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Citrix taking the channel to a digital workplace future

Citrix is moving beyond its virtualisation roots and is working to make sure it has the channel in place to support its ambitions

Some vendors have been busier than others during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, depending on the technology they offer the market.

Laptop makers, headset players and those specialising in collaboration have all seen surges in demand since the lockdown started back in March.

Citrix has been among those that have seen an uptick in demand and has increased support for its partners and customers. But thoughts are already turning to what lies beyond lockdown and how the firm can work with the channel to tap into the broader shift towards digital working.

Daren Finney, vice-president of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) partner sales at Citrix, said that the crisis “had demonstrated the resiliency of our partner community [and highlighted] the role partners have played to help our customers at a time when they are adjusting”.

“We have seen our partners reacting very well to supply customers with the business transformation they need,” he added.

Citrix has been promoting the “any, any, any” message for a while, encouraging customers to work anywhere with any device. But for many users, it has been Covid-19 that has finally has given them an insight into just what is possible.

The vendor has a background in the virtualisation world and was perceived as one of the go-to providers for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments, but it is on a journey towards being seen as a workplace experience specialist.

For Finney, that not only means it has a different story to tell customers, but that it has the opportunity to work with a wider channel base.

“We can improve workplace experience and get things done, improving employee experience and satisfaction. That is about having different conversations to the ones we have had. Virtualisation is a tech conversation with a CIO, but workplace and business is something that would interest a CEO/COO/CHO,” he said.

Finney said that Citrix has partnerships today that would help it accelerate into the cloud, but it is also open to expanding the channel to make sure it could get the digital workplace approach out to more users.

“There could be new partners like GSIs and ISVs that use workplace as the enabler, and our technology becomes part of the overall tech they take to market,” he said.

There have been investments made to ensure that the firm can provide the support that global system integrators are looking for, and there are efforts being made to develop the use cases for those solution practices that are advising customers looking at work practices.

Current events mean that most customers are thinking about digital workplaces in a way they simply haven’t before.

“We can build on that strong base around business continuity and, over the past two months, that has given us a stronger base than we ever had before to build on,” added Finney. “We have seen a great deal of new customers and new partners.”

In the meantime, Citrix is ensuring that its loyal partners are supported through the pandemic and that they are given the support to react to the requirements of those small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers that are struggling with the current situation.

“We are really making sure we can support our partners in this time. We have some promotions and programmes and [help with] run-rate business,” Finney said, adding that Citrix had also doubled-down on MDF to help partners generate new opportunities.

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