Citrix partners will need to meet new certification requirements under a revision of its Solution Advisors program.
Channel development manager, Wendy Smith, said it had introduced 4.0 certifications last year to coincide with the release of several new and upgraded products. The changes had resulted in updated criteria for its Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA), Certified Enterprise Administrator (CCEA) and Certified Integration Architect (CCIA) qualifications. They came into effect in January.
Citrix has been criticised in the past for not providing resellers with sufficient access to hands-on training. Early last year, several integrators complained they had not been given enough time to meet more stringent certification requirements following an overhaul of the vendor's platinum, gold and silver partner criteria.
In response, Smith said it had implemented several initiatives to ease the burden of new certifications. To increase availability, Express Data and itX were now providing one-day Citrix Certified Sales Professional (CCSP) courses.
The vendor has also extended the amount of time allotted to complete training. Partners had been given five months, or until the end of May, to achieve basic sales certification requirements, Smith said. For more complex certifications - such as CCEA or CCIA - partners had until the end of October.
Most significantly, Citrix has lowered the bar on the number of version 4.0 certified engineers needed for resellers to retain their status.
"We wanted to offer a comfortable compromise this year," Smith said. "For example, platinum partners previously had to have two CCIAs and two CCEAs. We have requested this year that they step up one of each to the latest versions, but maintain the other two at the current level.
"Many customers have the previous versions of our products, so partners have to maintain these skills."
In other news, Citrix has increased its Advisor rewards rebates for partners in an attempt to boost sales of its new Access product suite.
Smith said it was offering a rebate of up to 15 per cent for licenses when selling either the full Access suite or the Access Gateway SSL VPN appliance or Password Manager sign-on tool. The vendor's current 10 per cent rebate offer will be retained on its traditional Access Presentation Server product.