Citrix Systems and Microsoft this week extended their long-standing alliance to reward partners that combine technologies from both vendors to drive the adoption of digital workspaces.
Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft will make Citrix Workspace as a preferred digital workspace solution, while Citrix will select Microsoft Azure as a preferred cloud platform.
As part of this alliance Microsoft partners will also be eligible to retire sales quotas of they sell a solution that includes Citrix software running on the Microsoft Azure cloud, says Liz Fuller, senior director for alliance marketing for Citrix.
While productivity applications such as Microsoft Office 365 and desktop virtualization software from Citrix are already available as cloud services, Fuller says the two companies are working together to unify those services in a way that makes it simpler for end users to access all their applications via the cloud in a much more integrated fashion.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s apparent end users will be working from home much more often, says Fuller. As such, the need to be able to create a digital workspace in the cloud that can be accessed from home or in the office is becoming much more pronounced, notes Fuller.
Naturally, partners will need to be able to provide access to integrated services if they expect to remain relevant to their end customers.
“It’s the new normal for everyone,” says Fuller.
Partners will also be able to add value by employing Citrix tools to build complementary applets on behalf of customers that will enable then to access third-party applications, adds Fuller.
There will also be a need for hybrid cloud computing solutions that will enable end users to access applications that will continue to run in on-premises IT environments, says Fuller.
It may be a while before Microsoft and Citrix fully realize this cloud vision. In the meantime, however, partners should be engaging customers in conversations that highlight how existing investments in cloud applications and services will be evolving into digital workspaces designed to enable employees to work from anywhere without any loss of productivity.