Citrix Unveils New Government Channel Program

Citrix has unveiled a new channel program that rewards the creme de la creme of state and local government VARs.

Of course, Citrix has good reason to cater to those forwarding its government business. About three years ago, the company took a hard look at its customer base, and realized that the public sector made up about one-third of sales. To accommodate the specific needs of that sector, a federal group was formed, soon followed by a state and local group -- both of which rely heavily on the channel.

"The public sector likes to know who they're buying from, to have a relationship that is a little more personal," says Bert Wakeley, director of the state and local government group at Citrix, which grew its government partner business by 63 percent last year. "Given that, it's very important for us to focus on assisting those resellers that are interested and willing to make such a commitment to this market."

So Citrix developed the State and Local Government Expert Program, which enables qualified partners to sell Citrix products and services off of existing Citrix state contracts, eliminating the need to negotiate additional contract vehicles. In addition, through the General Services Administration (GSA) Cooperative Purchasing Program, participants can offer customers the ability to purchase off of a Citrix GSA Schedule.

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"Qualified partners get our undivided attention in trying to land sales," Wakeley says. "Our job will be to make their job easier."

Currently collecting submissions for potential participants in the program, Citrix seeks a combination of long-time Citrix resellers, such as Right Systems in the Northwest and Capital Networks Solutions in California, and new partners that bring discernible market expertise to the table. As for geographic dispersion, Citrix will seek out VARs in the most lucrative locales, with the number per state determined in part by the size of the corresponding government and complexity of its systems.

"We're targeting the top 20 states in terms of IT budgets," Wakeley says. "As the story goes, when Willy Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he said. 'That's where the money is.'"