VirtualWorks Unveils Channel Plans For Content Virtualization


VirtualWorks, a virtualization startup led by the founder of Citrix Systems, on Monday announced its first distribution agreement along with details on how it plans to work with virtualization solution providers.

VirtualWorks opened its doors in June but won't actually release its first product until later this summer. But the Boca Raton, Fla.-based company is putting the finishing touches on a channel program that EJ Wojtowicz, director of North American sales at VirtualWorks, says will serve as a complementary technology for VMware, Citrix and Microsoft virtualization solution providers.

VirtualWorks has positioned itself in the emerging category of content virtualization technology, which organizes enterprise data residing in application silos and file stores into a single index. The idea is to use virtualization to improve management and make enterprise data accessible to any application or device, regardless of the user's location. Its chairman and CEO, Ed Iacobucci, founded Citrix in 1989.

VirtualWorks' technology reflects the growing prevalence of disparate IT systems that include a blend of hosted and on-premise components. "Citrix or VMware can stand up any version of Windows Server and Linux on same host, and run them. We're saying that regardless of file type, content can now be virtualized in the same way," said Wojtowicz.

Shrewsbury, N.J.-based Lifeboat Distribution is VirtualWorks' first partner and will handle distribution of VirtualWorks' products in North America, according to Wojtowicz. VirtualWorks is currently working with around 10 U.S. reseller partners on its inaugural product launch and will look to recruit more VARs once it hits the market.

VirtualWorks' PartnerWorks includes Registered and Premier tiers, with the latter giving VARs that pay a $1,495 authorization fee that includes access to deal registration, sales leads and account management, customized marketing and discounts on enterprise license agreements. The Registered tier is free and includes basic training, marketing and technical support.

Wojtowicz says Premier partners will receive access to best practices templates and will work with VirtualWorks system engineers on content virtualization pilot programs and proof of concept projects. VARs can deliver services from two pre-defined templates -- Sales Essentials and System Engineer Essentials -- that spell out, in simple fashion, the channel service opportunity, Wojtowicz said.

"When they identify an opportunity with us, if someone is using a virtual desktop, it's important to know what kind of content is in there," he said. "The complexity of end users is increasing and we train them to look at how it affects the end users, as opposed to just the efficiency."

Wojtowicz, who spent several years on the channel teams of VMware and Citrix, says VirtualWorks plans to offer partners products they can turn around quickly.

"We have deliverables to offer them that will help speed their success rate and shorten the sales cycle," he said. "Efficiency of the sales cycle could be 90 days or less, from the first meeting to the end of the deal."