The Desktops-as-a-Service market is growing – and more managed service providers, web hosters and traditional telcos are showing interest in aligning with Citrix to drive DaaS adoption in a variety of businesses.  One of the top questions new partners ask when entering the DaaS business is “what price should I charge for Desktops-as-a-Service?”

How do service providers price Desktops-as-a-Service DaaS?

Expanding a Managed Services Practice with Hosted Desktops-as-a-Service

Microsoft SPLA partners who once just sold Microsoft RDS licenses add Citrix hosted apps, desktops, mobile device management plus file share and sync to their existing customer base – and see great growth in this hosted services market. Managed service providers who have built a business on disaster recovery and hosted email are looking into DaaS as a new sales motion into both existing contacts and new markets.

Service providers are attracted to Citrix with no up-front fees for joining the Citrix Service Provider program, convenient pay-as-you-go monthly billing and complete service provider focused resources — business, marketing, sales and technical — to grow a DaaS business. But pricing the new offering – on top of RDS licenses and other managed services – is a formula that requires some deeper analysis.

4 Steps for DaaS Pricing

Citrix Service Providers determine their own fees for hosted services, depending on the offering’s complexity. Current Citrix Service Providers have reported per month per user fees ranging from $50 USD per user per desktop on the very low end, $100-200 per desktop in the mid-range and anywhere from $300 USD and more per user per desktop for vertically focused specialized desktops.

Value – availability, complexity, data

Service providers aim for competitive and fair pricing, but take into account the work involved in maintaining specialized applications, plus addressing specific security and compliance concerns. There are 4 key considerations for DaaS pricing.

Consideration 1: What is the service provider hosting?

On the low end of the scale, some offerings are limited to a single hosted application. If application compatibility problems stop a vital app from running on Windows 7 or Windows 8, a business may turn to a service provider to provide that same legacy application on a hosted application environment. The application access is straightforward and secure in the virtual environment.

To speed application delivery, Citrix Service Providers uniquely have access to Citrix application compatibility testing, remediation and virtualization tools to quickly identify the best method for delivering an application to an end user in a DaaS environment.

Consideration 2: How many applications are being hosted?

Mid-size offerings may include hosted desktops with multiple line of business applications. A small business that has just a few business applications and the need for anywhere, anytime access to a complete business-ready desktop may pay a mid-level price for a secure hosted desktop.

Consideration 3: How complex is the Desktops-as-a-Service offering?

Larger and more expensive offerings include the entire hosted desktop, complete with hosted applications, file share and sync, plus mobile device management. The applications may be regular business applications like Microsoft Exchange and specialized line of business applications like a specific accounting, payroll, or industry-specific application.

Consideration 4: How complex are the line of business applications?

On the very high end are more complex applications, such as electronic medical records, ERP systems or graphics-intensive CAD or engineering apps. These apps are more difficult to manage and can correlate to the highest end price of the hosted desktop.

Certainly service providers with a vertical focus have more intense knowledge of other complexities like compliance – whether patient data, customer contact information or financial regulations – and the day-to-day focus of a specialized business. That vertical insight also drives the specific per user per desktop cost of a hosted services offering.

Buyers Balance Price Versus Desktops-as-a-Service Convenience

End users concerned about the growing need to manage IT, server upgrades, software updates, security concerns and compliance issues find convenience and peace of mind in a hosted desktop.   The benefits of a well-managed, enterprise-class and business-ready hosted desktop far outweigh the monthly service costs.

For the practice manager of a medical clinic, patient care is top of mind, not a server upgrade. For a growing retail chain, the business development manager is focused on daily sales reports and inventory management are high priorities, not mobile device management. For a mid-size manufacturer, the operations director needs to focus on hiring, production quality and shipment delivery, not if the new sales manager can use a company-issued sales application on her personal tablet. Citrix Service Providers take the day-to-day IT burden off of the people who make business work by just making IT work.
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