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Techaisle Blog

Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.

Citrix: Delivering Work-Life Harmony through Enabling Technology

Delivering Work-Life Harmony through Enabling Technology

Citrix calls it Life Slicing, a form of work-life harmony. And it is on a relentless pursuit of creating continuities between devices, location, apps, data, events and culture irrespective of place, time and environment. Mark Templeton, CEO says that he and his team are busy designing solutions that create customer experiences that will differentiate Citrix from its competitors and in the process reduce cost and increase simplicity for end-users.

It is not an easy objective to achieve. However it is the right objective. Citrix is either a leader in some categories or second in others and a relatively new entrant in yet other areas. It is confident that a focus on delighting the customer with tools that conform to the way end-users work in a multi-modal collaborative world, pining for utmost simplicity will make Citrix the winner.

To achieve its vision, Citrix has set its eyes on six key areas.

    • Social Collaboration: with carefully selected and integrated product line consisting of – GoToMeeting, GoToTraining, GoToAssist, GoToWebinar, ShareFile and Podio. While GoToMeeting was Citrix’s first foray into collaboration (when collaboration was not yet a must have), recent acquisition Podio extends the collaboration to teams.

 

    • Data Sharing: ShareFile is Citrix’s answer to enterprise-grade Dropbox that Citrix hopes will win on security, ease of use and customer service. ShareFile enables employees to send, share, sync files with business features such as follow-me data, access from any device, encrypted in transit and at rest, remote wipe and account locking.

 

    • Enterprise Mobility: a strategy built on Citrix Receiver, a client software app that allows access to data, apps from any device for the unbridled, fast growing BYOD market. Citrix Receiver uses XenApp and XenDesktop to deliver self-service apps and data to over 3 billion devices. Add to it CloudGateway for provisioning that is identity-based, scenario-based and secure serving of data on apps whether the device is windows, mobile, web or HTML5.

 

    • Windows-as-a-Service: an area which is the bread and butter of Citrix, a leader in the space with maximum number of products – XenDesktop, XenApp, XenClient, VDI-in-a-Box. Citrix is furiously working on delivering Windows apps and desktops as a true cloud service. RingCube and Kaviza acquisitions helped Citrix accelerate its presence in the VDI marketplace and eliminated the trade-offs with VDI to allow both shared and fixed desktops to be managed. In addition its HDX technology aims to deliver high-definition virtualization experience and its FlexCast delivery technology makes possible individual user configuration.

 

    • Cloud Networking: echoing the thoughts of many others that the future network will be fast and flat Citrix is betting on NetScaler, ByteMobile and CloudBridge solutions to deliver a network fabric that meets or exceeds the demands of a mobile world with ever-growing bandwidth requirements from devices, data and applications that are in constant motion.

 

    • Cloud Platforms:  staking on its belief that Open platforms will win, Citrix has CloudStack addressing the needs of both traditional and cloud workloads. Specifically, Citrix has also rolled out a Cloud Portal specifically designed for service providers that is a single self-service interface for cloud deployments.



Routes-to-Market for SMBs

The channel comprising of VARs, Systems Integrators (SIs), dealers, resellers and retailers form the essential cogs of an IT vendor’s eco-system that puts products and solutions in the hands of the customers. This is particularly true in the small and medium business market (SMB) where the vast majority of opportunity can only be addressed through the channel. Selling direct is not economical. So it makes complete sense that Citrix is trying to find ways to engage and involve the channel in their cloud efforts. With over 10,000 channel partners globally Citrix is concentrating on three different yet complementary efforts: 1/ Strengthen the VAR and SP channels; 2/ Build strategic alliances; 3/ Reach the SMB channels. The third point is most noticeable as Citrix has launched two new channel programs:

    1. SMB Specialist

 

    1. Cloud Advisor



SMBs have made the leap to cloud-based infrastructure and will rapidly move to multiple services that leverage their investments. The new solution stack is virtual and relatively standalone at this point; the next stage will require integration of more complex applications. As new Cloud Services are rolled out it will not be possible for most SMBs to maintain the internal expertise to make the most appropriate choices. Helping customers emerge without being overwhelmed and providing relevant knowledge of how to effectively apply the new technology will strengthen the SMB customer-channel-vendor relationship. And Citrix is building that channel handbook to enable its partners to be those trusted advisors.

In addition it has developed and released a Partner 360 Dashboard with real-time analytics. Its channel measurement and incentive metrics are based both on fulfillment and influence. Borrowing a leaf from the SMB transformation phenomenon, Citrix is enabling its partners to shift their focus from just operating to implementing and therefore helping them define their respective roles in the cloud.

