Nov

192010

Q&A: Citrix Service Provider Program - Enabling IT-as-a-Service from the Cloud

From the Inside Q&A with Scott Swanburg of Citrix explores the Citrix Service Provider program.

Citrix kicked off a pilot of the Citrix Service Provider (CSP) program in 2008 and officially launched the program in market in July of 2009. After conducting research and collaborating with existing service providers, Citrix concluded that there was a strong need for this type of partner program for managed IT services. Fast-forward to 2010 and Citrix has seen tremendous growth and partner participation in the program, fully demonstrating the market opportunity. We asked Scott Swanburg, director of the Citrix Service Provider program, to give some perspective on the market for IT services and discuss the success this program has experienced.

Q. Can you describe the Citrix Service Provider program?  
The CSP program provides our service provider partners with a subscription-based pricing model (monthly pay-as-you-go) for all of Citrix core products, allowing our partners to deliver desktops and applications as a service that are billed on a per-month basis.  

Q. Why was it created and what purpose does it serve with our customers and partners?
By developing this program, Citrix is helping our partners develop new revenue streams and offer valuable services to companies looking to outsource portions of their IT. For several years, Microsoft has been developing the market opportunity for service providers based on its Service Provider License Agreement. There are thousands of SPLA partners and hundreds of thousands of RDS SPLA licenses already in market. As a key partner to Microsoft, Citrix saw strong potential to develop new avenues to market. The CSP program is about net new growth for our technology in the service provider market space by cultivating existing SPLA partners.

Q. What is the market opportunity for our partners?
Citrix service providers have a tremendous opportunity to expand their existing hosting businesses from single applications such as Microsoft Exchange to providing all Windows applications by using a Software-as-a-Service model.  For Citrix, this provides a net new market opportunity, representing a new route to market and expanding the value of our technology to new partners and customers.  

Q. What kind of success have we seen thus far with partners?  
The CSP program was launched in July of 2009. Since its inception, we have signed over 700 new CSP partners and now have thousands of subscription licenses in market. The program is growing at a rate of around 15 percent per month.

Q. Can you discuss an example of how our partners are rolling out services to customers?
Historically, software-as-a-service has been a monolithic approach to IT-as-a-Service. With the addition of the hosted shared desktops any CSP can now deliver an entire Windows desktop as a service and provide differentiation through the management and delivery of applications into that environment. Many CSPs are using the term Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) to define their offering to the end user. As an example, one of our service provider partners, Nasstar, has developed a complete service offering built around Citrix XenApp™.

Q. Is there a particular type of customer that is ideal for such a service?
Citrix service provides are, by and large, selling desktops as a service to the SMB market using Citrix technology. The typical end customer is a company of around 250 employees with a need for offsite delivery of applications.

Q. Where will Citrix be taking this program in the future?
Citrix has committed engineering resources focused on helping to drive the evolution of the DaaS delivery model for service providers. We think of this market in terms of tiered service providers. Each tier has a bit of a different approach and corresponding need for our technology. The core requirement for each is a simple, scalable approach to delivering applications over the Internet. We will be expanding our marketing and sales efforts with a variety of tools and support for each of these tiers of partners, and will continue to sign new partners and will focus on scaling the business into 2011 and beyond.


Additional Resources about the Citrix Service Provider Program: