Yesterday I got a brief overview about new(ish) Citrix Xen range - the one with XenApp, XenDesktop and XenServer. I have to admit, a good bit of it got lost in translation - especially the bit about licensing and how it all works with the Access Gateway. Okay, they didn't actually talk about how it all works with with Access Gateway, they just mentioned it a couple of times, so I'm not that much of a numbbrain.

It's all quite interesting, and I still don't get what licensing needs to be purchased at which tiers, but it felt good to finally be learning about new stuff. Vendors and their notebooks, desktops and their peripherals lost their shine about a day in. They're all pretty much the same but different, nothing fancy, keep moving, move right along; funny how you can say that about people also, or anything really. They all appear interesting for a bit then you realize there's nothing special there.

The whole idea of the Citrix solution and using virtualization in some capacity looks awesome, but even though there's supposedly large scale "enterprise" up-take, it's still a bit of a hard sell. People are often afraid of change, even when what looks like a newer, better alternative comes along. So often they seriously consider the options open to them, maybe even wander across to the proverbial other side, then shrink back and wither to the same old junk they had because it's seems cheaper, it's not going anywhere and there's no more immediate financial outlay. The thing is though, with any change there's always cost, and with virtualization it's not even that much upfront cost (okay, I might be wrong because I'ms still all fuzzy about the licensing side of things), but there's also the whole carbon footprint thing - you know leave a non-dead planet for the future generations and all that.

Seriously though covering the material about HP thin clients this morning actually made some of yesterdays information make more sense. So there's some immediate costs associated with change, but it's so important to consider the longer term benefits, both lower cost and maintenance.. which are effectively the same thing - maintenance costs money (right, DUH!).

I mean for any corporate/institution/small business/however else need to run a network with end users, it would make sense to have a network with (1) more secure data, (2) fewer/single point(s) of administration, (3) better access control, (4) lower cost, (5) more idiot-proof end user terminals, etc... the list goes on. So the question is, what's the best way to sell it? I'm not sure I liked accounts enough at business school to want to do a cost comparison each time. Ewwwwwwww!

The question is, how would a salesperson get their decision maker to seriously consider the new options open to them, maybe even wander across to the proverbial other side, but notshrink back and wither to the same old junk they had because it's cheaper, it's already there and there's no financial outlay? How does that last step happen? Listing the obvious and previous maintenance costs just seems like focusing on the negative. And that never sells well, and I think should only be briefly mentioned. Does it really really really really come down to costs? The evilness of man hours and dollars and cents quantified into numbers?

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