Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS) are partnering more deeply in the desktop as a service (DaaS), mobile and data center markets.

The VAR Guy

June 25, 2012

2 Min Read
Cisco, Citrix: From Desktop Virtualization to the Data Center?

Cisco Citrix Desktop Virtualization

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS) are partnering more deeply in the desktop as a service (DaaS), mobile and data center markets. The Cisco-Citrix relationship seeks to help partners accelerate their sales cycles and lift profitability. Take a closer look and you’ll see Cisco Systems maintaining a careful balancing act between its Citrix, VMware and Microsoft relationships.

First, the nuts and bolts of the Cisco-Citrix relationship: The Partner Accelerator relationship covers such areas as:

  • Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) an Citrix XenDesktop solution solutions.

  • Tools help channel partners engage in consultative sales, expand their data center, desktop virtualization and collaboration practices, and develop repeatable solutions, the companies claim.

  • Strategies that combine virtual desktops, voice and video built on optimized data center, network and collaboration infrastructure, the companies said.

  • Additional benefits that enhance partner profitability include proof-of-concept and assessment funding.

Clearly, Cisco and Citrix each believe Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)/virtual desktops/DaaS are gaining critical mass. Brian Allison, director of worldwide channels at Cisco, says customer pilots and proof of concept projects for such services are accelerating. Cynthia Gallant, VP of worldwide channel strategy and market development at Citrix, pushes a bit further, asserting that the VDI market is now ready for mass adoption.

Cisco and Citrix believe tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices are driving the VDI trend — especially since corporate executives are demanding anytime, anywhere application access from any device.

Cisco’s Virtualization Balancing Act

Meanwhile, Cisco continues to balancing multiple virtualization partnerships. For starters, the company continues to invest in VCE (Virtual Compute Environment), which is also backed by VMware and EMC.

Cisco has pumped $322 million into VCE so far, and the company expects to make continued investments in that business this year, according to a May 2012 SEC filing.

Meanwhile, Cisco continues to partner with Microsoft on the Windows Server front — where Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor hopes to disrupt VMware’s business. Cisco had a major presence at Microsoft’s recent TechEd conference, and Cisco will be on hand again at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2012, July 8-12, Toronto).

Cisco’s fast-growing server and unified compute system (UCS) businesses depend heavily on third-party application support. That’s why Hyper-V, Exchange Server, SharePoint and other Microsoft applications have Cisco’s attention.

Still, today’s news involves Cisco and Citrix empowering partners for VDI and desktop as a service. Are channel partners finally ready to take VDI and desktop as a service mainstream? The VAR Guy is watching.

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