and, and –

Brian Madden: So they were even getting out of the device business a little bit.

Jack Madden: Like, like – I wouldn’t call it out of it, out of the device business, really.  But you know, they also have the pocket cloud stuff, and that PocketCloud Explore that I wrote about, which is the, the remote desktop app without a remote desktop.  And, and like they were starting – They, they, they had a, a hosted cloud storage service that they had launched recently along with that.  

Brian Madden: A hosted cloud storage service?

Jack Madden: Yeah, yeah.  For synchronizing stuff, your, your PocketCloud Explore app can now – Since, since, you know, since the PocketCloud – It depends on your desktop sitting at home being up and running in order for anything to work.  Now it has the, the ability to just manually – Pardon me.  Stick files in a, in a cloud, cloud folder, the cloud bin as they call it.

Brian Madden: So I wonder, is Dell – I don’t know what Dell’s SaaS offerings are.  I wonder if Dell is interested, you know, to the, to the comment, I wonder if Dell is actually interested in that or if these are just kind of little – I don’t know.  I guess we just have to ask someone at Dell, frankly.  But we can say now why, you know, I told the people in the office, I got a note on LinkedIn from Michael Dell saying that he read our new VDI Delusion book and thought it was, like, gave us like a thumbs up, nice job.  And I was thinking that was cool, but why was he reading our book?  So now I guess, now I guess, I guess we know.

Gabe Knuth: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense now, doesn’t it?

Jack Madden: Oh yeah, that was – We haven’t had a show since, since that happened.

Brian Madden: Oh yeah.  So we’ll talk about the book also in a little bit.  But on this Wyse thing with Dell, so Greg Doucher, or is it Doysher?  I don’t know.  Wrote, “Couldn’t any third vendor be a possible contender if they OEMed PC over a P0?”  And, and, and, here’s what’s interesting about this.  I got a, an email from someone who is speculating – And this person asked to be kept anonymous.  But let me just read the email.

“Imagine if Cisco buys Teradici.”  So this is like part of this, what does Cisco do in computing.  So imagine if Cisco buys Teradici, could drop a 64-session capable, like, Apex 2800 chip into Cisco UCS server.  So that’s like, this is the hardware offload piece of RPN coding.  So you could put the Apex thing into Cisco UCS, and then you could also put an identical chip for decoding into, like, one of Cisco’s catalyst desktop switches.  So put the chip in the switch so that you’ve got the PC over IP over like the long haul, but then you can give it, like, you know, on the local LAN which is gig plus, where it’s like port to port.  It can be, you know, give it all the way.

Pair that with like a super cheap like port expander on the desk.  So like a $5 device, which now we’re talking almost like – I mean, it’s not even thin client or zero client, it is like Ethernet plug with monitor and USB.

So now you get – But if they do all that, if they do the PC over IP encoding with the hardware card, now you have a hardware-to-hardware PC over IP that is both hyper visor agnostic and broker agnostic.  And then imagine the Cisco volumes.  They drive the cost of the ASIC, the chip that needs to go in the decoder, on the switch, not on the device.  Put the decoder in the switch and the UCS, they can drive that cost to almost nothing.

And then, then this person goes on like, Imagine the same edge device to do some things besides removing computer graphics.  Digital signage, stadium vision, telepresence, 1080p video, you know, properly, like real protocol into IP phone stack, all very easily achievable.

So that sounds pretty badass.  I don’t know.

Gabe Knuth: Yeah, and it would force you to buy into their entire system.  I mean, from, from top to bottom.  It sounds like, though, you’d have to be all Cisco.

Brian Madden: Which isn’t – But isn’t that like what they want?

Gabe Knuth: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but it’s not just something like, “Wow, that’s great.  I’m gonna go buy one of those.”

Brian Madden: Yeah.

Gabe Knuth: It’s like, “Wow, that’s great, I’m gonna reengineer my entire system to support that.”

Jack Madden: Yeah, so we’ll see one of those systems –

Gabe Knuth: That, that’s the only thing.  

Jack Madden: We’ll, we’ll see that implemented like five years from now.

Brian Madden: Well, but I mean, so the thing is, and Greg, Greg Disher.  Thank you for giving us the pronunciation.  I, I like that – Yeah.  So like a hybrid catalyst switch.  It’s like KVM PC over IP backhaul.  Exactly.  So imagine like the backhaul, which is the sensitive part, that’s all PC over IP, but everything out.

And you know, would they have to buy Teradici?  I imagine they could get Teradici – See, this is one of those things.  Like would they have to buy Teradici?  No.  But they could because they – You know, like you were kinda saying earlier, that way they don’t have the risk that someone else grabs them and shuts them down or whatever.  So I don’t know how much Teradici would cost, but it can’t be that much.  I don’t know.

And it, and it wouldn’t necessarily break the Teradici/VMWare relationship.  That’s still compatible, and actually if anything gives PC over IP some more legs.  But the fact that Cisco could do all hardware to hardware because we know it screams at that level.  Yeah, I like this a lot.  


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