Citrix Systems is developing an agent program to reward solution providers that help drive deals without actually selling software licenses.
Still in the early planning stages, the influencer program will provide participating solution providers with a fixed commission rate for driving demand, which should free them from worrying about product margins, said Ross Brown, vice president of business planning at Citrix, based here.
The program, slated to be piloted by year-end, will cover volume licensing but won't extend to sales of shrink-wrapped products, Brown said.
Several solution providers lauded the program, saying it would eliminate conflict between themselves and Citrix Enterprise Licensing Providers, Citrix's volume-license fulfillment partners.
"An agent program makes it worthwhile for both [types of] partners, so I'm less concerned with the sale and more concerned with servicing the customer, which is where we make money anyway," said Roger Gallego, director of sales at Integrated Technologies, Newport Beach, Calif. "It can be a cooperative deal," he added.
The influencer program also will ensure that customers get the best product pricing and the best service levels, said Mitch Northcutt, president and CEO of Rapid-App, a Chicago-based solution provider. "I'm not nearly as well equipped to do things like license inventory management. But on the other hand, the fulfillment partners are not nearly as capable of providing services as we are," Northcutt said.
Citrix President and CEO Mark Templeton said the vendor is trying to build an agent model that gives bigger rewards to partners for creating new business instead of just servicing the Citrix installed base. Over time, he said, Citrix will focus more on servicing the installed base directly while relying primarily on the channel to expand the overall client base. "In terms of the overall maturity of the industry, it's pretty clear to us that the channel has to evolve going forward," he said.
MICHAEL VIZARD contributed to this story.