Being a virtualization solution provider these days is financially fruitful, but it's not free of political complexity. Partnering with all of the "big three" (i.e. VMware, Citrix and Microsoft) can be tricky, as solution providers must assume a Switzerland-like neutrality.
IPM, a New York-based virtualization solution provider, has managed to pull off this delicate balance and maintains happy partnerships with all three vendors. In fact, IPM doesn't see any other option, since anything less would inhibit its ability to meet customers' needs, according to Adam Bari, managing director at IPM, This year, IPM came in at No. 475 on CRN's Solution Provider 500.
In Bari's view, the key to this is training his sales and consulting staff to determine what the customer is trying to achieve with virtualization.
"We think about the clients' needs first, as opposed to aligning with a single vendor," said Bari. "My team has been trained to identify the clients' business problems first, and then figure out which vendor's product is best for their needs."
IPM is a Citrix Platinum partner, a VMware Premier partner and a Microsoft partner specializing in desktop and server virtualization. Though all three partnerships are going strong, IPM is seeing the fastest growth with Microsoft and Citrix, said Bari.
"With all the companies migrating to Windows 7 (from Windows XP), we have seen incredible uptick in consulting services, deploying both the physical and virtual desktop, along with underlying reference architecture to support VDI," Bari said.
IPM's road to success has had its share of potholes. IPM expected a boom in desktop virtualization and watched as customers balked at the cost and complexity. Now, IPM works only with clients that are ready to go all-in with desktop virtualization.