Citrix and Fujitsu recently announced that they were taking their long-standing relationship to another level. Fujitisu has signed an OEM agreement with Citrix and will incorporate Citrix technology at a deeper level than ever before. The key questions are where these two companies think that they're going to get more traction than ever before by being closer friends.
Here is what the two companies have to say about it
Fujitsu Technology Solutions and Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTXS) have announced an OEM agreement that expands the relationship between the two companies to help customers reduce the cost and complexity of implementing a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) for enterprise customers. Under terms of the agreement, Fujitsu will expand its portfolio of virtual workplace infrastructure solutions, a key part of its vision of providing customers with Dynamic Infrastructures. Fujitsu will integrate Citrix® XenDesktop™ with “high definition” HDX™ technology into its virtual workplace solutions, giving customers a rich, personalized virtual desktop experience for end users in any location. Fujitsu also announced plans to add Citrix® XenServer™ virtualization to its PRIMERGY rack and blade server offerings. This will add an extra benefit, especially to customers already working with Citrix® XenApp™.
High Definition Virtual Desktops
Citrix XenDesktop will be one of the key enabling technologies for Fujitsu’s Virtual Workplace and Managed Virtual Workplace product and service offerings, helping to dramatically improve service quality. Using the combined solution, Fujitsu customers will be able to considerably speed up the deployment of desktops to end users, rolling out thousands of personalized desktops in a fraction of the time, and managing all changes centrally. In addition, customers will be able to instantly bring employees back to productivity with a few mouse clicks in the case of a device failure.
Customers using the combined solution may choose from a variety of systems, including VDI-ready Fujitsu PRIMERGY servers and Citrix Ready™ certified FUTRO thin clients, all tested and pre-integrated with Citrix XenDesktop. Fujitsu also offers a full range of virtual desktop services to support the offering, from consulting, to design and implementation, to production and maintenance.
From the Desktop to the Datacenter
As part of the broad agreement, Fujitsu’s PRIMERGY RX and BX servers are also now certified for Citrix XenServer. In addition, XenServer and the Citrix Essentials™ for XenServer™ virtualization management offering will be integrated with Fujitsu PRIMERGY server management, ensuring a seamless management capability and giving customers a broad array of advanced virtualization management solutions for their XenServer environments. As a result, Fujitsu customers and channel partners will now have a one-stop shopping experience for all the hardware, software and services needed to create and manage a dynamic virtual datacenter.
The Fujitsu Virtual Workplace and Managed Virtual Workplace offerings with Citrix XenDesktop are available to all of Fujitsu customers through all channels beginning August 2009. Fujitsu datacenter virtualization solutions powered by Citrix XenServer and Citrix Essentials for XenServer are also available beginning in August 2009. For more details on these products and services, please visit: http://ts.fujitsu.com/products/standard_servers/server_solutions/citrix.html
It is clear that Fujitsu sees virtualization as an important component of its future product and service strategy. It has close relationships with Citrix, VMware and Microsoft. Citrix is looking for partners in the world of systems suppliers and thinks that Fujitsu will help round out its extensive list of friends in the industry.
Citrix has focused on a broad range of virtualization capabilities to support its "application delivery" positioning and a pricing/packaging strategy that would be very appealing to both large organizations and suppliers of managed and hosting services.
Both companies appear to realize that the trend towards virtualized solutions in specific and the move towards cloud computing in general is likely to change how organizations acquire computing solutions. It is also likely to change who the actual decision maker is when it comes to selecting hardware.
In the past, organizations would have preferences for the supplier of server and desktop systems and other companies had to work very hard to get in the door. As these organizations move some or all of their workloads into the clouds, they leave the selection of server hardware up to the suppliers of their managed environments.
Since hosting and managed services suppliers are looking for systems offering the most value, the lowest overall cost and the greatest ease of integration into their own datacenters, they're not so likely to focus on a single set of suppliers. This, Fujitsu hopes, will allow them to gain a larger percentage of the systems market worldwide.
It is not yet clear, of course, if the combination of Citrix and Fujitsu will be more appealing to decision makers in hosting or managed service companies than offerings from other players. Since they're often more interested in the overall pricing, performance and reliability of their system solutions than the brand name on the slide of the box, the combination just may be more enticing now than ever before.