Cisco announced today a five-year strategic alliance with Citrix in the desktop virtualization space. As a first outcome of their new alliance, Cisco WAAS will be optimized for Citrix XenDesktop. It’s designed to improve the end-user experience such that it has “LAN-like” performance. This translates into the capability of a more rich Unified Communication experience–HD quality video, faster print jobs, and improved app performance. Rather than buying several products to get this done, this is nicely packaged as one solution for virtual and physical desktops.
What does this mean for Sourcing and Vendor Management (SVM) professionals and what can you do?
1. If your organization isn’t looking at this, it will be forced to within your next refresh cycle. While Desktop Virtualization has been around for years, it’s more recently been attracting enterprise customers at a very robust growth rate. Most resellers I’ve spoken to enjoy double digit semi-annual growth rates as high as 40% in inquiries and many of them include desktop virtualization on tablets. At this stage, most companies are still in education mode, but adoption appears to be steadily increasing. If you’re not working on it right now, spend the time to get educated on the various flavors and the elements of the project that lead to savings for your organization. ROI will vary from company to company due to the varying desktop environments.
2. Desktop Virtualization RFP’s I’ve seen commonly have no requirements–they initially look like solicitation for proposals with non-existent IT environmental descriptions. By including a user profile survey that entails apps and devices, networking environment, storage, security requirements, and any industry-specific requirements as it relates to anything in the cloud, SVM professionals can help cut down times in the sourcing process.