Citrix, Cisco Team On Desktop Virtualization Partner Program

Virtualization Experience Infrastructure

Cisco already resells XenDesktop and VMware View through VXI. Though the networking giant does sell these products directly to customers, it also relies on solution providers and distributors, and Partner Accelerator is aimed squarely at this segment.

The combination of XenDesktop and Cisco VXI is a response to customers of both companies looking to augment PC functionality with voice, video and rich media, said Cynthia Gallant, vice president of channels and market development at Citrix, Santa Clara, Calif.

[Related: VMware CTO Sets Sights On Hadoop, Network Virtualization Challenges ]

"End users are demanding a richer desktop experience, but you can't satisfy this if you are only handling the data," Gallant said in an interview earlier this week.

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Brian Allison, director of worldwide channels at Cisco, San Jose, Calif., said VXI goes beyond the desktop and brings in data center and networking expertise, allowing video and rich media to be included.

Partner Accelerator includes joint investment in channel partner competencies and in desktop virtualization sales and marketing tools, all of which help solution providers close deals more quickly. Partners also can benchmark their services practices with Citrix and Cisco every quarter, he said.

While Cisco and Citrix have separate product lines, the companies decided that a unified partner program for desktop virtualization would best reflect the complementary nature of their technologies, Allison said.