Techaisle Take

SMBs are going through a transformation in terms of their work style, behavior and IT usage. Citrix is addressing the transformation. SMBs traditionally started off their journey into IT unknowingly using single building block concepts. The process for an SMB growth and its relative steps to absorb IT were steady and predictable. Some SMBs stacked their blocks faster than the others but the steps to get to the top block were always the same.

Enter flat IT. Cloud, mobility, virtualization, managed services have effectively toppled the blocks down in one fell swoop and have laid everything flat on the table. SMBs have moved from enablement to empowerment. Now it is not a race to the top, but how can an SMB reach its full potential in the shortest period of time. The process of an SMB’s growth and steps to absorb IT are no longer steady and predictable.

The SMBs are looking for value shift, moving from enablement to empowerment. They have moved from individual productivity to group productivity. Work from anywhere, anytime is more prevalent today than ever before. SMBs are no longer clustered in one location. It took 10 years for percentage of SMBs allowing telecommuting to double itself but only 3 years to again double to reach 77% in the US. The average number of locations has gone up from 1.05 to 1.85 in 5 years. Another important number to note – 15% of SMB employees always work from home, that is, 11 million SMB employees.  SMB executives have also accepted work at home culture. And they see it as a benefit for the company as well as employees. 46% agree that it benefits companies, 37% say that tasks can be accomplished from anywhere. And 28% say that the technology used by employees is more advanced than that offered by workplace. It is known as Consumerization of IT but it has implications on how IT is absorbed and how IT vendors offer support and training. SMBs use multiple devices & applications to collaborate when traveling or telecommuting, many of which did not exist 5 years ago. Mobility is at the SMB doorstep.

To address the SMB transformation Citrix has it all: Collaboration, Data sharing, Mobility, Virtualization and even flavors of managed services. In the process, it is introducing simplicity and mobility along with driving down the cost. But what about the routes-to-SMB-customer? This is where Citrix has some work to do. Recognizing the shortcoming, Citrix has launched a somewhat thought out campaign to serve the needs of the channel partners that cater to the SMB community. What it already has in its favor is the tail wind. But any fellow traveler can easily testify that the tail wind can turn into a head wind. Citrix has its work cut out for itself, making sure that the channel partner tail wind is maintained.

Anurag Agrawal
Techaisle

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SMB Marketing Automation User Snapshot

Current penetration of Marketing Automation in the Mid-Market is higher than Small Business across the board and determines overall ranking within SMB segments. The “Currently Use” below represents either standalone applications or functions that have been enabled within Marketing Automation Suites. Our research shows that the number of applications, or enabled functions, has steadily increased from 2 in 2010, to 5 in 2011 and survey results suggest that will move to between 7 and 8 as an overall average for SMBs across all size segments. Once a quick win is apparent there is a lot of enthusiasm to move forward with new efforts.

SMB Marketing Automation Current Usage SnapshotWe have also uncovered some interesting trends that will be the subject of upcoming posts and our SMB Marketing Automation report and Updates. These trends include a fairly consistent relationship between the adoption of applications, an order of operations if you will, between several categories of cloud based services and applications; once SMBs are unfettered from the linear HW, SW, NW, Integration cycle, they are able to adopt technologies in a much more strategic way. For example, adopters of SaaS CRM start immediately investigating Business Intelligence options as soon as they are up-and-running with their CRM Dashboards and Reporting – this previously unavailable functionality spurs investment in an effort to get more visibility into other parts of the business. Also, opportunity in Integration Services abounds as SMBs commit to Cloud-based architecture.

Current Use Key Points:


Only Email Marketing, Segmentation and De-Duping are more widely used by Small Businesses in the Survey, Mid-Market companies are far more likely to use the rest of the features.

For those who use Marketing Automation, Email Marketing, Campaign Management, Message Personalization, SEO and CRM Integration are the most adopted Marketing Automation Functions – driven largely by more aggressive usage within mid-market companies.

While the market is maturing and relatively new, basic requirements like the Top 10 listed above are laying the foundation for all SMBs, but soon after there is a divergence as requirements of small businesses, typically building out their block-and-tackle marketing productivity by enabling individuals, evolve into a need to build effective teams by tightening up process and collaborative capabilities in Mid-Market companies.

Needs Evolve with Size of Company and Level of Maturity


SMB Marketing Automation Needs by SizeWhile Web-based Lead Capture and Campaign ROI Reporting were common objectives between the Small Businesses and Mid-Market Firms, other in the Top Five were different; SBs looking for more Web-based functionality like Social Media Monitoring, SEO and Analytics Dashboard, while the MBs were looking for more data-oriented functionality such as De-duping, Segmentation and Lead Scoring.

