NerdioCon day 1: Driving 'outside-in' feature innovation across virtual desktop estates

Nerdio held its NerdioCon software engineering conference and expo this week in Punta Cana for both in-person and for virtual audiences.

Registered attendees for this event included business owners, enterprise partners and software application development engineers interested in managing and cost-optimising native Microsoft cloud technologies. 

Nerdio is known for its competencies focused on IT team skills development for Microsoft Azure, Windows 365, Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop and Microsoft Intune (a cloud-based endpoint management product) among other key technologies.

Listening to the mainstage keynote on day one, the Computer Weekly Developer Network (CWDN) downloaded the following report.


After a welcome from Nerdio VP of partner programs and ecosystem Natasha Boyko, Nerdio CEO Vadim Vladimirskiy and chief revenue officer (CRO) Joseph Landes took the stage to deliver a keynote entitled ‘Capitalizing on the Growing Opportunity in the Microsoft Cloud with Nerdio’. 

Having moved from just over 300 attendees last year to an event that now hosts some 600 registered technology professionals, Landes paid due deference to Microsoft with an appropriate thank you and noted that he himself had previously worked at Microsoft for several decades under ‘all three CEOs’ (i.e Bill, Steve & Satya).

“Since last year, we have experienced more than a year of growth,” said Nerdio CRO Landes, “That means we have doubled our revenue and significantly grown the number of Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and System Integrators (SIs) that we work with…. and now, we are now influencing over US$225 million of annual Microsoft Azure revenue. When we started this company, we always wanted to be very ‘outside in’ [meaning that the company would develop features and services based upon what its partners and customers want] and that means we have put major new features in Nerdio Enterprise Manager over the last year – and this translates to hundreds of new functionalities and capabilities – and there have also been new releases of Nerdio Manager for MSP, which also delivers hundreds of new features.” 

Talking about the education efforts that the company drives forward, Nerdio’s initiative in this space is known as the MSP Training Camp. In 2023, the company delivered 12 of these events in the US and six of these two-day workshops outside of the US. In 2024 the company will push this programme outward and also run specific Enterprise Training Camps… an initiative that will be joined by Enterprise Partner Caps and Nerdio Innovation Days.

Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS)

When asked how he views the market in general, Landes pointed to Gartner’s Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) analysis. With Microsoft in the top right of the magic quadrant, Nerdio thinks it has made the right choice to follow the stream of what positive disruption is happening in the desktop as a service market. 

“We’re betting on Microsoft and the effort it is putting into cloud-based desktop virtualisation from the start and through to today,” he enthused.

Landes handed over to affably technical CEO Vladimirskiy. At this point, the keynote moved to a comparatively detailed product and service overview covering updates, features, functionalities, core capabilities and also touched on likely areas for development in the immediate future.

“Nerdio’s reason for existence has moved onward and outward from our initial core mission of empowering [just] MSPs… but since that time we realised that we also need to empower enterprise organisations who also want desktop virtualization services… and this then has extended further to endpoint management services across all deployments environments in the Microsoft cloud,” said an upbeat Vladimirskiy.

A key initiative for this year is of course where Nerdio is working to infuse AI into its products. 

Azure infrastructure autoscaling 

With new offerings that use not only generative AI (but casual and predictive AI) plus Machine Learning (ML) to look for system anomalies among other services, the company is working to help provide infrastructure autoscaling within the Azure environment to reduce the amount of work that IT teams need to bring these services online. Thirdly, the company is now looking to further its endpoint management (with new innovations in areas like identity management) and application management in desktop virtualisation.

With technologies including Multi & Cross-Tenant Management (MCTM) IT teams can apply consistent policies across tenants and take a holistic management view of the way an enterprise cloud system works. To cover a few other features, Vladimirskiy also highlighted Nerdio Console Connect, which allows an IT manager to control any VM (once user permission has been granted) and be able to filter all devices in a customer deployment by user, by session etc. 

Nerdio explains its approach to unified application management as a way of helping companies deliver apps into the virtual desktop estate. Nerdio’s unified application catalogue enables IT to manage aspects of virtual desktops such as versioning… it makes it possible to link both public and private repositories and provide policy-driven access to applications for enterprises using Microsoft Azure storage before they are delivered down to a collective group of users, to an individual user, or down to an individual device. Apps can delivered here automatically or on demand, depending on the user base.

