Citrix turns heat up on desktop as a service
Mark Brown hops on board to drive CSP growth in SMB spaceBy Simon Eskow, Auckland | Friday, 22 June 2012
Citrix has appointed Mark Brown to help keep momentum up on the virtualisation specialist’s Citrix Service Provider programme.
Brown comes to Citrix from one of the vendor’s distributors, NewLease, where he was a general manager. Brown is based in Sydney, but will be looking after the company’s New Zealand business.
Citrix also distributes in New Zealand through Express Data.
The company states that it has seen strong regional growth in the managed desktop arena as SMBs begin to take advantage of cost benefits. Citrix earlier this month announced that one Australia partner, ITEasy, has seen 400 percent growth in its desktop as a service provision in the last six months.
Citrix ANZ channel director, Neville James, says that while he did not know if any of the company’s New Zealand partners have experienced that uptake, the vendor has been experiencing 20 percent to 30 percent quarter-on-quarter growth over the last year.
Mark Brown’s appointment is to work with its distributors to help design licensing packages.
“Our distributors have dedicated resources to work with channel partners,” says James. “It’s not to design not so much the technical aspects — because that’s where the partner adds their value — but more about assisting the partner around the business model and creating the aggregation of the bundles of the various licences you need to be relevant to the market.”
“Mark just started with us and do that work with NewLease and ED, to get more in depth to get more business models with their offerings,” says James.
The company currently has upward of 20 partners actively engaged in the service partner programme.
James says Brown also will be working with partners “to make sure they understand” how the Citrix-defined reference architectures “from the infrastructure layer to the control panel to the management application that sits across the top” can be used as a framework to build from.
“Constructing a virtualised solution from a technical perspective isn’t hard and there are plenty of partners that can do that,” James says. “But translating that tech solution that makes sense on a per-user, per-month basis, to some extent a lot of partners are struggling with how much they should allow for this and that and what are the licensing costs really.”
There are 90 or so resellers in the CSP programme across ANZ, and in New Zealand, James says a number of the Citrix Solution Advisors, such as Gen-i, are joining the CSP to do more business with smaller organisations.
“I’m sensing a real desire among SMB customers. They want to have an enterprise outcome, but that’s often hard to achieve because the infrastructure costs are prohibitive,” says James. “I think some SMB-focused are finding a strong resonance around a scalable opex solution because the upfront cost is much lower.”
James says he sees particular growth opportunities in education and finance and other professional services verticals, but the uptake among SMBs has lagged the enterprise space because of limited awareness. Most of Citrix growth over the past three years, James says, has come from enterprise level business with 5000 seats, then more recently smaller corporate customers.
“There’s a lot of customers out there who have no idea why they should virtualise in the first place. There is a heap that has to be done by us and other players and vendors in the market and the broader channel community. Up until now, there hasn't been a lot of bringing it to that end of the market.”
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