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Citrix and Microsoft Extend Virtualization Pact

Long-term partners Citrix and Microsoft have extended their pact with a new program aimed at jointly serving enterprise customers' desktop and server virtualization requirements.

The companies have assembled a new program called V-Alliance that will provide combined sales, marketing and technical resources to partners deploying the joint Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer and XenDesktop solution sets. For customers, V-Alliance membership will show that partners have been trained and certified by both companies to integrate their respective virtualization infrastructure.

Launched in Germany late last year, the two companies are now bringing the program to North America and other parts of the world, they both said at last week's Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference.

"The V-Alliance helps us focus on a set of partners that are going to invest in their people to get them trained, certified on all of the Citrix products as well as the Microsoft stack," said Garry Olah, vice president of business development for strategic alliances at Citrix.

One of the key benefits that the program offers is a packaged set of education and training needed to get certification, Olah said in an interview. Online courses, as well as the tests needed for certification, will cost $995. "In many cases this is a big savings, and it really eliminates a barrier to entry of getting three or four people in your org spooled up quickly," Olah said.

Founding members of the V-Alliance also include Hewlett-Packard and Intel. Dell is also a member in Europe and is expected to join the global alliance, said Rick Baker, Citrix vice president of worldwide sales strategy.  The companies are recruiting additional OEMs, ISVs, systems integrators and VARs.

Partners applying to join V-Alliance must be enrolled in both the Citrix Solution Advisor program and the Microsoft Partner Network. Those partners in North America that are now enrolled in the Citrix and Microsoft Virtualization Partner campaign will automatically be shifted to the V-Alliance program, the companies said.

Baker said in an interview that he anticipates 300 partners in North America will qualify for the V-Alliance program. "Within the next several weeks we will have it understood and also figure out where dollars are coming from to support some of the marketing programs with more defined training, more defined requirements for coming on board and what the benefits are for participating in this," Baker said.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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