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Channel Surfing: Citrix talks business

13 Dec 2011

Heightened concerns about ongoing global financial problems in 2012 mean resellers who are capable of taking the virtualisation story efficiently to market stand to gain ‘more than their fair share’ in the coming year, Citrix says.

The company is expecting ‘explosive’ growth in New Zealand on the back of virtualisation, BYOD and the recent appointment of Hamish McNee as New Zealand channels development manager.

Neville James, Citrix channel director for Australia and New Zealand, says the uncertainty around the global economy will see companies taking a ‘more for less’ approach, which plays very much in virtualisation’s favour, ‘and New Zealand is no exception to that’.

"Partners need to be having conversations with potential customers which are financial as much as IT conversations,” James says.

"There is huge scope for those in the channel who can have more than just a broad technology conversation with customers. Those that can talk about business outcomes and processes and how to drive efficiencies will be the ones to succeed out of the virtualisation push,” James says.

"Companies are looking at how they can do business more efficiently and how they can leverage dynamic  business models. And virtualisation allows that,” he says.

"We are expecting an explosion in growth in New Zealand. New Zealand has had a few big hits this year with the Christchurch earthquake and the Rugby World Cup, which saw a number of large plans put on hold [by customers]. But we’ve already seen a large ramp up as companies plan for next year, and rush to place orders.”

James says McNee’s appointment, and presence on the ground in New Zealand, will mean the channel will see ‘a really significant increase in awareness around Citrix’.

McNee says traditionally the company has handled its partnership management remotely, and one of his key focuses initially has been getting around partners with plans for a ‘systematic programme to work with these partners’.

James says the company has an overarching strategy of ‘less is more’ when it comes to the New Zealand channel, and is developing ‘really deep, significant relationships with just a few partners, rather than having a broad, superficial channel’. That plan will see the company with four or five significant partnerships, with other, regional resellers selected to target specific geographies.

He says the company has not had a specific channel focus in New Zealand in recent times, instead ‘for better or for worse’ running a strategy in Asia Pacific of entering a market and ‘doing the heavy lifting’ via a direct sales team.

"They do the proof of concept and market seeding. But now we recognise that the market is at a tipping point. While virtual desktop penetration is by no means at saturation – it’s about 10-13% penetration – we are seeing momentum. And we recognise that to be capable going forward we need to build our partner eco-systems to take our offerings more proactively to a broader range of customers.”

McNee says two important issues facing the market are having to roll out Windows 7, and BYOD, both of which play to Citrix’s strengths.  "With Windows 7 it’s how to enable and facilitate that using virtual infrastructure components,” he says.

"It’s a good time for Citrix,” James adds.

Heather Wright is editor of The Channel. Go here to subscribe.