Whittling IT down

Best-of-breed or a one-stop-shop IT solution? It's a conversation that refuses to go away.

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By  Administrator Published  June 6, 2007

IC: Interoperability is fundamental to the sales cycle and our business solutions. We deliver applications. Because of this, we have the most excellent relationships, at the business and technology levels, with applications vendors. Key to their willingness in partnering with Citrix is that we also add value to them by bringing the best application access to our joint customers. Vendor alliances are one of our primary focuses.

ACN: How much time and effort do you put in to the development of your relationships with CIOs and IT buyers in the Middle East?

RT: Today we are looking at intelligent communication and business transformation - so the discussion with CIOs is around issues like customer service and better productivity and the impact that these have on cost as well as revenue.

Avaya's level of engagement has gone way beyond technical debates to more business-focused consultancy.

MH: Our strategy is to really be transparent and win the heart and minds in every layer of an organisation. Customers really see us as the aspirin for their networking headache. As an emerging company with strive to maintain a human touch to our relationships with our clients and partners. So we work with them very closely on understanding their requirements, deployment, customisation of the solution and even get them to be involved in future product development.

This kind of relationship is unique in the region - that took our customers a little by surprise.

IK: I am afraid that more time should be put into exactly these relationships but many customers feel more secure in a legacy systems world and revert to it more often than not. Security is a big issue and some see standards as opening the door to security issues, as opposed to legacy or proprietary being more secure. To a certain extent this is true but that is only because they are half in and half out. Going fully standard with the right solutions and technology can offer the open communication needed to do business today but also offer the very highest levels of security.

IC: The appropriate relationships with all parties within the customer is a must, and no more so than at the executive level. For each person at our customer, who has an impact on the value that Citrix brings, there are specific benefits. Our job is to help explain these particular values.

Dependent on the roles, these benefits might be technical, features, financial, business and so on. From our side, customers do understand the value we bring and that is why our business is extremely strong and growing.

ACN: Is the ‘one-stop-shop vs. best-of-breed solution' an outdated debate given the recent advances in IT interoperability?

RT: As long as there are vendors positioning themselves as one-stop-shops the debate will continue - as enterprises need to know their options and how to both prevent being locked into a proprietary technology and how to create an open environment to grow their business.

MH: I think large vendors will always continue to intimidate the customer into a dangerous monopoly situation.

I believe that the customer is going to become much better educated and far more demanding. As far as I can see, the customer has a plethora of options available so why would they restrict their options?

IK: It is unrealistic and out of date. Customers have spoken! They want choice and flexibility along with interoperability. This is achieved via ‘standards'. That is the future and how the short and long term is developing.

IC: I think this debate will continue even after today. What customers have come to realise is that best-of-breed solutions do not necessarily have to come from any particular vendor. In reality, the model is now of the one-stop-shop integrator/reseller delivering proven and integrated best-of-breed solutions, delivering the best value at the best price to their customers.

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