Advancing AI assistants

Moving deeper into AI, Vladimirskiy explained how generative AI assistants will generate scripted actions, write reports about customers’ environments and of course help answer chat questions about how a deployment of VMs is operating. But AI can also now be used to view the state of a virtual machine and assess whether it is working properly… this can also include analysis of logs and generate descriptions (when a new resource is created in a cloud environment) and take more of the human chores away from us.

Nerdio Defender for Endpoints is, as it sounds, all about endpoint protection – and this is also a new and expanded feature. Nerdio also offers (inside Nerdio Manager) a Reserved Instances management function to help control the use of these services.

Covering more product updates, Nerdio Assist Pro will use generative AI to provide bot-style assistance from knowledge-based articles and be able to help troubleshoot customers’ environments. A second bot called Scipt Pro will extend Nerdio Manager to new environments and generate PowerShell scripts and speed up actions such as when a virtual desktop needs help. Thirdly, Nerdio Insight Pro will provide analysis and observability.

This sounds like an (arguably) justifiable triumvirate of AI functions and may form something of a logical grouping that we see evidenced in other vendors i.e. knowledge, code, insight – all leading to further AI-driven action perhaps.

Microsoft managed services

Next up was Erwin Visser, partner and cloud service provider go-to-market specialist at Microsoft with his take on ‘AI, managed services and the future of cloud delivery’.

Reflecting on the growth of ChatGPT and how AI has become what he called THE transformational technology of this generation, Visser noted that he started studying in a technical college in the 1980s. Referencing how the PC changed the world in pre-millennial times, he reminded us that the PC really started the software industry and the ‘killer app’ back at that time was of course the spreadsheet with its ability to help the financial function to operate. This really was the point where the MSP market emerged.

“Next came the Internet in the 1990s and the era when companies like Facebook and Amazon emerged,” said Visser. “At the start of this time we never even had external email, but when that came we experienced huge leaps in productivity. Then the cloud arrived and we know the rest is history. If you ask teenagers these days when they think the iPhone was invented and they say they think it was in the 1980s – this is because they can’t imagine working and living any other way. All of this is now happening with cloud and AI.”

As we move to start implementing AI in our daily lives, Visser flagged the need to build what we all now call trustworthy AI as it gets integrated into our existing applications and used to create new ones. He promised that Microsoft Copilot is being developed very much in this vein – especially looking at Copilot for Microsoft 365. Microsoft is now looking to make sure there is a Security Copilot, a Data & IT Pro Copilot, a customer service & sales Copilot and software development Copilot, plus a knowledge worker copilot.

“AI always works on a learning trajectory, so it always improves over time,” suggested Visser. His reference point here being that any given AI engine needs exposure to a company’s data to learn… but also, that users themselves also need time to get used to how an AI service helps them work.

Microsoft Copilot Studio is one of the most recent launches that the company has brought forward. Azure AI Studio is the more advanced version of this product. These technologies help enterprises to customise Microsoft Copilot for more specific use cases within their own organisations. Azure Arc is the overarching technology that Microsoft is tabling to provide a single pane of glass view across all these technologies.

Wrap-up & takeaways

This final morning session also featured ‘How to write malware & protect with a zero trust strategy’ presented by Danny Jenkins at ThreatLocker. The final morning keynote session was ‘AI vs RPA or both? Best of both worlds: the differences, your options, your choices, but how the heck do you decide? presented by Tim Coach at Pia.

Overall, this is Nerdio doing its level best to show us its approach to Microsoft Azure infrastructure management, scaling and enablement inside and outside of the MSP space in commercial enterprises as well. With the shift to virtual desktop use being confirmed to be on the rise and with virtualisation as a whole on the increase from cloud services to remote workers now rely upon always-on connections, Nerdio might be named after the nerds, but the applicability factor here is business for sure.

Nerdio Tweets at @getnerdio

Nerdio CEO Vadim Vladimirskiy: New feature capabilities make life easier for MSPs and enterprise users alike, right across the virtual desktop estate.

Nerdio chief revenue officer (CRO) Joseph Landes: We started this company as an outside-in innovation business and that value holds true today.



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