Level of integration value added opportunity for these scenarios is also different, and obviously grows as companies look to improve collaboration.

 

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Dell Executes on its plan for end-to-end Desktop Virtualization

In a small gathering of analysts and media , Dell showcased and unveiled its latest end-to-end desktop virtualization capabilities. The announcement was carefully crafted to time with the VMworld event being held in San Francisco next week. During the entire two hour “Chalk Talk” by Dell team, SMB was mentioned only three times and mid-market design point (Dell’s new mantra unfolded at its analyst event earlier in the year) was never mentioned at all. However, the importance, urgency, messaging and relevancy were clear and precise.

The announcements included Dell EqualLogic intelligent datacenter storage arrays with SSD tier & spinning media, Dell Wyse zero clients, and Dell DVS Enterprise reference architectures including vStart for VDI Reference Architecture – VMware View, Dell Mobile Clinical Computing - VMware AlwaysOn Point of Care™ Reference Architecture and New Dell DVS Enterprise –VMware Mobile Secure Desktop Reference Architecture.

Simplified, Manageable, Secure End-to-End Desktop Virtualization solution that SMBs will appreciate

Kicking off the discussions, Rafael Colorado, Marketing Director, Dell Desktop Virtualization Solutions, said, “Customers have to face complexity and try to implement desktop virtualization themselves and get stuck. Dell is trying to isolate components that create complexity”. The statement summarizes the technology pain-point being experienced by SMBs in adopting emerging technologies. Techaisle’s July 2012 survey of 3300 SMBs in US, UK, Germany found that 72 percent of SMBs want vendors to simplify technology and 61 percent are ignoring some technologies because they are finding the decision making to be too complex.

Hence, simplification in any form will be a step in the right direction. The same survey also showed that Virtualization is among the Top 5 relevant technologies for SMBs but is also among the Top 5 technologies most complex to understand. Dell is serving up simplification in the form of single SKU, an end-to-end virtualization solution that is manageable, secure, innovative, and intelligent and with one contact phone number. vStart for VDI Reference Architecture – VMware View runs as a workload on top of the Dell vStart stack, offering flexibility and efficiency enabling the organization to focus on driving enhanced business agility and delivering IT assets – rather than building an infrastructure. vStart for VDI 50 is already available from Dell for no-stress SMB deployments. The vStart for VDI 50, is a pre-configured solution for SMBs scaling from sub-100 up to 250 users per system and vStart for VDI 1000 for businesses that scales from 1000 up to 1,000 – 4, 000 users per system. In fact, Techaisle’s SMB VDI Adoption and Trends study shows that of all the SMBs planning to deploy VDI, 37 percent will have between 20 to 50 users.

Drivers of SMB Desktop Virtualization adoption and Dell’s solution components

The drivers of desktop virtualization are many, but the top five as mentioned in recent Techaisle survey of 1200 SMBs in the US are:


SMBs are planning to use VDI to reduce costs, better disaster recovery, and access of applications from anywhere and on any device in a secure infrastructure. Reduction in costs and better disaster recovery are considered to be inherent outcomes of virtualization deployments.

Dell EqualLogic Intelligent Data Center Storage Solution

Dell EqualLogic new storage arrays (available in Q4) are its densest hybrid storage arrays for tiered I/O in a single appliance. Through built-in auto-tiering algorithms, it creates automatic load balancing and puts out the most frequently used data on SSDs thereby “providing 360 percent improvement in array access and 75 percent reduction in latency lowering the manageability for desktop virtualization deployments”.  For a mid-market business, and specifically for verticals such as healthcare, financial services and even manufacturing these would be of great advantage. The solution component helps in cost reduction and application availability (1 and 2 above in chart).

Dell Wyse Zero Clients

Dell Wyse zero clients P25 and P45 designed specifically for VMware View implementations provides better manageability, security and mobile access to data and applications. The P25 uses Tera 2 processor and can move 50 million pixels to the screen. It supports Ethernet, wireless and fiber unlike other zero clients. The P25 can support 1920 x 1280-pxiel resolution for two displays or 2560 x 1600-pixel resolution for one display. The P45 can be used to support up to four displays. The solution component helps in application availability, mobile access and secure data (3, 4 and 5 above in chart).

