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Citrix launches VDI-in-a box for Middle East SMEs

Citrix Systems, a provider of virtual computing solutions today announced the launch of VDI-in-a-Box in the Middle East,  an all-in-one virtual desktop solution for small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs).

This announcement comes after a marked increase in Investments in virtualisation and cloud computing in the Middle East, with Citrix enabling enterprise customers across oil and gas, financial services, healthcare, telecommunications and public sectors to adopt the right strategies and solutions.

VDI-in-a-Box, powered by Citrix HDX technology, enables SMEs access to the high quality Citrix virtual desktop experience anytime, anywhere and on any device, without investment in datacenter infrastructure.

Citrix VDI-in-a-Box will be available for purchase pre-installed on low cost server hardware, providing a bundled solution for virtualisation at less than the cost of new PCs, the company said.

“Driving efficiencies, improving business continuity and enabling mobile workstyles for employees are just a few of the benefits that virtualisation can bring to a business,” said Aaron White, regional director, Middle East, Africa and Turkey at Citrix. “Previously these benefits were limited to organisations with data centres and specialist IT managers, but not anymore. VDI-in-a-Box brings virtualisation to the region’s small and mid-sized operations, underpinned by an immediate financial return for the business.”

According to representatives, Citrix VDI-in-a-Box can be deployed in under two hours on existing PC hardware, to simplify and mobilise the IT and networking set up in any small and mid-sized business. In addition, the solution has built-in features for easy installation, policy control, load balancing, security and data protection to avoid the need for specialised data centre equipment and administration expertise, they added.

“These cost and efficiency benefits mean that VDI-in-a-Box can reduce 80% of desktop management and IT support costs and deliver an immediate return on investment in virtualisation for SMEs,” said White.

“In collaboration with our channel partners, we recognise a gap in the market for enabling virtualisation across the IT structure of small and medium enterprises in the region”, said Noman Qadir, regional channel manager for Citrix in Middle East, North Africa and Turkey who has been driving the virtual desktop initiative in the region. “Today’s launch provides the ideal option for the SME at a cost that they can afford.”

While the solution enables huge cost savings, it is designed to perform in specific environment. For instance, it will not work in larger organisations that require a degree of planning before establishing an infrastucture that integrates a whole host of workload applications in addition to IP telephony and printing capability. In such a scenario, Citrix VDI-in-a-box may not be the right solution because the environment in itself drives complexity, explained Qadir.

“The needs of larger organisations often are focused on speed, capacity and performance acceleration. Whereas the needs of the regular SME are simplicity, ease of use and performance, these are the areas that VDI-in-a-box provisions. The dynamics of an SME business are totally different, they don’t want to have to juggle between managing applications at a core location with managing a host of end user devices. SMEs look for solutions that can support the existing infratstructure while enabling future growth,” he said.

The company has initiated the SMB Advisor Programme for resellers focused on VDI-in-a-box. The programme includes training and certifications associated with the solution and can be provided through online and in-person courses.

According to Qadir, Citrix is currently on the look out for partners who specialise in hardware so that VDI-in-a-box may be sold as part of bundled offering for SMEs.

“We are looking at partners who have hardware experience and capabilities, for instance, resellers who work with HP and Dell hardware. These partners are currently under selection. We have one value added distributor who partners with Dell and will work with us to promote and launch Citrix VDI-in-a-box as a bundled offer for resellers across the region. Dell can now sell this as an OEM with their service,” he concluded.

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