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One of the more interesting approaches to securing a PC environment has been the emergence of Windows To Go, an instance of Windows 8 that can be booted off a USB drive. The idea is to allow organizations to better secure their PCs by issuing USB drives that workers plug into a PC to bring up an instance of Windows 8 that is fully managed regardless of the device being used.

The IronKey unit of Imation has taken Windows To Go a step further with the launch of IronKey PC on a Stick, which combines the company’s encrypted USB drives with Windows Go. Now, the Ironkey unit of Imation has revamped its channel program to provide an incentive for its partners to sell an entire family of IronKey PC on a Stick offerings, including an Ironkey Workspace W700 USB drive that is FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified1 by the U.S. government.

In addition to adding a silver level to the program that is designed to primarily reward Microsoft partners that want to join the IronKey by Imation channel program, the new program includes deal registration, sales training and a simpler portal for channel partners to navigate, said Eric Krauss, director of channel sales and business development for IronKey by Imation.

IronKey by Imation will also work with partners to provide customer assessments to help partners educate customers about how Windows to Go and encryption can be applied within their environments. Krauss also noted that even though Windows To Go manifests itself on a USB drive, all the other traditional Windows services opportunities are still present.

“The devices themselves still have to provisioned just like a laptop,” said Krauss. “It’s a part of any Windows deployment.”

The use cases for Windows To Go are primarily designed around contractors that need to be temporarily provisioned with access to PCs and telecommuters that IT organizations want to make sure are using a device at home that is secure.

Currently, IronKey by Imation has about 800 partners, but the majority of them are not participating in any of the company’s channel programs, Krauss said. As part of an effort to deepen the relationship with those partners, IronKey by Imation has revamped the channel program by adding another level that essentially reduces the number of units that a partner has to sell before becoming eligible to participate, he added.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.