When I joined Citrix 14 months ago, the position pitched to me was to bring “service-provider speak” to our enterprise desktop team, as well as to communicate the virtues of Citrix hosted desktop (DaaS) technology to our Citrix Service Provider (CSP) and white label DaaS partners.

Well, this week marks another milestone toward those objectives, with collaborative work with Cisco to support their DaaS Solution, as well as with an announcement of updated Citrix desktop management tools engineered specifically for our Service Provider partner community.

These moves are part of our doubling-down on DaaS, Cloud-hosted desktops, and our support for our thousands of service provider partners globally. Our work with Cisco also signals to the market our commitment not only to providing the very best worry-free technology, but to our building the very best sales, outreach, services definition, marketing and business development ecosystem for our DaaS partners in the SP industry.

Collaborative work with the Cisco DaaS Solution

The first important step forward is work we’re doing with Cisco, one of the major infrastructure forces in the service provider industry.

Citrix and Cisco will be working in both technology and business domains to help providers define, build, market and sell hosted desktop / DaaS solutions.  Given that collaborative work, the newly announced Cisco Desktop as a Service (DaaS) Solution with Citrix will offer service provider partners a customized, and integrated cloud-based solution that includes Citrix XenDesktop, Application Orchestration (see below).

This pairing of Cisco infrastructure design with Citrix DaaS products/architecture ensures a stable, scalable, economical solution for DaaS service providers.

Citrix Cloud Provider Pack 2

Also being announced this week is our Cloud Provider Pack 2 (see download links below), technologies designed to simplify the sophisticated day-to-day activities of hosted desktop & application providers – building on our original Cloud Provider Pack.  At a high level they consist of:

  • Application Orchestration v2: App Orchestration automates sophisticated tasks within hosted multi-tenant Citrix environments. Think of this engine as simplifying administration of four major datacenter components
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    > Component Management:  Aiding in the harmonious configuration of XenDesktop, XenApp, NetScaler and Active Directory.  This helps automate installation of farms/sites, session machines and StoreFront server groups.
    > Selection of Compute Platforms: Simplifying how Citrix technologies can be provisioned/deployed on virtualization and/or various public cloud technologies, including those based on CloudStack.
    > Coordination across Data Centers: assisting in managing multiple product versions and farms in physically distinct domains
    > Sophisticated tenant administration: providing improved delegated administration to manage various levels of access, improved network-level tenant isolation, and improved user and machine isolation/domains.
  • CloudPortal Services Manager 11 Services Update: CPSM, a portal-based provisioning product that simplifies and helps scale administrator actions when provisioning new tenants and new users.  It provides out-of-the-box support for Desktop-as-a-Service, as well as for popular business applications like Exchange, Office, SharePoint, Lync, and web hosting.

What this news means to DaaS Service Providers

Make no mistake – these moves are about more than just technology. They’re about assisting our service provider partners to be more efficient, more profitable, and of more value to their customers. And we do this through resources we provide via the Citrix Service Provider Program. In a snapshot, we provide a mature set of enablers specific to service providers choosing to host apps and desktops:

  • Best practices and prescriptive resources for defining, building and launching a successful DaaS practice
  • Knowledge bases about markets, customers, pricing and industry benchmarks
  • Community and recognition programs across our partner community
  • A cloud-neutral and virtualization-neutral service provider reference architecture
  • Multiple options for comprehensive multi-tenancy
  • Preferred business partners who provide specific services unique to CSP needs at all stages of their business roll-out
  • An industry-leading team of professionals with MSP, Telco, Cloud and Hosted Service backgrounds

Our results have been fantastic – and I do have to beat the drum here.  SP’s are voting with their feet: By my estimates we have around 10x-100x as many DaaS partners as our nearest competition, and our partners are hosting a vastly larger installed-base of customers than our competition. Partners range from regional MSPs to global telcos, offering solutions in nearly every industry – Healthcare, Public sector, Legal, Finance, Manufacturing, Retail, Agriculture, and education just to name a few.

Got  an idea, opinion, perspective? Share it below. And stay tuned for more in 2014!

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