Citrix Launches New SMB Business for Desktop Virtualization
Citrix VDI-in-a-Box 5 Anchors Strategy Spanning New Channel Specialization, Strong Partner Ecosystem and New Solution for the SMB Market
Barcelona, Spain - Today, at Citrix Summit™, the premier Citrix partner training event, Citrix announced a broad new set of products, solutions and programs designed to help small and medium businesses move from the PC Era to the Cloud Era by capitalizing on the benefits of desktop virtualization. Central to the company’s new SMB initiative is the release of an all-new version of Citrix VDI-in-a-Box™, the easy, affordable, all-in-one virtual desktop solution designed specifically for small and medium businesses. VDI-in-a-Box 5 is the first Citrix release of this market-leading desktop virtualization product following the acquisition of Kaviza in May 2011 (see announcement). In addition, Citrix announced a new solution combining Citrix VDI-in-a-Box and the Citrix GoToManage® cloud-based support offering, making it easy for managed service providers and IT staff to remotely monitor and support virtual desktop deployments at multiple sites or customer locations.
To help drive further penetration in this fast-growing market segment, Citrix also announced a new channel partner specialization for the Citrix Solution Advisor Program, called SMB Specialist. SMB Specialists, which Citrix will begin certifying in January, will have access to an extensive set of sales tools, free online training and pre-sales support focused specifically on helping them successfully engage and service SMB customers.
The new Citrix SMB initiative also includes support for thousands of Citrix Ready® products from leading technology partners like Dell and Wyse that will offer validated hardware and software solutions easily consumed by small and midsize business. The combination of Citrix VDI-in-a-Box 5, Citrix GoToManage, the support of a strong Citrix Ready ecosystem, and a new SMB Specialists channel program, all help extend the benefits of “going virtual” at the desktop to 10s of 1000s of small and medium businesses worldwide.
Desktop Virtualization: One Size Does Not Fit All
As the industry moves from the PC Era to the Cloud Era, desktop virtualization is rapidly being adopted by cloud providers and large enterprises to centrally-manage and deliver virtual desktops and apps as a service to any user, on any device, in any location. Small and medium businesses want to adopt desktop virtualization for the same reasons large enterprises do – to reduce desktop management costs, improve security and increase business agility, but they often find enterprise-class solutions overkill for smaller environments. Citrix acquired Kaviza in May 2011 because it shared the vision with Kaviza founders that the SMB market has unique IT challenges that cannot be addressed by the one-size-fits-all approach of other vendor solutions. Citrix VDI-in-a-Box 5 is purpose-built for SMB customers. Its simple all-in-one architecture eliminates over 60 percent of VDI costs without compromising features like user experience, security and high availability that are needed by customers of all sizes.
Solutions and Engagement Model Tailored for the SMB Market
Citrix is already the clear market leader in desktop virtualization for enterprise customers and cloud providers with Citrix XenDesktop®. With the addition of VDI-in-a-Box 5, Citrix now offers the best virtual desktop solution for SMB customers as well, along with tailored solutions, channel programs and technology partnerships to ensure success for customers of all sizes. The new Citrix SMB initiative includes:
- Simple, Affordable Virtual Desktops – Citrix VDI-in-a-Box 5 is the easy, affordable, all-in-one virtual desktop solution for SMBs. It deploys on a single server, and includes everything Windows® administrators need to rapidly deliver centrally-managed virtual desktops to any user, anytime, on any device – for less than the cost of new PCs. VDI-in-a-Box 5 delivers a high-definition user experience with Citrix HDX™ technology, supports more than one billion business and consumer devices through the Citrix Receiver™ software client, and ensures high availability. Its dramatically simplified design eliminates over 60 percent of traditional enterprise VDI infrastructure – including management servers and shared storage (SANs) – by creating a grid of off-the-shelf servers with direct-attached storage perfect for SMB environments.
The latest release adds new features aimed at radically simplifying virtual desktops – new wizards to further simplify and speed virtual desktop management for Windows® administrators, an expanded open architecture to include support for the three major hypervisors – Microsoft Hyper-V®, Citrix XenServer® and VMware vSphere™, ESX and ESXi – and is delivered as a fully integrated Citrix solution backed by the worldwide expertise and support of the market leader in desktop virtualization. (See detailed blog)
- Remote Management and Support – To help channel partners, managed service providers and IT administrators support SMB customers, Citrix GoToManage has new dashboards and alerts that make it easy to remotely monitor and support Citrix VDI-in-a-Box servers and virtual desktop deployments anytime, from anywhere. GoToManage continually tracks key health and performance metrics on the physical and virtual infrastructure helping to keep end users productive. Alerts can be configured to provide an “early-warning-system” – giving IT pros time to troubleshoot problems and make configuration changes before users are impacted. With the GoToManage Remote Support module, it is easy to set up and securely access (over the Internet) all VDI-in-a-Box servers from a PC, Mac, or iPad.
