Last year, I told you about the CTP Program as a reward from Citrix to recognize the activities of individuals who go above and beyond to share their expertise with other members in the community. This year, I’m going to talk a bit about our decision-making process.
Maybe I should explain why we developed our process. CTP members can be reluctant to leave the program. Sure, a few members leave when they become Citrix employees or our competition hires them, but most of the CTPs prefer to remain in the program. This is a “problem” because technology changes so quickly and expertise takes time to develop; so, each year, we look for a few new candidates to provide new perspectives for the group. We discover a few individuals each year, who share a selfless dedication to passing along what they have learned – both in technology and in community spirit.
The annual CTP review process shown in Figure 1: CTP Program Lifecycle below; begins each year in the “Identify needs” phase. We typically open new candidate applications in late March or early April.
We are currently in the “Open Applications and Candidates Apply” phase of the CTP Lifecycle. In this phase, qualified candidates for the CTP Program submit their applications via the web form on the CTP Program page.
Please note that applications for the CTP Class of 2018 close on October 31, 2017.
Behind the Scenes
You might be wondering what happens behind the scenes of the CTP Program. Or, just how do we make these CTP membership decisions each year?
Well, let me tell you … it’s not easy.
Because the group is limited to 50 people, we become more like a family than a business project. It’s true. We do need to focus on business, but, just like for Citrix employees, family comes first. CTPs share their significant life events with each other (a baby, new home, a child’s graduation, etc.) and come to rely on each other for support in life and in business. We recently developed the CTP Alumni program, which provides past and present CTP members continued contact with each other.
How We Evaluate Applications and CTPs
Each year, CTP members submit a spreadsheet detailing their Citrix-related activities throughout the 12 months of their membership. Then we ask them to review the submissions of each of the CTPs – including their own. This “Peer Review” process includes reviewing all of the CTP spreadsheets and helps CTPs make data-driven decisions about the level of activity of each member. This also provides them with a gauge for determining their own level of activity in the program. The peer reviews are a piece of the information we use to help make our decisions – the majority are renewed each year. A few have life events (promotions, births, job changes, etc.) and leave the program. Others are invited to join the CTP Alumni program.
Sure, we also review participation data from CUGC, Citrix Support Forums, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, meetings, and online discussions, just to name a few.
Goals For Each CTP Candidate and Member
Working together, the CTPs and Citrix are establishing a minimum level of participation, communication and skills to help evaluate qualifications for CTP membership. There are at least three key areas of expertise:
- Community – presentations, discussions, CUGC, etc.
- Technology – mobile, cloud, security, etc.
- Social – blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
This “minimum level of participation” will apply to both CTP candidates and CTP members. (Please note that being successful as a CTP requires a considerable investment of time, and we encourage you to discuss the time required with your management and/or family.)
We are looking for passion, dedication, and selflessness in our CTP members, and, to be honest, a little bit of the star quality that makes them leaders in their respective areas of expertise. Diversity in candidates is encouraged.
Are you Ready?
If you believe you have what it takes to join this group of elite professionals, you should know a few things about the program:
- The program is limited to 50 members in any given year – this is to ensure that we can give as personalized access as possible
- We review our CTP class annually to make sure that we are constantly building out the program and showcasing all skills
- We said dedication, right? – All applications need to be filled out completely in order to be reviewed
- All applications are reviewed by a committee comprised of both Citrix and current CTPs
- The references provided are checked
- The CTP program annual “contributions” scorecard will include professional and personal activities that benefit the broader Citrix community, which stretches more broadly than the MyCUGC.org community
- The CTP award is based on roughly 50% “community contribution” (giving to the community without expecting anything in return) and roughly 50% technical expertise (look at the activities of the current CTPs for guidance)
- The heart and soul of Citrix
- Sharing, innovation, paying it forward, inspiration, support, passion, etc.
- Shared ownership of success
So, get out there and give back to the Citrix technology community! Get noticed for your technical and voluntary expertise!
You CAN do it!
The CTP program application and eligibility information are available here: https://www.citrix.com/community/ctp.html
What Makes CTPs Extraordinary?
If you want to know what makes CTPs extraordinary for Citrix, here is just a sampling of the characteristics of our 2017 CTP Class:
- They have been involved in a wide variety of activities
- They have contributed invaluable feedback to the Citrix Product and Engineering teams
- In 8 months, CTPs attended over 30 hours of Citrix product deep-dive webinars with Citrix Engineering and Product teams
- A majority of CTPs have 16 to 20+ years of experience working with Citrix products
- CTP members have a depth and breadth of knowledge which enables them (and Citrix!) to stay abreast of the current issues and concerns facing our customers and partners
- CTP membership is not limited to Partners; Partners and business owners make up 77% of our CTP membership
- 23% of the CTPs are employed by Citrix customers
At Citrix Synergy 2017:
- 46 of the 49 CTPs attended and participated in Synergy scheduled activities with 6,835 attendees
- 26 CTPs led 16 breakout sessions
- 5 of the top 10 sessions were led by CTPs
- CTPs submitted 61 sessions during the call for topics
- CTP activities on Twitter created 21 million total potential social impressions (a 24% increase over 2016)
- AND, they attended two days of intense, face-to-face, technical meetings with Citrix Product and Engineering teams
- (They were very tired!)
CTPs are not limited to recognition by Citrix alone. CTPs are recognized by other Enterprise recognition programs; such as:
- 28% are also members of the VMware vExpert program
- 24% are also members of the Microsoft MVP program
Finally, A Request
Are you looking to begin an Influencer Relations program like the CTP Program? Do you manage a similar program? Excellent! Let’s talk. I’d love to share best practices with you!
Because the CTP Program is a team effort, I need to acknowledge members of the CTP program for their help in making the program what it is. For this post, thanks for your editorial assistance Tobias Kreidl, Webster and Sam Jacobs! 🙂
Perrine — @pcrampton