Citrix will look to overhaul its local channel program early next year as part of ongoing efforts to take its virtualisation infrastructure to the market.
A year on from its acquisition of virtualisation vendor, XenSource, Citrix associate vice-president A/NZ, Rob Willis, said it had completed the integration process and undergone significant company changes to push a more comprehensive platform around datacentres and infrastructure management. Last week the vendor released version 5 of its XenServer server virtualisation product as well as its first on-demand product offering, Citrix Cloud Centre.
“We’ve entered new markets, taking on some new things from a technology perspective that enable us to have an end-to-end solution and change the way people view Citrix,” Willis said. “The conversations we’ve had over the last six months have been very different. Taking XenSource on, and our changing message around the delivery centre, has been taken positively.
“It was a big investment and has worked out well for us.”
Citrix is now focused on delivering its technology platform in two ways – as a delivery centre, and more recently, through cloud (on-demand) computing. Willis saw significant opportunity for emerging on-demand services in the SME market.
“This is about customers delivering applications out of either the datacentre, or as more and more organisations are looking to do, through the cloud,” Willis said. “People are looking at things like Amazon for storage, server technology and applications and desktop. We see that evolving as enterprises look to those types of providers for services.”
Willis pointed out Citrix’s channel mix was also changing as its platform broadened, particularly around server and desktop virtualisation. Its focus over the coming year is to ramp up its server virtualisation push as well as engage a more diverse range of partners, he said.
He believed desktop virtualisation, which is a hot topic but has yet to get many runs on the board, would also start to take off during the next year. Citrix recently won a contract with Australian financial agency, Fiserv, to provide virtual desktops allowing the company to deliver applications to overseas staff.
“For us, this [virtualisation] is a very channel-led business. A lot of our partners are taking this to customers who are still not aware of server virtualisation, particularly in SME,” Willis said. “Desktop virtualisation is moving, now it’s a matter of simplifying that and taking it to the next level.”
Citrix’s partner Accelerator event early next year is the next formal channel meeting and would see a range of new program aspects introduced around things like on-demand services, Willis said.
“We’ve gone from very core, dedicated Citrix partners to a much broader pool of people – some are specific, some are broader. Our channel will continue to evolve and we will need a much more sophisticated partner model than what we’ve had before,” he said. “We need to evolve some of the programmatic aspects of the program to recognise people in a different way.”
The launch of Microsoft’s Hyper-V technology would go a long way towards driving virtualisation take-up in the broader market, Willis said. Interoperability will also play a role and was a key focus for Citrix through its alliances with Microsoft and others.
“I don’t think there will be one virtualisation technology in the datacentre – there may be two or three depending on the tasks you’re dealing with and how you’re doing it,” Willis said.