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Citrix’s Hector Lima On How Partners’ Voices Will Be ‘Amplified’ With Channel Program Revamp

Wade Tyler Millward

‘What are the things that are moving well? What are the things that we have to prioritize? I go back to nine months ago when I first took this role. ... We wanted to simplify the way that partners did business with Citrix. We wanted to make it more profitable and predictable,’ Citrix Chief Customer Officer Hector Lima tells CRN.

Rethinking its channel chiefs structure, moving channel functions into the greater sales function and making incentives available to partners throughout the sales life cycle are some of the ways Citrix Systems is investing in its partner program.

Hector Lima, Citrix’s executive vice president and chief customer officer, outlined the upcoming changes to the virtualization and cloud vendor’s partner program in an interview with CRN. Mark Palomba—or more formally, the company’s senior vice president of worldwide partner sales and ecosystems—will stay in his role through the acquisition, Lima said. After that, Palomba may transition into a new role or leave the company.

“A lot of what we’re doing now, candidly, I’m doing it to plan for 2023,” Lima told CRN. “This is a big, established business for us. And anytime that we’re going to make any strategic changes, it takes time. So I’m really doing this now because I want to hit the ground running come 2023, but definitely we’ll see things start to change this year.”

[RELATED: Citrix To Be Acquired, Taken Private And Merged With Tibco In $16.5B Deal] 

As a recap of Citrix’s recent odyssey, after weeks of rumors that Citrix was in negotiations to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners and Elliott Management, the company confirmed in January that the private equity firms want to buy publicly traded Citrix in an all-cash deal valued at $16.5 billion and combine it with data integration and analysis software developer Tibco Software.

In October, Citrix Systems President and CEO David Henshall stepped down and was replaced with Bob Calderoni, chairman of the board of directors, as interim president and CEO.

In November, during a quarterly earnings call, Calderoni said that Citrix had made “some missteps” in its go-to-market strategy and forecasting. He said the company “ introduced far too many overlays over the last 12 to 18 months,” with “too many people getting compensated on the same deal.”

He promised “to shore up our channel programs and put in place the right incentives for our channel partners. And we need to focus sales investments on direct selling quota-carrying individuals and eliminate excess investments in overlays and shared commissions.”

Ray Wolf, CEO of Southlake, Texas-based Citrix partner A2K Partners, told CRN that he is happy with the investments Citrix is making. Although A2K is not yet a Tibco partner, Wolf is interested in how the two companies stitch themselves together.

“Now that it’s starting to reveal itself, what the future looks like and the focus on where the investment is going to go—we’re pretty jazzed about it,” Wolf said. “We’re fired back up. I’ll say we’re pre-pandemic fired back up about Citrix.”

Lima and his team have been addressing partners’ concerns and planning for the future. Here’s what you need to know.

 
Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at wmillward@thechannelcompany.com.

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