The Citrix value of Courage can be summed up as: “We dream big and are bold and selfless in pursuit of those dreams.” This blog, the fifth in a series about our core values, explains why Courage is so important to successful partner relationships.

Courage can be shown in many different ways, from demonstrating physical bravery to upholding ethical convictions in the face of disapproval.

In the business world, an organization’s courage can manifest itself as a willingness to move boldly ahead of the pack – even when its vision and goals are dismissed by the “experts.” Per Rosabeth Moss Kanter in Harvard Business Review, “Leaders must refuse to accept limits or stop at industry boundaries.”

Partners in courage

How does courage on the part of Citrix benefit our channel partners? One word: opportunity. By stretching beyond our traditional customers, markets and technologies, we offer our partners new ways to grow and profit.

For instance, after years of focusing on enterprise customers, we have expanded our targets to include mid-market and small and mid-size (SMB) organizations. This change required the courage to move from the known to the unknown.

The mid-market is a huge, untapped opportunity for Citrix and our partners, so we created solutions, incentives and enablement – such as the Net-new Partner Sourced program – to support partners’ success in this arena.

Courage to unlock new partner program models

To help our partners make their offerings available more broadly, particularly to SMB customers, we launched the Citrix Service Provider program featuring a flexible cost model. It benefits partners with flexible licensing options and low start-up investments (especially with the availability of cloud-hosted infrastructure). Citrix was the first company in our space to develop a consumption-based model for infrastructure software licenses.

Today, the Citrix Service Provider program has about 2,000 participants and represents the fastest-growing segment of Citrix revenue. Not only does it give existing partners a programmatic way to add services to their traditional on-premises sales, it also has brought in net-new partners, strengthening our global ecosystem.

Courage to disrupt yourself

Regarding technologies, Citrix Courage played a key role in the move to XenDesktop about 10 years ago. At that time, the entire company was centered on XenApp. Our senior sales leaders were worried about disrupting or cannibalizing XenApp sales just to get wins. But based on input from our partners and Citrix product teams, we realized the market was moving to VDI. So, we created a trade-up campaign to encourage XenApp customers to adopt desktop virtualization. The following year was a blockbuster, with most of the growth led by the trade-up deal.

On the flip side, we drew on our value of Courage when taking a major step to shrink, rather than expand, our product portfolio. Earlier this year, we completed the spin-off and merger of our GoTo products with LogMeIn. Divesting ourselves of a $600 million product family required admitting that we had become too scattered, technology-wise, and needed to refocus on our core products. It also required the courage of our conviction that the spin-off would ultimately pay off for Citrix and our partners.

The benefits of this business strategy include reduced conflict between partners and Citrix sales teams, fewer distractions caused by a diverse portfolio, and greater customer clarity about who to work with at Citrix.

Looking risk in the face and taking the leap isn’t always easy but we owe it to our entire ecosystem to act with courage as we pursue the transforming the future of work into reality.

Stay tuned for the final blog in the series, which will address the core value of Unity and what it means for Citrix and our partnerships. See you then!

Missed the earlier installments in the series? Read them here: 

Craig Stilwell, Worldwide VP of Partner Sales & Strategy, has more than 23 years of technology experience, including more than 17 years at Citrix, most recently serving as Area Vice President of our U.S. Commercial business responsible for all sales and products in the U.S. Commercial segment. Previously, Craig served in several roles at Citrix, notably as Vice President of Americas Channel Sales & Field Operations.

Connect with Craig on Twitter: @CraigTStilwell

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