Parallels beefs up RAS with changes to partner program and new software version

Parallels makes major changes to the partner program they inherited when they bought 2X and its Remote Application Server solution last year.


Jack Zubarev, Parallels Co-Founder and President

Cross-platform solutions provider Parallels has announced major changes to their RAS [Remote Application Server]-focused partner program that they acknowledge wasn’t getting the results they wanted. The enhancements significantly raise partner incents, and change the basic structure of the program. Parallels also announced RAS version 15.5, the latest version of the offering.

The original partner program was focused on the RAS product line because it was originally the 2X program. The program came over with 2X when Parallels bought them early in 2015.

“The old program was inherited with that acquisition, and we simply outgrew it,” said Jack Zubarev, Parallels Co-Founder and President. “It wasn’t working as well as it could, so we have upgraded it to a more modern structure. The old program, for example, didn’t include basics like deal registration.”

Zubarev said that the revamp of the program is so significant that it changes the partner motion.

“We have launched a completely revamped portal,” Zubarev said. It provides access to the new deal registration engine, as well as to a variety of training, sales and marketing tools. Online technical and sales training and certification is free. Sales materials and guides to identify and drive new customer business conversations and sales are also available through the portal. So are Demand Generation Campaign, MDF and Co-op programs, and other marketing “campaign in a box” materials. The portal also provides a visibility and notification engine on upcoming renewals.

“We have also upgraded partner margins, which can be as high as 40 per cent for the top tier partners on new deals, through deal registration,” Zubarev said.

The new program has three tiers. The entry-level Registered Partnership level has no requirements, and provides access to free training, NFR product keys and marketing materials.

The second tier is Certified Partnership, which has requirements the partner must meet. They may qualify for deal registration, which is by invitation only. They also receive additional marketing benefits, including access to a named Parallels Partner Representative.

The top Premier Partnership tier has more stringent requirements, In addition to the marketing funds and access to a named Parallels rep, these partners also receive qualified sales leads.

“We are also launching a new service provider program, which in addition to rich margins also has special monthly pricing where partners are billed just for what they use,” Zubarev said. “We did this ad hoc before, and there were less than a dozen partners. Now it has been formalized and opened up for everyone.”

Distribution is also being revamped to make it more efficient.

“We have reduced the number of distribution partners,” Zubarev said.

The redo of the RAS-focused partner program coincided with the launch of the 15.5 version of the Parallels RAS solution, which securely delivers Windows desktops and applications to employees on any device.

Parallel competes against some big boys like Citrix and VMware in this space, and the company believes that the new version will be extremely competitive against them.

“The 15.5 version can now be deployed on AWS or Microsoft Azure, as well as the customer’s own data centre, which we think will help in making it a replacement for Citrix or VMware,” said Victor Fiss, Director of Sales Engineering at Parallels.” We let customers pick and choose which hypervisors and applications they want to publish.”

In addition to the new AWS and Azure support, support has been added for Windows Server 2016, although support here continues back to Server 2003.

The most head-turning of the new features will likely be adding the capability for iOS and Android admins and users to use native touch gestures on their tablets and phones when they access virtual desktops and apps. Applification technology from Parallels Access provides them with a home screen that looks like their familiar mobile user interface, and which opens full screen with a tap. New touch features include a Lock-and-Go Magnifying Glass that changes its cursor and functionality as needed.

“The new version also lets you control printing and scanning compressions to better control printing capabilities,” Fiss stated. It also increases the number of virtual printers that can be created on a single server.

“We also now provide native, one-click printing,” Fiss said.

Active-active architecture support now improves scalability of capacity, for enhanced system resilience, high availability and better end-user experience.

“We have also improved security, implementing data segregation and encryption end to end,” Fiss indicated. “This version also has very seamless support for two-factor authentication.”

Parallels RAS 15.5 is available now. Pricing is $USD 99 per year for each concurrent user including all components, such as built-in load balancing.