Expert Speak

Citrix Expands With Service

Expands With Service

Citrix Systems, a global player in virtual workplace software and services, has built a strong network of business partners to spread the message of application outsourcing.
p____p The company believes in a strong network of business associates comprising of VARs, integrators, and consultants to maximize on the potential that ASPs provide.

The Power of ASPs

In this slow economy, ASPs are getting more attention because of their potential to reduce costs in terms of staffing and infrastructure.
p____p In some cases, they provide applications on pay per basis under a certain license fee. Through this, enterprises can escape investing in buying licenses for each of its users. Kishore Badami, marketing director at Citrix, says, “Citrix has the technology that enables ASPs. Although it is yet to take off in a big way in India, there is a big opportunity for services companies.”
p____p He adds that despite today�s concerns, the ASP model is clearly evolving as an outsourcing model for the future. The reasons are many; low cost of software applications, low cost of ownership, and better cost management for high productivity.

A Two-Tier Model

Citrix works on a two-tier channel model. The first one comprises of distributors and the second is the Citrix Solutions Network (CSN) that is involved in market development and sales.
p____p The company has appointed Datapro Inforworld and Tech Pacific as its distributors. Badami explains, “Citrix products need systems integration instead of being sold like a �box product�. Thus a distributor with requisite technical expertise, resources, and experience in software is ideal.”p____p Citrix has three levels of CSN accreditations; platinum, gold, and silver. Currently,it has 63 channel partners across the country, including 60 silver and three gold partners. Apart from Wipro and AccelICIM, Citrix has also appointed HCL Infosystems as its third gold partner.
p____p Badami states that Citrix�s current focus is on cities like Bangalore, New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkotta, Ahmedabad, Baroda, and Cochin. “We are open to appointing CSNs for verticals like government, defense, banking and finance, and education,” he adds.

Servicing With CSN

Talking about the benefits of being a CSN partner, Ajit Nair, president (Technology) at IT&T, says, “Citrix has tools that help enterprises cut costs. Our alliance has really helped us in moving up the value chain and we now have a larger client base and bigger offering for our clients.”
p____p The CSN members are authorized to improve the performance of the systems they install or recommend and add to the value they offer their customers. Badami says, “Our CSN members are also able to enhance their Windows NT server product offerings and drive their server and service revenues through the sale of Citrix products as well as get technical qualification.”
p____p Citrix provides its CSN members with marketing, sales, training and technical services, as well as the Citrix tools. Badami says, “We are constantly endeavoring to offer variety of CSN membership programs and membership levels so that our members can obtain all the benefits they need and leverage their businesses.”p____p Nair says Citrix has helped train engineers in his company to be able to provide better services as well as support them through customer-oriented seminars. Here, Citrix provides information and uses of the latest technology to leverage on the customers IT set up. “The company constantly supports us by providing us with innovative information and knowledge base to improve our business strategies,”he adds.

From Silver to Gold
__img Kishore.gif align=leftimg____p In order to further strengthen CSN memberships, Citrix has been doing many programs to help ramp-up operations and skill levels of its existing silver CSNs. One such program is its Citrix Certified Administrator, a certification program that helps the silver CSN get to the gold level.
p____p It also has the Citrix Business Alliance (CBA), which is a partnering program that brings together technology companies and Citrix Systems. Badami says, “The alliance develops synergies between technologies. The result, for hundreds of companies, is an entirely new level of product performance and asset productivity. Our objective is to deliver value-based knowledge to expand opportunities to our partners.”
p____p The CBA is targeted at software and hardware vendors, consultancy firms, network service providers, hosting service providers and other technology firms from around the world. Currently, Citrix has established strong alliances with more than 800 of the leading technology companies worldwide. According to Badami, by joining the CBA, a company can benefit from the many services like software products, sales and marketing resources and tools, technical services and education.
p____p Nair of IT&T says, “Citrix actually provided us with technical training and gave us Citrix certified engineers. The company provided all this at a subsidized rate. I think it is an excellent strategy on Citrix�s part as it not only provides further education for a person but also helps in building a good Citrix trained resource pool.”

Independent Vendors

Citrix also recently announced its Independent Software Vendor (ISV) scheme, which is basically a part of its CBA strategy. Through this, Citrix proposes to work closely with the software vendors for market development, joint sales programs and bundling programs.
p____p Along with its strong channel set up, Citrix India is constantly working to deliver a true �Virtual Workplace� solution with its flagship products; MetaframeXP and Nfuse – a Webification product and Extranet – a VPN solution.
p____p adami points out, “Today, IT plays an important role in any corporate house, more so in an individual�s life. Users are shifting from using information from different sources to asking for a personalized information page. They want all this to be delivered via a desktop, which travels with him and creates a virtual office. With our solutions, any corporate can make the concept of a virtual workplace real today.”
p____p Nair agrees with him and says, “Many companies especially in the FMCG and the manufacturing segment are looking at Citrix solutions. They not only provide security and rapid deployment but also a manageable and cost-effective set up.”
p____p Today, Citrix has some 500 major clients like Maruti, Malayalam Manorama, LG, Britannia, The Hindu, Orange, Airtel, etc. “Corporate policies prevent me from mentioning figures but it will not be out of place to mention that we have experienced triple digit growth in FY 2000-01 and almost a similar growth in this FY. We are once again ready to achieve a similar growth this year too,”informs Badami.
p____p ASP is a concept whose time has not yet come. But there is tremendous potential among companies who believe in outsourcing for the parent organization, or for companies undertaking international business operations of an enterprise.
p____p Citrix is constantly working on its technologies to popularize the concept. It develops a platform release every 18 months and feature release once every six months. Badami says, “It is our endeavor to deliver a virtual workplace solution framework. In this context, we are consistently working on new product developments.”
p____p The concept of �software as a service� is revolutionary. And if Citrix and its partners succeed, the day is not far when we will be working in our own virtual workplaces.

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