Citrix Looks To Give IBM, HP Green Light To Preload MetaFrame

According to sources who attended a recent Citrix Platinum partner meeting, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company announced the two vendors would be authorized to load the software as part of a preconfigured delivery model. Currently, Dell is the only vendor authorized to preload MetaFrame on servers.

A Citrix spokesperson acknowledged that the company discussed the possibility of authorizing IBM and HP to preload MetaFrame software on servers during the meeting, but said nothing has been decided. The spokesperson added the company looks to large partners to add value to the channel.

"It certainly takes money out of the partners' pocket on both the integration and sales side," said Michael Goldstein, president of LAN Associates, Fort Lauderdale. "But I'm not surprised. One-stop shopping is back in. HP customers want a vendor that can stand up for the whole stack with hardware and software."

Citrix resellers and service partners say the new agreement will pit them against the sales teams and services arms of IBM and HP in their districts. In particular, Citrix resellers worry about losing product margins, service deals and customer account control.

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"IBM is going to be a huge competitor and HP in the same way," said one partner who requested anonymity. "[IBM and HP] have a huge services group and of course they'll take business from us."

Ross Brown, vice president of worldwide channels and operations at Citrix, said he is working to ensure there is no channel conflict. The goal is to give large partners equal opportunity to be compensated for a Citrix deal, but any services stemming from the deals will have to go through IBM's and HP's business partners.

"It's not channel conflict. HP can deliver a server with a [Citrix] server license installed but it's still going through partners. IBM account teams were not getting compensated for Citrix sales," Brown said. "There isn't an agreement in place so [IBM and HP] can integrate product and deliver it. It needs to be a joint-channel play."

But the anonymous Citrix partner is not buying that argument. "I don't care what Citrix says. I know what it means," the partner said.