Can you imagine the audacity of a blog post for the self service IT industry starting with “Making Money”?  How, you might ask, is THAT possible?  Well, we need to start with the premise that there is demand for services that businesses are willing to pay for… and I’m not talking about selling fixed cost products into large enterprises…no, this is all about the 50 million SMBs looking for a way to shed their IT costs and have someone else take that burden on.  O.K. now that we’re grounded on WHO is willing to pay, let’s have a discussion about HOW to service these SMBs and WHAT technology can be used to make it happen.

Most SMBs have the same requirements for a bundle of software to run their business. The bundle starts with the need for some form of Web Hosting.  This means a site where the business can set up, maintain and iterate its e-marketing and in many cases today, sales fulfillment as well.  The site needs to be secure, accessible and economic.

Next the bundle needs to have an enterprise grade E-mail system such as Microsoft Exchange.  Add Office Productivity applications such as Microsoft Office for basic business needs.  To round out the bundle, there is a specified number of Line of Business (LOB) applications depending on the market vertical.  For the Finance sector for instance this could be applications from Sage or Quickbooks.

Finally, in order to complete the offering, there must be a way to provide Disaster Recovery and also Business Continuity in the event of a catastrophic event. But how to produce such a bundle in mass so that a Managed Service Provider can easily scale this implementation and offer up a multiple-tenant solution that provides a set number of services to scale across thousands of businesses?  Hosted Shared Desktops from Citrix.  That’s how!  Add Windows Server 2008 R2 and you might be surprised by what is possible.
 
The graphic above shows exactly what this environment looks like and the advantage for the service provider is a scalable, flexible way to offer the services and still provide individual businesses with a way in which to cut IT costs dramatically. 
 
With so many SMBs looking for this type of offering, the issue today is not where the demand is… it is instead the lack of supply from hosting providers who don’t yet know that any Windows based application can be integrated into a Hosted Shared Desktop and offered as a bundle to millions of subscribers over the Internet.  And because Hosted Shared Desktops provide a way to offer up On-Demand applications, the flexibility of your offerings are limitless.
 
If you are providing services to the SMB today, why not give your top line revenue a boost and offer up what your customers have been asking for?  Just give Citrix a call and become a Citrix Service Provider so you can get access to all of the technology you need to make this happen… and at a very affordable price.