Destop virtualisation push

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

Tags: Citrix Systems Incorporation
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Destop virtualisation push
By  Manda Banda Published  December 26, 2012

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

CME: Citrix continues to be one of the dominant players in the virtualisation market. What is Citrix’ channel strategy for the Middle East in 2012?

NQ: 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 partners.

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

NQ: 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.

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

NQ: 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. We have continue to provide more cross selling opportunities by alignment our partners with our alliances with the likes of Cisco, HP, IBM, Netapp, Microsoft and other industry stakeholders.

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

NQ: Absolutely! Microsoft and Citrix continue to work together closely as we have in the past. The launch of Windows 8 is a major milestone for Microsoft and Citrix which 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.

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

NQ: 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 for 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 and 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 and expected benefits that customers would like to achieve.

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

NQ: We conduct numerous readiness activities after recruitment of a channel partner, mostly funded through channel programmes. The initial investment to become a channel partner and gain he 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 training, hands-on labs, and even joint PoCs with partners to walk them through the entire process. In addition, we believe in reaching out to our partner rather expecting them to come to us, hence most of the readiness activities are conducted in-country and on partner premises. For our Gold partners, the respective channel development manager works closely with the management team to develop CHAMP plans that are closely monitored and adjusted on a regular basis.

CME: What can your channel partners (distributors & resellers) expect from Citrix in the next 18 months in the Middle East region?

NQ: They can expect continued growth, increased demand from customers, even better programmes from Citrix, increased investment to support value-added selling activities.Thank you for your kind support and help in advance.

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