Dell DVS Enterprise - VMware Mobile Secure Desktop and Dell Mobile Clinical Computing - VMware AlwaysOn Point of Care™ Reference Architectures

Dell and VMware have also jointly validated the Dell Mobile Clinical Computing for VMware AlwaysOn Point of Care™ offering with VMware View. Powered by Dell’s Mobile Clinical Computing solution, this architectural design incorporates a number of features to ensure data integrity as well as minimal disruption in computing service to the caregiver, including: constant monitoring, secure rapid access, single sign on and constant data replication across sites. With this validated architectural design, healthcare organizations now have unparalleled desktop and application reliability and availability – and secure rapid access from virtually any device.

Conclusion

SMBs are quickly recognizing the need to adopt virtualization within their businesses, however, they also find it complex to understand and implement. Complexity comes from inherent questions SMBs ask themselves and their advisors: What can virtualization do for us? Which virtualization technology is best for us? How should we implement it so that we get the most benefits in the shortest period of time? Who can help us implement it? Nevertheless as per Techaisle research, VDI market in the US alone will be US$588 million in 2016 growing at 41 percent CAGR.

Most SMBs rely on their local channel partners for maintenance & management of their IT infrastructure as well as for advice on new IT purchases. Therefore, Dell created a new Desktop Virtualization Solution competency based on feedback from  its network of 100,000 channel partners to provide them appropriate training and skills to sell and manage VDI for their local SMB customers.

In the meantime, with its latest desktop virtualization offerings Dell is continuing to execute on its vision of an end-to-end, best-of-breed solutions company.

Anurag Agrawal
Techaisle
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Demand Supply Gaps exist in Cloud & Mobility Solutions between Channel Partner offerings and SMB needs

VARs, ISVs and Service Providers (SPs) are going full throttle in providing cloud computing and mobility solutions to SMBs. Techaisle’s detailed Channel and corresponding SMB Research shows that there are some demand supply gaps between Cloud & Mobility offerings from channel partners and what the SMB customer needs. This gap between channel supply and SMB demand is illustrated below:



Red bars indicate a gap shown by a higher percentage of SMBs asking for solutions than Channels offering them, which creates shortage and channel opportunity, while the green bars indicate a higher percentage of Channels offering solutions than SMBs demanding; creating surplus capacity and increasing price pressure.

Higher demand-supply gap for Mobility Solutions

The demand-supply gap is higher for mobility solutions than cloud computing. SMBs are demanding mobility solutions; however, both the Channel Partners and their vendors have not yet developed sufficient expertise and solutions to supply them. Cloud computing technology has had longer to develop and mature while mobility has taken center stage (and resources) only in the last two years, resulting in a focus on access to application data rather than development of new applications. Techaisle research suggests that SMBs are particularly interested in mobile applications in the areas of Productivity Suites, Time and Billing Management, Social Media Marketing, Logistics and Field Service applications.

This is giving rise to many smaller, flexible and niche players that are providing point mobility solutions to SMBs, but their main weakness is channel reach. Conversely, large IT vendors with vast number of channel partners such as Cisco, Dell, HP, and IBM are still working on viable mobility solutions offerings and corresponding messaging. Many solutions available today from these vendors are targeted towards secure device management, BYOD enablement, and virtualized access to applications across multiple devices. Techaisle analysis shows that SMBs, although excited about these offerings, prefer to have them embedded in overall mobility solutions to reduce complexity in managing and administering multiple layers of IT.

Vertical Cloud Solutions

In the area of cloud computing, SMBs are requesting vertical industry solutions. In order to accomplish this, channels need to go beyond technology knowledge and really understand the dynamics of industries in which their customers operate and become industry subject matter experts. Channel partners would do well to focus on cloud solutions that help SMBs with their industry verticals, disaster recovery, accounting, and new forms of communication such as video conferencing, web conferencing and hosted VOIP. These combinations of cloud services make it easier for SMB customers to handle vendor relationships without having to manage separate account reps, billing and agreements across Infrastructure, Business Productivity, Communication and Industry Vertical Solution categories.

CRM is one of the most adopted cloud business application by SMBs and is also extensively offered by channels. Initiated by Salesforce.com and followed by SugarCRM, Zoho, Microsoft and many others, cloud CRM has already permeated the SMB landscape. IT Vendors like Dell are taking CRM to the next level by providing packaged solutions such as Salesforce.com CRM along with marketing automation from Pardot and Dell Boomi integration platform to increase the functionality, productivity and customization.

However, Techaisle research suggests that channel partners need to focus on delivering solutions that have higher relevancy to SMBs.

The above data is taken from Techaisle’s report titled “US Channel View – Challenges and Trends in Offering SMB Cloud, Mobility and Managed Services Solutions”. The US report is based on 604 channel interviews, and similar detailed surveys and analysis have been done for the Germany, UK, China, Brazil and India Markets.

Tavishi Agrawal
Techaisle
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