Expanding a managed service, colocation, voice and audio/video services business to also include hosted desktops and mobile device management enables Connecticut-based Amnet Technology Solutions to deliver desktops-as-a-service and secure mobile device access. As a Citrix Service Provider, Amnet can provide monthly pay-as-you-go licensing to customers who need to provide anytime, anywhere access to information.
As workers embrace mobile workstyles and the cost of keeping servers, hardware and software up to date, a challenge to businesses is flexible, secure delivery of business applications. “We saw the market shift. Customers are looking to purchase on a consumption basis. They want to buy IT, Voice & Video services on an OpEx budget rather than CapEx, plus they want to reduce the need to hire in-house technology expertise,” says Alex Sulpizi, CEO, Amnet.
“There are three key market movements: 1) customers are not interested in owning technology assets, 2) they’re not interested in training internal technology personnel experts, and 3) they measure value with ease of use,” Sulpizi says.
“The customer wants to be consuming services that meet their specific business need, not get involved in the details of managing technology. This drove us to shift to a hosted utility model,” Sulpizi says.
Joining the Citrix Service Provider Program and seizing the opportunity to offer cloud-hosted desktops plus mobile device management was the solution. “Starting as a Citrix Service Provider partner dovetailed perfectly with our established go to market cloud hosting strategy,” Sulpizi says. “The Citrix Service Provider partner program enabled us to expand into the hot desktop-as-a-service and MDM market in a cost-effective fashion.”
With no up-front fees and monthly pay-as-you-go licensing, Amnet could create a complete Citrix-based hosted workspace offering.
“Customers are most concerned about security of a remote desktop in the cloud, but want best in class security and performance. NetScaler and XenDesktop meet both, then XenMobile adds a third element. When you put those together, Citrix is best in class,” Sulpizi says. “We wanted to lead with the best, but also have simplicity with a comprehensive product offering. With NetScaler security, XenApp and XenMobile now part of an integrated platform, we’re not dealing with multiple technology integrations that have learning curves.”
Targeting a specific customer profile is helping to drive the hosted workspace business. “We target customers who need mobility, business continuity, at a fixed cost that can meet compliance” says Sulpizi.
At a growing financial services firm, Amnet demonstrated the power and security of the Citrix-based hosted workspace. “XenMobile was compared against two other big players, but the idea that Amnet and Citrix can give the firm one integrated platform, with licensing purchased on a pay-as-you-go hosted model – it was the sum of all parts that became the biggest value,” says Sulpizi. “Security, performance and mobility put together in an easy-to-use experience for the users was the driver for the firm’s final choice.”
For the financial services customer, compliance and security were top priorities, but flexibility and ease of use for mobile workers was also an advantage for the Amnet hosted workspace offering.
“When we explained the Xen product line and demonstrated performance and simplicity of the integrated offering, it was a powerful differentiator that really hit home, especially since they have so many mobile workers,” Sulpizi says.
Employees like the performance and flexibility to work anywhere. “The consistency of the hosted desktop experience is important– logging in from any conference room or from home,” Sulpizi says. “The users are very satisfied. A hosted remote desktop seems like a simple thing, but it’s very important to the user.”
The hosted workspace model enables Amnet customers to pay on a month to month basis, a flexible model for growing firms like the financial services customer example. “Every month we’ve been adding new applications and additional users to their service,” Sulpizi says. “What they like the most is the speed at which we can expand and mold the service. The firm went from a startup to 100 employees in just over a year, with tremendous growth planned for the next few years. “
As a Citrix Service Provider, Amnet can flexibly expand their hosted workspace business as their customers– and their volume of customers – both grow.
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