Citrix Systems: We Want More Channel Partners, Big Time

Citrix Systems is on a major recruiting mission for its cloud service provider business.

The software company, which specializes in cloud-based applications, hopes to add 800 service providers this year to the division.

“[Citrix service provider] is a pure consumption model, so it’s pay per user, per month,” Carlos Blanco, global senior director of Citrix’s cloud service provider division, said of its subscription model. “It’s a run-rate business, so you’re measured by how much you bill per month. And the way you increase that, besides growing the business within your existing partner base, is to actually expand and recruit new partners.”

The company has 2,400 active channel partners after bringing on 655 new ones last year, a 37.5 percent increase.

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“We have very little attrition on partners exiting the program,” Blanco said. “There’s a lot of money to be made out there.”

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Citrix is recruiting more cloud-oriented service providers rather than traditional on-premises partners who want to transition to the cloud.

“We branched out into all sorts of different areas—true cloud guys that don’t own any infrastructure, communications service providers, and a lot of other different business models that traditionally we didn’t focus on from a [Citrix service provider] perspective,” Blanco told CRN at The Channel Company’s XChange 2019 conference in Las Vegas this week. “[Independent software vendors] are another big push for us as well.”

Citrix’s service provider division accounts for $150 million in annual revenue and is growing at a rate of 30 percent 40 percent annually, according to the company.

“By the end of this year, it will have doubled in terms of booking,” said Blanco, who joined Citrix in September 2017.

Citrix has four product groups: virtualization—for which it’s most known; networking; mobile device management; and file, share and sync.

“We’re in the enviable position of being able to deliver all that as one solution, and the big push for us now is what we’re calling the ‘intelligent workspace,’” Blanco said. “You have your SaaS applications integrated with your legacy applications, with your files all in one secure digital perimeter, and that’s really the whole future for Citrix.”

Citrix is one of the cornerstone partners of Miramar, Fla.-based Forthright Technology Partners. The company understands how to work with the channel and make its partners successful, according to Carl Gersh, vice president of sales and marketing at Forthright, a Platinum-level Citrix partner.

“They encourage their sales team to partner with the channel partners whenever possible,” Gersh said. “And they’ve always been at somewhat of the forefront of putting together incentive programs to ensure that Citrix is profitable for their partners and not overly commoditized.”

And Citrix is at the forefront of assisting companies with their digital transformation initiatives, Gersh said.

“That’s important because that’s what’s going to deliver value to the end users that rely on us to assist them,” he said.