Citrix To Channel Partners: Think Strategically

With its $500 million acquisition of XenSource under its belt, Citrix has been redefining itself as a supplier of end-to-end virtualization and application delivery solutions. At Citrix's Summit channel partner and sales conference this week, the company is firing up its channel partners to sell those solutions and announcing expanded training and reward programs to help them do it.

"We know the value of services to our partners," said Al Monserrat, VP of worldwide channel and emerging product sales, in an interview from the conference in Orlando. About 1,500 executives and employees from Citrix's 4,500 resellers and another 300 people from the company's alliance partner companies are attending the three-day conference.

Citrix's message to its channel partners at the conference revolves around three points, Monserrat said: Sell Citrix's end-to-end software line as strategic components of their customers' IT infrastructures rather than as niche products; lead sales efforts with the high-value platinum version of those products; and increase their investment in Citrix-related resources such as sales and technical personnel.

Citrix is offering bonuses under its Advisor Reward Program to solution provider partners for working toward those goals, although Monserrat would not provide details about the bonuses. He said bonus payouts under the program increased 61 percent last year compared to 2006.

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Citrix is also offering partners expanded sales and technical training at no cost when they add personnel to expand their Citrix-related business, such as adding sales reps to sell XenServer. The company is also offering training for using templates Citrix has developed for assessing deployments of Citrix software at customer sites, said Tom Flink, vice president of Citrix worldwide channel programs, in an interview from the conference.

Citrix will also condense many of the training courses being offered at this week's conference and offer them at the company's regional Partner Accelerator events.