What do bring your own device (BYOD), executive and employee mobility and unified communications have in common? They are virtual workspace scenarios made possible by Cisco Virtual Experience Infrastructure (VXI), a combined virtual desktop, collaboration and network infrastructure solution that features Citrix XenDesktop. Built on Cisco datacenter, networking and collaboration technologies, Cisco VXI with Citrix XenDesktop is currently the only complete virtual workspace solution on the market – making it attractive to mid-size and large organizations that seek an integrated approach.
Richard Bernard, National Practice Lead, Advanced Systems for ePlus comments, “VXI integrates the features of the virtual desktop with mobility and Cisco Unified Communications. The synergy of these features creates a transformative solution that unbridles our clients from the limitations of networked PCs. Businesses are enabled to work in new creative ways that speed up business process, improve worker productivity, enhance profitability and amplify the agility to compete more effectively.”
The VXI offering is a bit ahead of the curve, however. Many IT departments are focusing on implementing desktop virtualization technology rather than taking a strategic approach. To educate customers about the business and IT advantages of creating a virtual workspace powered by VXI and XenDesktop, Cisco and Citrix designed the Partner Accelerator, a go-to-market initiative that accelerates channel business. Citrix and Cisco channel partners are the logical route to market to bring together the multivendor technologies and services for successful desktop virtualization initiatives in customer accounts worldwide. Since Citrix and Cisco both have a deep channel heritage and a highly recognized channel sales motion, the channel is one of the richest targets for us to jointly engage.
The Partner Accelerator framework aims to provide joint Cisco and Citrix partners with the skills, knowledge and resources they need to sell and implement the VXI solution. New opportunities for Citrix, Cisco and joint partners are in full swing and partners are already reaping the benefits. For example,ePlus inc., a system integrator and reseller, is already achieving notable success with the Partner Accelerator framework. The Herndon, Virginia-based company, which has strong partnerships with Citrix and Cisco, has closed a number of deals, many involving thousands of seats.
Richard explains, “The Cisco VXI with Citrix XenDesktop solution enables us to cut through the fear, uncertainty and doubt that many customers feel when contemplating a virtual desktop project. Not only does it employ a common architecture with repeatable, validated components, but it offers simplicity, affordability and speed.”
The solution gives partners a competitive advantage. Richard says, “We are able to offer important value to customers, including a ‘tried and true’ solution that is based on a Cisco Validated Design and guaranteed to work. It keeps the customer out of the weeds of technology decisions. Finally, support is managed through Cisco, with partners like Citrix working closely behind the scenes to resolve any technical issues. This gives customers a single point of contact, which is very attractive.”
Another financial benefit is the ability to implement a paid pilot, vs. an unpaid proof of concept, at a customer site. These pilots, with a few hundred seats, can be expanded by adding servers and licenses to the existing infrastructure and design.
The Partner Accelerator framework provides a wide range of tools, including templates, playbooks for selling scenarios and ROI and TCO calculators. “We feel very supported by this program, with many people to rely on for advice and mentorship,” Richard says. “It also frees us to concentrate on new business.”