Behind every successful customer, there’s a skilled partner who understands that short and long term success comes from starting small, helping customers overcome business challenges, and overachieving. Happy customers buy more.
A skilled partner who can identify and solve business challenges quickly will never worry about making their numbers. Citrix and Microsoft created the Cloud Alliance initiative precisely to help partners deliver on this promise to their customers.
The IT industry is well past the point where prospects need to be sold on the benefits of the cloud. They get it: business agility, IT efficiency, workplace security, and so much more. When they’re not ready to make the move, it’s usually due to some combination of fear and uncertainty. They’re not sure how to get started and they’re afraid of getting in over their heads. In some ways, they’ve been led astray by all the “IT transformation” talk that heralded the early days of cloud. That sounds a lot like trying to boil the ocean, and it’s the last thing a busy IT professional wants to take on.
But what if you could ease into cloud adoption with a small, tightly scoped use case or two? That’s a lot less scary. In fact, there’s probably some form of limited cloud adoption already underway at the customer’s organization whether they think of it that way or not—Windows 10, Office 365, SAP, Adobe Creative Cloud, and so on. By taking a similarly low-key approach to additional cloud services, they can see immediate value without having to change much, if anything, about the way they run IT.
The key to making this kind of sale is to educate customers about the almost magical simplicity and transparency of allowing Citrix Cloud to manage their Citrix infrastructure on Azure. In this type of solution, the customer (or their managed service provider) remains in charge of the workloads themselves. Customers benefit from a guaranteed service level agreement and an evergreen service that’s patched and tuned by Citrix, with the workloads they choose, fully under their own control in their cloud subscriptions.
With the Citrix Cloud management backplane, Citrix has done the heavy lifting for you by pre-provisioning all of the various cloud services you might want to take advantage of in your business. No separate consoles, no interop work to configure (or misconfigure!)—you simply enable the services you want, as you need them, from a single management console. That same console lets you manage Citrix resources side-by-side, in the same way, regardless of where they run: on-premises, on Azure, or in another public cloud environment. Wherever and however your customer’s services are delivered, Citrix’s unique hybrid-ready architecture makes them simple to configure, secure, and manage while providing a great experience for every user.
With that kind of flexibility, customers can adopt Citrix Cloud services on Azure to address specific pain points, get quick wins for their business, and gain experience with cloud before moving on to additional use cases. It’s no longer about all or nothing; your customers can move step-by-step into cloud, gaining experience and confidence at a pace that fits their business needs.
Disaster recovery is a popular starting point for many customers. Instead of incurring the capital and operating expenses of building and maintaining a physical disaster recovery site—and seeing it go unutilized most of the time—customers can set up a disaster recovery site on Azure and put their Citrix workloads there as well. When disaster strikes, users can continue to access their Citrix Cloud services using any device and network, from any location, to keep the business up and running.
Workforce flexibility offers another quick-win path to the cloud. Customers can use Citrix Cloud services to create secure digital workspaces that can be delivered to anyone inside or outside the organization, using any device and network. Contractors, partners, temps, offshore workers, and other third parties can log in easily to all the apps, desktops, and data their work requires while IT maintains complete security and control. The same applies for newly onboarded workers; people can be up and running quickly their first day on the job whether they’re working on-site, at home, or at a remote location.
M&A gets a lot easier with a Citrix-Microsoft solution. As in the use cases above, customers can create secure digital workspaces in the cloud, then provide immediate access to the employees of the newly acquired or merged business on the devices they’re already using to skip the long timelines and high capital and operating expense of provisioning traditional infrastructure and endpoints.
These are some of the simplest ways customers can dip their toes into the cloud waters. Whatever they’re trying to accomplish for their business, they can get it done more quickly and efficiently by working with a trusted advisor who partners with both Citrix and Microsoft—and on their terms, without getting locked into a bigger transformation project than they are ready for.
As they get more experienced and comfortable with cloud, customers can begin to think more broadly. If my data center is getting full, why spend eight million dollars and 18 months to build a new one? Instead, I can just move the rest of my Citrix Cloud workloads to Azure and spend a fraction of that on a monthly basis, dialed up and down based on actual demand? CIOs love to mitigate risk, and a great way to do that is to have a guaranteed SLA from Citrix and Microsoft with provision and staff for capacity needs, so customers can just consume what they need, as they need it. That’s at least worth a proof-of-concept—and based on the experience of our partners, customers are showing a lot of interest in Citrix on Azure PoCs these days, and they’re doing a lot to help close deals. Once you’ve moved that original workload from the customer’s data center to the cloud, the door remains open for additional projects you can assist them with.
Here’s one more way the Citrix and Microsoft Cloud Alliance helps your business—and it’s a good one. As a partner of both companies, you’re entitled to both sets of sales incentives—and that’s on top of the marketing support, training vouchers, and cash incentives that come with your membership in the Alliance. This is truly a win-win-win for you, your customers, and the Citrix-Microsoft partnership.
Citrix will have a lot more to say about sales plays like these at Citrix Summit this January 7 – 9, 2019, a must-attend event for every partner interested in growing sales, margins, and customer relationships with Citrix on Azure. The data shows what a dramatic impact Summit can have on your business: partners who attend see their revenue increase by an average of 30% the following year. If you’re not currently a Citrix partner, learn more about Citrix partner programs. We’d would love to have you on the team!