- SMB-focused Channel Enablement – Citrix invites partners to join the Citrix Solution Advisor program as an SMB Specialist to help SMB customers to realize all the benefits of desktop virtualization. Training is fast, online and free. SMB Specialists can quickly get an evaluation up and running for customers utilizing the free trial, as well as leverage customer videos and testimonials, key-play marketing resources and online forums with tips and best practices.
- Partner Ecosystem to Ease Virtual Desktop Deployments – A key component to the Citrix strategy for SMBs is working with a partner ecosystem to develop validated end-to-end solutions that can be easily purchased and consumed by customers. The Dell and Citrix VDI-in-a-Box solution, available today from Dell, combines Dell validated server configurations and Citrix VDI-in-a-Box software into easy-to-use reference architectures, helping SMBs adopt desktop virtualization, while addressing implementation complexity and eliminating capital cost barriers (see blog). Wyse is offering the industry’s only zero-framework clients for VDI-in-a-Box with special partner promotions (see related announcement).
Krishna Subramanian, Vice President, Marketing & Business Development, SMB Solutions, Citrix
“There is pent-up demand among small and medium organizations who want to realize the benefits of desktop virtualization but have been underserved by existing solutions. Together with our partners, Citrix is breaking down the barriers for smaller organizations wanting to realize the business agility and efficiency of virtual desktops but face tight budget and resource constraints”
Tom Flink, Vice President, WW Channels and Market Development, Citrix
“VDI-in-a-Box represents a significant new revenue opportunity for the channel. Based on feedback from our partners we created a specialization with the tools and incentives to enable the partner community to take full advantage of the growing demand in the market. We also eliminated complex program requirements that create barriers for SMB-focused partners to engage with us.”
James Preston, IT Technician, Fitzharrys School, Abingdon, UK
“We were looking for something that would extend the lifespan of our classroom PCs, while keeping us at the leading edge of technology. Within an hour of first hearing about VDI-in-a-Box we had it up and running on a spare PC. Nothing else we had tried could even match this ease and speed of free trial download to a full production deployment. The best thing about VDI-in-a-Box is that you can scale from 20 clients to 100 just by adding another server – no extra configuration needed.”
Rafael Colorado, Director, Desktop Virtual Solutions, Dell
“Small and mid-sized organizations are increasingly acknowledging the need to streamline their desktop management with VDI, but they are often faced with significant deployment challenges. By combining validated Dell PowerEdge server configurations with Citrix VDI-in-a-Box software, Dell is offering a unique solution in the market for addressing implementation complexity and eliminating capital cost barriers. The combination of Citrix software with Dell hardware makes IT more agile so SMBs can drive strategic initiatives for their organizations.”
Param Desai, Senior Director, Product Management at Wyse Technology
“Coupled with Citrix VDI-in-a-Box, Wyse thin clients deliver the best-in-class, most affordable VDI solution for SMBs. To support the wide adoption of VDI-in-a-Box, Wyse will offer a special promo price of US $249 for the C10LE zero-framework client through common Wyse and Citrix distributors. Wyse is excited to deliver a flexible, secure, multiprotocol supported, no management required, SMB virtual desktop solution with VDI-in-a-Box.”
Joining as a Citrix Solution Advisor Program SMB Specialist
There are no minimum requirements to join as an SMB Specialist. Partners that complete free online training will be eligible for leads and can earn up to 10 percent rewards from the Citrix Advisor Rewards program. New partners don’t have to wait for this specialization to be available, they can join the Citrix Solution Advisor program today at www.citrix.com/csa.
Citrix VDI-in-a-Box 5 will be released this quarter. A free technology preview trial is available at www.citrix.com/vdi-in-a-box/try-it. Learn more by attending a TechTalk and product overview webinar, sign up at www.citrix.com/vdi-in-a-box.
- Expert Blog: Citrix Builds Desktop Virtualization Business
- Announcement: Citrix Extends Desktop Virtualization Portfolio with Acquisition of Kaviza