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Server Pipeline | Executive Q&A: Tarantella CEO

Since taking over as CEO of Tarantella almost a year ago, Frank Wilde has revamped the company's channel and signed an alliance with IBM to complement its existing relationship with Sun Microsystems. As a provider of terminal services on top of Unix/Linux servers, Tarantella has long existed in the shadow of Citrix Systems. In an interview with CRN Editor in Chief Michael Vizard, Wilde, who previously held executive posts at IBM and Dell, explains why Tarantella needed to overhaul its channel and how the company is taking a more conciliatory approach to Citrix.

CRN: Under your tenure, how has Tarantella evolved?

WILDE: Before I joined the company last December, I'd never seen a company where the customers loved the product so much and the company's financials were so poor. As we analyzed the company, we realized [it] attempted to sell Tarantella through a channel used to selling operating systems but not familiar with infrastructure. The real money in this business is in large enterprise projects where the big hardware implementations are changing to implement security and manage desktop applications.

Looking at that, we started a program to rotate the channel partners. And because we're focused on large hardware installations, we forged a much deeper relationship with Sun and then we created a relationship with IBM.

As a result of those two efforts, on July 1 we split our selling organization into two groups. One is focused on Sun and one is focused on IBM, and we work very closely with those guys and their reselling partners.

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