I remember when I was in the field, among the many things that partners wanted were better options for evaluating Citrix XenApp. The reason is because they have many prospects calling on them asking for an evaluation but no way to service them – either because of lack of resources or lack of budget or committment from the customer. See, customers come in many phases of preparedness. Some are just learning about application virtualization and just want to kick the tires on something. Others have budget and are seriously committed to finding the right solution. You’ve got to have options that help you bring the early stage folks up to the qualified lead level while limiting the amount of resources needed by you to get them there.
- Mr. Cheap - This type of prospect knows a bit about application virtualization and may have the hardware to run their own evaluation system but want free help from you to set it up. As a partner, you’re stuck because your engineering time is money so you need to charge for this. At the same time, you don’t want to say no and just send them away to bark up another partners tree. This is the perfect use case for the Citrix Evaluation Virtual Appliance. It’s a completely pre-configured virtual machine system running XenApp. it runs on Xen or Hyper-V and helps customers quickly virtualize their own apps and deliver them to their own users. It’s got an illustrated quick start guide that leads them through the process of profiling, publishing and accessing applications. They can even add the machine to their domain. It’s still a basic system with none of the Platinum level features turned on which makes it a handy way to get their foot in the door without trampling on your value-add and without adding any unnecessary complexity to your sale. This also leaves lots for you to discuss when you finally come on site to sell them your services and expertise. Licenses are also available online and the system will support 99 users and timeout in 60 days. The system can even be expanded if you wish by adding the Platinum features with a manual installation.
- Mr. Custom - This type of prospect knows what application virtualization is to some degree and they aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty. They likely have budget to solve a particular problem and they might also have the time and resources to do it themselves. They likely have hardware that they can use and the know-how to read documentation (ahem ). This is the kind of customer you want to be dealing with. You’ll either sell them evaluation services that will roll into a deal with implementation and support services or watch from the side-lines guiding their evaluation as it progresses and sell them product, implementation and support services at the end. In any case, this type of evaluation will leverage XenApp media that is downloadable from Citrix.com or you’ll give them physical DVD media. Great thing here is we’ve made licenses available online as well so it’s easier for you to obtain for them or for them to obtain themselves. Another great thing is that the eval is limited to 90 days. Additionally, you’ll be dealing with a more knowledgeable customer so the design phase should go a lot smoother if you know what you’re doing. On the downside, if you don’t know what you’re doing the same will be easier by the knowledgeable customer to sense so be prepared and send in your very best.
So the net-net is that there is now an evaluation option for nearly any type of customer and the best part about it is that you now have options for limiting the involvement of profitable engineers and also for empowering your sales team to do more on their own. Check it out for yourselves at the XenApp evaluation center.
Please let us know what you think of these new evaluation options.