Desktop Virtualisation Delight

Citrix is engaging partners to learn more about how to position the benefits of desktop virtualisation. Noman Qadir, regional channel manager MENA & Turkey at Citrix explains

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Desktop Virtualisation Delight
By  Manda Banda Published  December 5, 2012

Citrix is engaging partners to learn more about how to position the benefits of desktop virtualisation. Noman Qadir, regional channel manager MENA & Turkey at Citrix explains.

Channel: What is Citrix’s channel strategy for the Middle East in 2012?

Noman Qadir: In simple terms, we want to grow our business with the partners that co-invest with us and reduce our efforts and investments targeted towards opportunistic channel partners.

Channel: What has been the company’s focus for 2012 with your channel partners across the MENA market?

Noman Qadir: Customers are looking for partners to add value and so are we. Having said that, it is important to ensure that partners make margins to be able to sustain the economic challenges, prolonged payment cycles and higher investment in developing their skills.

Channel: How is Citrix assisting channel partners to transition their businesses in this changing business landscape?

Noman Qadir: Thankfully, there is enough demand in the market for desktop virtualisation, and that means partners are forced to evolve based on genuine need from customers. The need to evolve was upon partners faster than some of them anticipated. It is for this reason that we are working much more aggressively to develop our partners by extending the same training plan to partners that our employees go through as well. In addition, 2012 has been a year of quality channel readiness activities.

Channel: Is Microsoft’s launch of its Windows 8 OS opening more opportunities for Citrix and its channel partner?

Noman Qadir: Absolutely! Microsoft and Citrix continue to work together closely as we have the in the past. The launch of Windows 8 is a major milestone for Microsoft and Citrix continues to offer solutions that will help customers adopt Windows 8 faster with lowered costs of managing desktop upgrades. This momentum represents a huge opportunity for partners to offer consulting services and maybe even offer better services to end users who have annual maintenance contracts with the partners.

Channel: What will be key for channel partners and what do they need to understand with Microsoft’s launch of Windows 8?

Noman Qadir: Partners need to understand that now there are multiple ways of deploying, accessing, and managing the operating system. Classical modes of interacting with the OS are expensive, rigid, and can cause a fair bit of workload for IT teams managing large install bases at customers. Mobility, reduction in costs, flexibility, manageability, redundancy, all will be key benefits that customers will try and achieve by migrating to Windows 8. Application compatibility, retiring old hardware, moving to thin clients and/or proving access from multiple devices, managing users across varying networks, are some of the challenges that will slow down the adoption of Windows 8. Citrix and Microsoft can provide answers together for both, the challenges, as well and expected benefits that customers would like to achieve.

Channel: How is Citrix developing channel skills in the region?

Noman Qadir: We conduct numerous readiness activities post recruitment of a channel partners, mostly funded through channel programs. The initial investment to become a channel partner and gain the necessary skills is taken care of by Citrix to a larger extent. Once partners acquire the basic certification through the Citrix Authorised Learning Centres, we conduct regular sales and technical trainings, hands on labs, and even joint PoC’s with partners to walk them through the entire process.

Channel: What role is expected from your distribution partners going forward given your foray into offering some of your solutions via the cloud?

Noman Qadir: Mindware has been a value added distributor of Citrix since Citrix opened the office in the Middle East. Mindware has grown with the growth of Citrix, and has been instrumental to our success. The team at Mindware is embarrassing our newer solutions and in the transition phase to builod their own cloud strategy. We expect that more and more service providers will start building, and selling their cloud offerings in the region and distributors will work with such organisations to ensure that they are able to transact with a viable licensing option with Citrix.

Channel: What can your channel partners expect from Citrix in the next 18 months?

Noman Qadir: They can expect continued growth, increased demand from customers, even better programs from Citrix, increased investment to support value added selling activities.

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