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One industry observer said the change could help elevate margins for all partners, yet some Citrix partners interpreted the move as a way for Citrix to increase revenue and gain more control over customer accounts.
Acropolis Technology's Butler, a longtime Citrix partner, said there's no price war going on that justifies Citrix's intervention. He said he has discussed the renewal policy change with several Platinum partners, and none of them sees how the move will benefit the Citrix channel or customers.
For example, Butler said, partners now earn 15 percent to 20 percent margins on renewals and have the flexibility of pricing the software for each customer. Under the new terms, authorized partners likely will be cut out of the transaction over time and could lose account control--in addition to their renewal margins--to Citrix, he noted.
"If a client needs to renew, will they think of us to handle the renewal? I hope so, but I think not. I have a good feeling where that margin will go, and I don't think it's client-focused," Butler said. "It's funny, because the way they're positioning it they're leveling the playing field. But before they left it to a free-market economy and let partners price it where it makes sense for the client. Now the client sets something up with Citrix and pays by credit card or financing. "
Citrix couldn't be reached for comment on the matter. But it looks like the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company is getting more aggressive in the Subscription Advantage renewal business.
In the letter announcing the change to customers, Citrix pointed to a promotion that began July 10 in which customers that renew, reinstate or recover any Citrix Subscription Advantage membership are eligible to buy 25 users of Citrix Presentation Server 4.0 (any edition) for the cost of 20 users, representing a 20 percent discount off the suggested retail price.