Having attended VMworld and Citrix Summit in the space of a week, one of the main impressions I came back with was that for all the talk about desktop virtualisation over the past two years or so, it is turning out to be a bit more complex and expensive than most people originally thought.
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While everyone understands the merits of desktop virtualisation, it appears that people are still concerned about
the costs and the complexity involved
. For instance, in the latest Citrix Channel Index, resellers reported that for most customers the cost of additional infrastructure and complexity of virtualisation technologies were their top concerns.
Informal conversations with resellers seem to reinforce the impression of a market that hasn't quite hit the heights people expected. The cost issue may be addressed in the near future if Citrix delivers on its prediction that the price of virtual desktops will drop below their physical counterparts within the next six months or so.
The complexity is another issue, of course, but one that provides an opportunity to do what partners are supposed to do best. As Citrix EMEA vice president of channel strategy Carsten Thomsen pointed out, although desktop virtualisation is a "truly transformational technology", organisations still require help understanding its full potential.
"It's a perfect scenario for the channel to provide value-add in the form of genuine consultancy and service," he told MicroScope.
It's interesting to note that Citrix resellers, in any case, seem to be getting the message from the customers and living up to Thomsen's advice. According to the Citrix Channel Index, nearly 60% of partners believe their primary role is to provide consultancy, advice and knowledge around desktop virtualisation.