Top-ten business considerations for Citrix Service Providers

Top-ten business considerations for Citrix Service Providers

Citrix Service Provider Business planning Top-ten business considerations for Citrix Service Providers Business, sales and marketing strategies for ...

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Citrix Service Provider

Business planning

Top-ten business considerations for Citrix Service Providers Business, sales and marketing strategies for success Successful Citrix® Service Providers (CSPs) know that the winning combination for a profitable business is a mix of a great technical solution with the right sales and marketing plan. To help you build your strategy, we’ve gathered proven insights and advice from some the world’s leading CSPs. Keep these top-ten considerations in mind as you develop your business plans and go-to-market strategy.

1. Keep it simple. It’s exciting thinking about the different apps you can host, the markets to go after and the awesome infrastructure you can build. Set yourself up for success by developing simple and realistic goals that drive your business plan. Ask yourself, do we have the right infrastructure to efficiently onboard new customers? Have we hired the right sales team? In essence, stay within your capabilities.

2. What’s the plan? Before your engineers head to the datacenter, develop a solid business plan. In addition to the standard criteria like market analysis, organization structure and service offering, your business plan needs to account for the fact that selling cloud services is a different business model than the managed service-provider (MSP) world. Instead of long, complex IT projects with big purchase orders, think highvolume, low-touch recurring revenue sales. It’s a mindset of selling with intrinsic benefits like work-life balance and business agility, not feeds and speeds of hardware. This way of thinking can be a struggle for many CSPs coming from the MSP world, so make sure everyone—from the CEO to the sales team— understands the strategy.

3. Strongly consider reselling. Reselling through an established white-label CSP partner is a fast, low-risk route to market. You can quickly enter the market with a proven solution without datacenter investments. White-label partners offer turnkey sales, marketing tools and training so you can focus on winning customers and growing the business—not operating the data center. Reselling lets many partners overcome the investment hurdle that is required to build a scalable, multitenant, 24x7 datacenter.

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Citrix Service Provider

Business planning

4. Make sure you stand out. Hosted services like email and storage are everywhere and customers can shop around for the best deal. High-value services like hosted desktops and musthave line-of-business (LOB) apps can set you apart from the masses. Position your desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) solution as a bundle of cloud apps and cloud services—just like bundling TV, Internet and phone at home—because 50 percent of small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) worldwide prefer a bundle over individual cloud services.1 Customer retention also dramatically increases when you provide strategic business services, driving long-term relationships and trust. But differentiation is about more than just the solution; it’s about your brand. Will your new DaaS solution simply be another service alongside your existing hosting and MSP services, or will you be seen as a cloud service provider? Cloud services are what customers want, so make sure your website, brand and messaging show that you can address their needs.

5. Your first customer needs to be yourself. Get everyone in your company to use your own solutions day-in and day-out. You’ll get real-life feedback and the entire organization will understand the solution better. Partners who use their own solutions speak with more confidence and can demo it naturally. See for yourself what it’s like to work from different devices and locations, and how that compares to traditional IT approaches.

6. Target local markets you can master. Initially focus your sales and marketing efforts on select industries in your region. Find strong local verticals like legal, accounting and medical niches where you can leverage industry communities and events. Knowing where their data resides and having a local provider are both top concerns for SMBs. In fact, 50 percent of SMBs think using a local service provider is important and another 31 percent think it’s critical.2

7. Sell the solution, not the technology. Cloud services may be new, but what people want isn’t. Spending less on big IT purchases, having a better work-life balance and using new consumer devices at work are just a few of the trigger points that can start a good sales conversation. Selling DaaS is about showing how it helps the business and how it provides a better work-life experience. Build a sales team with strong business-to-business experience that can empathize with the customer and sell the solution, not the technology. Remember, a DaaS solution can address any number of challenges, from needing a business continuity plan to wanting increased levels of mobility.

1 AMI-Partners (www.ami-partners.com), 2012 2 Microsoft 2012 SMB Cloud Adoption Study, Edge Strategies

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Citrix Service Provider

Business planning

8. Market to educate. Targeted local events, lunch-and-learns and webinars with compelling educational value are ranked as one of most effective lead-generation tactics for CSPs. New and exciting topics, such as The SMBs’ journey to the cloud or Enabling a mobile workforce draw high attendance and naturally lead to conversations about DaaS. Tailor the message to your audience’s unique needs and pain points, connecting with them as their trusted advisor. SMBs also want to see that you have a proven blueprint for taking them to the cloud. The ready-to-go marketing kits available from Citrix make it easy for CSPs to customize content and launch demand-gen campaigns and events.

9. Show them a killer demo. A well-executed demo that shows the solution in action gives customers the ah-ha moment quicker than any presentation or sales brochure. Seeing a Windows desktop and apps seamlessly work on tablets and Macs really brings the story to life. Show them the easy, self-service capabilities of Citrix CloudPortal™ Services Manager for day-to-day management and how local applications are seamlessly integrated into a hosted desktop with the Citrix Cloud Provider Pack. Use your own DaaS solution during customer meetings to build confidence and show how it works as your everyday workspace.

10. Overcome the IT buyers concerns One of the biggest resistance points from IT people in small businesses is concern their role will become obsolete if they adopt hosted IT services. Explain how DaaS is an IT enabler that gets them out of the fire-drill mode of IT, constantly being driven by break/fix projects. Instead, they can innovate with new IT solutions to help drive the business and add strategic value in more of a chief technology officer (CTO) role. Ask about the project they’ve always wanted to do, but never had the time to accomplish.

In summary, remember these three key ways to keep growing: Learn more at www.citrix.com/csptoolkit Connect on the CSP LinkedIn Community Engage the Citrix CSP Sales team – [email protected]

About Citrix Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) is the company transforming how people, businesses and IT work and collaborate in the cloud era. With market-leading cloud, collaboration, networking and virtualization technologies, Citrix powers mobile workstyles and cloud services, making complex enterprise IT simpler and more accessible for 260,000 enterprises. Citrix touches 75 percent of Internet users each day and partners with more than 10,000 companies in 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2011 was $2.21 billion. Learn more at www.citrix.com. ©2012 Citrix Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Citrix® and CloudPortal™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Citrix Systems, Inc. and/ or one or more of its subsidiaries, and may be registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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