Citrix Channel Mid-Year Report

If you had the opportunity to read my inaugural blog from last October, there were three areas of focus for 2012 that I talked about.  Those three areas were: enabling partners with the tools needed to compete; be profitable and be successful; engagement at the field sales level with our sales teams; and the introduction of the SMB program.  Now that we have reached the midway point in the year, let’s take a look at our report card and see how we’re doing.

Enablement:

January’s blog was dedicated to Citrix Academy and our 2012 Partner Enablement calendar.  Between these two, there are over 125 enablement and training activities for partners in 2012, in every major city in the US, Canada and Latin America.

In February, we announced two very lucrative promotions for our industry leading Citrix Advisor Rewards (CAR) program.  Here are the details of the announcement:

100% Bonus: This promotion allows our partners to receive a 100% bonus, or double the amount of CAR payment they would normally receive.  With a typical CAR payment of 10% on the SRP of products sold, this promotion would double that amount to 20%.

That’s up to 20% of margin on any edition of XenDesktop and NetScaler that partners sell, and that is valid for the entire calendar year of 2012.

New Customer Bonus: This bonus promotion helps partners target new customers and rewards the extra effort that selling to a new customer requires.  The new customer promotion carries a 50% bonus on top of the standard CAR payment.

For example, if the standard CAR payment is 10%, the New Customer Bonus would increase that payout 50%, for a total payment of 15% of the SRP.  The New Customer Bonus also applies to any product in the Citrix portfolio that is CAR eligible, and is not restricted to any particular version or edition.

A number of partners have asked me if these two promotions can be combined, and the answer is absolutely YES!  If you use my two examples above, a partner can earn up to 25% CAR on a single opportunity.

Midway through the year, I’m happy to report that partners have exceeded our financial projections, which means partners are driving more product sales than anticipated, and therefore driving more profitability into their businesses.

We also announced a major new channel initiative, the Cisco and Citrix Partner Accelerator.   After more than a year in development with a first-mover position in the market, this joint initiative offers compelling benefits to joint channel partners addressing customer requirements for mobile workstyles and desktop transformation.   Our joint go-to-market is centered on the Cisco Virtualization eXperience Infrastructure (VXI) and Citrix XenDesktop.  This enables partners to provide an exceptionally flexible and secure solution with unified virtual desktops, voice and video.

Engagement and SMB:

I have intentionally combined these two categories, because we’ve made some changes that impact both.

Along with February’s introduction of the SMB program, we announced the creation of an SMB-focused team at Citrix.  This team will be responsible for customers that have less than 500 employees.

I know that you’re asking yourself, “Why is this exciting and important?”  As part of our announcement, we also made a significant change in how we compensate our internal sales teams with respect to the SMB space.  New for 2012 is a change where no Citrix field resources (Sales Reps, SE’s, etc.) are compensated for SMB sales.  They will not carry quota, will not receive quota credit, and will not receive compensation on the SMB space of less than 500 employees.

This change is a dramatic and positive move for our partners.  We’ll have a dedicated Inside Sales team that focuses on the SMB space, and the partner community will become our sole field based sales team for all SMB business.

With over 95,000 companies in the US alone that fit the definition of SMB, this is a huge market opportunity for Citrix and our partners.  And, we have the right go-to-market model in place for this to be extremely profitable, and successful, for Citrix partners.

In May, I saw many of you at Summit and Synergy in San Francisco.  With over 6,000 total attendees at this years’ event, Summit offered a perfect venue to meet with a host of partners over the four days.

First and foremost, it was great to see partners at Summit, and equally as exciting to see partners bringing customers to Synergy.  Taking advantage of two full days of engagement with the Citrix teams, then sharing that knowledge and information for two more days with customers was incredible.  Both partners and customers left San Francisco excited about Citrix and the rest of 2012.

As we begin the second half of the year, I would say Q1 and Q2 2012 have been a great success in meeting our partner program goals.  While some partners expressed some uncertainty around our programs as we began 2012, the feedback at the halfway point reflects a very positive outlook.  As Paul Kunze of IntraSystems said about our incentive programs:  “We are definitely taking advantage of the incentives, and we have seen a material increase in our revenue and profitability with Citrix this year.”  We feel the proof is in the pudding, so to speak, and we will continue to hold ourselves accountable for steadily improving the Citrix sales channels through programs and promotions because nothing speaks louder than tangible results.  But for now, we think we’re at the head of the class with a solid “A”!

In wrapping up this month’s posting, I’d like to leave you with this:  Summit and Synergy in Barcelona.  On October 15th we’ll kick off Citrix Summit, followed by Synergy 2012 at the International Convention Centre of Barcelona.  Mark your calendars now; I’d like to see everyone in Spain in October.