Userful Signs 13,000 Seat License with Brazil Government

by Stephen King | Startups

I seem to be having a lot of business lunches these days, which is a good thing. I met with Timothy Griffin, Founder, President and CEO of Userful at a Korean BBQ place on the west side of Calgary downtown last week. Mmmmm… Korean BBQ. Userful Corporation Logo from Calgary www.userful.comMy conversation was fascinating. Tim and his company have created what I believe to be a unique product… Daas: Desktop As A Service. Calgary based Userful develops a Linux shell that allows up to 10 workstations to be connected to a single desktop computer and charges a nominal monthly fee for the user “seat.” Founded in 2002, Userful has installed more than 30,000 seats of their software in places like schools, libraries, hotel lobbies and some small business verticals. They’ve just expanded their market to governments… Brazil has licensed 13,000 seats from Userful, realizing significant cost savings over traditional desktop solutions. However, some might ask, “Who wants 10 Linux workstations, even if they are ridiculously less expensive than buying 10 personal computers?”

The answer is Saas. As many critical business and government applications port to Saas applications that run in a browser, it’s irrelevant what operating system that it runs on. So, the effective cost saving on a 10 workstation system is ~9 times over the average cost of a personal computer system. A lot of critical business applications are available as Saas these days. Vertical Saas applications (such as Calgary’s Curve Dental) are big business ... and it's going to get bigger. Worldwide revenue for Saas is expected to reach about $5 billion in 2007 (21% increase over 2006), and is expected to grow to $11.5 billion in 2011, according to Gartner analysis. It’s not just vertical applications either. Traditional desktop software such as word processor and spreadsheets have alternatives, for example, Google has a full suite called “Google Docs.” Email (gmail, hotmail) is a very popular Saas application. In fact, many small business offices can run their whole operation on Saas. Need I mention that this is one of Microsoft's biggest fears? Other benefits that Userful delivers are lower ongoing IT maintenance through a single web portal, having all users access a preconfigured main page templates and much better security with no viruses. And, in this era of greener lifestyles, Userful helps the environment. In 2006 Userful users saved over 13,500 tons of CO2 emissions over what would have been generated with stand-alone PCs... the equivalent of taking 2,300 cars off the road. Clearly, the folks at Userful have a lot of opportunity in front of them.

Userful Corporation
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Userful Corporation is a leading desktop virtualization software company that makes it simple and affordable for organizations to implement and centrally manage virtual computers. Userful supports virtualization deployments from desktops to touch screens and beyond, with exceptional performance, unique flexibility and at the lowest cost on the market. Userful is the trusted provider of over 1... more

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Stephen King

Stephen King

I'm President of, a "Strategic B2B Technology Commercialization" executive consulting firm based in Calgary, AB offering CMO4HIRE services to technology companies.I've got a great deal of passion to help make my clients and our local tech scene hyper-successful on a global basis. I am a co-founder of the A100, on the Board of Advisors for Startup Calgary, blog for... more

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