Citrix talks up access infrastructure at partner event

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Software vendor Citrix has outlined several initiatives that benefit partners and underline its move away from server-based computing to access infrastructure provision.

At its Australian partner and customer conference iForum in Sydney this week, US-based Citrix emphasised its new focus on value-added services around access infrastructure provision via its consolidated partner program, dubbed access Partner Network.

Michael McGrath, channel manager at Citrix in Australia, said a main focus of access Partner Network was teaching all Citrix's partners how to sell its products as ways to improve user access to all kinds of business IT infrastructure. Citrix's MetaFrame Access Suite was the flagship product in that drive.

The access Partner Network -- first flagged months ago but not formally announced until iForum -- had divided all Citrix partners into silver, gold and platinum solution adviser, system integrator, distributor and alliance partner categories, he said.

An emphasis on how Citrix software could facilitate access infrastructure aligned Citrix with a much larger market, worth $10 billion worldwide and $500 million in Australia. Every business needed better ways to access its IT infrastructure, including SMBs, he said.

“We were a big fish in a small pond. Now we're a sizeable fish in a massive pond,” McGrath said. “It's not just a name change, it's really a game change.”

He said a new element of access Partner Network was Customer Care, an initiative that would help partners support end-users. Customer Care telephone support would help partners to provide rapid, professional responses as needed, on such issues as upgrade paths and licensing, he said.

“The emphasis is on how to drive more value to the solution advisers and channel partners,” McGrath said. “We're not just talking about providing services and fulfilment and licences but really getting our solution advisers to educate the customers.”

An associated initiative was the MetaFrame step-up campaign, which offered an upgrade from Microsoft XP Presentation Server to MetaFrame Access Suite for $199, down from $299. All iForum attendees would be eligible for the discount, which would run until the end of June, he said.

Further, Citrix was taking out advertising in mainstream publications, trade press and billboards at Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Auckland airports until the end of the year, he added.

McGrath said response from customers and partners to the iForum access infrastructure theme was very encouraging. Customers in particular could see clear benefits in improving access infrastructure to provide, for example, more secure and mobile networking.

“It's [the goal] of access over any network over any devices. The capability of providing security levels and identity management, and ensuring who gains access to appropriate information. They're really the core components,” he said.

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