“You know what they say, ‘You don’t sell the steak, you sell the sizzle.'”, Cosmo Kramer
- Seinfeld Episode: The Bizarro Jerry – 1996

In my last blog post we talked about our deep relationship with McAfee on the security front. We also touched on our interest in storage solutions built to enhance XenDesktop deployments. Today we are going to use a case study around eG Innovations’ recent VDI Monitor program to illustrate what makes an announcement like this tick from a Citrix perspective (the steak) and what eG did to make it extremely relevant for the XenDesktop market (the sizzle). If you missed the announcement, Vishal Ganeriwala had a great follow-up blog post on the topic here.

To recap a bit, eG is a leading provider of IT infrastructure performance monitoring and management solutions. They are a Citrix Ready partner focused on a deep level of monitoring around the complete infrastructure stack (applications, hardware, network, et al) and have done a great job of extending the value of XenDesktop 5’s Desktop Director.

Now, I know we learned that sizzle is what sells (we’ll get to that in a second), but keep in mind you do have to have the ‘steak’ and eG has delivered that here with a product that adds value to monitoring a XenDesktop environment beyond where Citrix has focused. The combined solution gives customers a very deep, holistic monitoring capability for a XenDesktop environment – all hosted in the cloud so trial and usage is simple.

The ‘sizzle’ in this case comes from a specific, XenDesktop-only promotion that eG announced at Synergy Berlin. For 60 days, XenDesktop customers get to trial eG’s VDI Monitor service free. This program will help customers deliver a robust VDI service from the beginning or help optimize their existing service infrastructure while managing a production roll-out. Once setup is completed, customers log in to a web-based monitoring and reporting console hosted in the cloud by eG. During this period, Citrix customers have free access to metrics, reports, alerts, and will also get up to four hours of free performance consulting services.

Steak & Sizzle, that’s what makes a great program announcement for Citrix and it’s what our best partners concentrate on as they are planning future product integrations and the corresponding announcements. Let’s drill down a little here on what makes for great steak and great sizzle:

  • Steak – With a great product integration, extension or complementary solution built around Citrix products, we will naturally want to support these with more vigor in our programs, shows and in the marketplace. Making your solutions specific to their Citrix counterparts is paramount in both delivering a combined solution that is polished and one that provides outstanding joint value for customers. Bringing a standard, undifferentiated product to the table is fine, but realize you’re bringing low-grade hamburgers to a cookout where other partners have brought fillets.
  • Sizzle – No matter how good the steak is you bring to the cookout, we know the sizzle is what’s going to bring customers to the table. Once you’ve done the homework, and built an excellent integration with Citrix products, you want to grab the attention of Citrix, our channel partners, our marketing and sales organizations, and our joint customers. To do this you need to think through a program like eG’s free offer for XenDesktop customers, special pricing, a bundle promotion or other programs that would make sense for your product or solution that really draws customers into considering our joint solutions.

To sum up, if you want to engineer a great business partnership with Citrix – or any company for that matter – be sure to bring your best steak to the cookout and make sure you have the sizzle in your back pocket to get it trialed and sold.

Next time we’ll take a look at supporting a good partnership, what sort of tools and collateral are needed, and some common mistakes in partnering.