Citrix Tells Partners: Microsoft Wants to Work with You

By Steve Wexler  |  Print this article Print

Server and storage virtualization are well-established markets, but virtual desktops are still emerging, expected to explode from less than 1 percent today to 40 percent by 2013. VMware turned some heads last year with its release of VMware View 4 VDI. Now Citrix is looking to its channel and a new relationship with Microsoft to capture a big slice of the estimated $65.7 billion dollar opportunity.


He told the partners that they can now do something they were never able to do before, engage with the Microsoft team.

"The energy is there, the enthusiasm is there," Monserrat says. "They want to work with you."

During his keynote presentation, Gartner analyst Mark Margevisius said PC virtualization has come of age and will be the most disruptive technology we will see through 2014. There are a number of factors driving this revolution, but a key one is the coming end of life of the Microsoft XP OS and a massive hardware refresh.

He says a lot of PCs were not refreshed because of the economy and the less-than-successful XP-successor, Vista, and there are now millions of devices between 5-7 years old. "These things will fail and many customers will move not because they want to, but because they have to."

That’s where desktop virtualization can play a big role, allowing this massive refresh to take place at a fraction of what it would cost to buy new PCs. He cautioned that virtualization is neither easy nor cheap, but Gartner figures the initial improvement in total cost of ownership would range between 2 and 12 percent, and eventually grow to 25 percent.

Tom Flink, VP Channels and Emerging Product Sales, tells Channel Insider he’s also responsible for managing the Microsoft relationship, so ensuring that partners will profit from this new relationship is front and center. As he noted during his keynote, "my job is to make sure that the end of the day you guys make money."

Now in his third year with Citrix, he started off his relationship in 1995 as a Citrix VAR, and his focus since coming aboard has been on improving partner profitability and productivity. He says he is building on the legacy established by one of his predecessors, Ross Brown, who he is now working with at Microsoft to ensure the new partnership succeeds.

He says both companies are in the process of building overlay teams, defining what are called joint wins, and how do they introduce partners into this. For the U.S. partners, this involves the CMVP program – Citrix Microsoft Virtualization Program – and the recruitment of net new partners, as well as both Microsoft’s and Citrix’ existing channel partners to sell across both companies product stacks.

"There’s one very common element between us, we have the same competitor in the marketplace (VMware). That element tends to drive a lot of alignment with the field teams… and also integration of products."