This has not been a resounding year for pioneering virtual desktop device manufacturers. First Wyse, the inventor of the Windows terminal, gets purchased by Dell, and now the originator of the zero-client, Pano Logic, has appeared to suddenly go out of business.
I first came across Pano Logic when the VMware partner I ran, AccessFlow, was presenting at a small trade show on the San Francisco Peninsula in 2006. I was immediately intrigued with their shiny silver zero-client boxes and the illuminated blue on/off button.
We signed up as a Pano partner and once the units started shipping in 2007, I insisted that our salespeople carry them on all of their sales calls. In those days, non-IT people tended to have a hard enough time grasping the concept of a virtual server let alone a virtual desktop. The Panos were an easy, albeit inaccurate, way to convey the VDI concept.
When AccessFlow was purchased by INX the following year, we really started getting traction with the Pano devices. We were the number one Pano Logic reseller four quarters in a row – and a commemorative, but functional, gold-plated Pano was shipped to me each time. The Pano Logic company thrived and picked up a $12M investment from Goldman Sachs in 2008 and another $20M from Mayfield in 2010.
Pano Logic was a slick and very reasonably-priced solution, and the devices did indeed help facilitate virtual desktop sales. While there were, as with many new technologies, sometimes support issues, the company tended to be extremely responsive in resolving them. The Pano co-founder personally worked with our team to fix a problem in one particularly difficult situation.
Pano Logic utilized its own connection broker which was fine in the early days, but which met huge resistance once VMware View started utilizing PCoIP. VMware reps began to perceive Panos as competition even though the devices required VMware ESX on the back end. But the loss of VMware field support negatively impacted the company's momentum.
Pano Logic's sales were further impacted when Wyse and other specialty thin-client manufacturers began to make PCoIP-baesd zero-clients. These units enabled the minimal maintenance benefits of Panos, but tended to provide better performance.
In retrospect, the death knell for Pano was probably rung once the manufacturing giants such as Cisco, Samsung and, most recently, LG, came on the scene with their own zero-client devices.
While I passed on the gold-plated Panos to our various offices that sold the most units each quarter, I do still have a commemorative golf club with a Pano device as a putter. When an artist dies, his works often escalates in price. I wonder if my Pano putter will be worth something now?
The Strange Case Of A $38 Million Enterprise Company That's Gone Missing.11/01/2012. Julie Bort. Business Insider.