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Citrix raises the bar on partner programs

Citrix raises the bar on partner programs

Citrix Systems is 10 per cent ahead of its Q2 sales target on the back of two major deals with Optus and the New Zealand Department of Correctional Services worth about $US1million collectively.

Optus, an existing customer of Citrix has purchased 2365 MetaFrame licenses - bringing its grand total to 5,865 - while the NZ contract is for 2700 licenses over a three year period.

However with such exponential growth, Citrix has realised that signing masses of resellers to flog its thin client software puts the product in danger of commodification and it is raising the bar on channel certification to combat this.

The vendor will require all Gold partners to have a Citrix certified enterprise administrator (CCEA) on staff upon renewal of their license, a process requiring four exams. Michael Abel, channel marketing manager for Citrix System Asia Pacific, says while this may see a reduced number of resellers coming on board, it is important for the continued credibility of the brand.

Bjorn Engelhardt, sales manager for Citrix Asia Pacific, says it will also ensure partners can retain their margin on service regardless of whether the margin on the product itself falls.

"The Citrix component is actually a very small part of the total integrated solution," explains Engelhardt. "Partners make five to six times on services and add-ons what they make on the product itself."

Abel says the transition should be complete within six months and all other integration partners are still required to have a Citrix certified administrator (CCA) on staff as well as a Citrix certified sales professional (CCSP).

The rationalisation comes as Citrix tallies its certified Asia Pacific channel partners. More than 1700 partners have joined the ranks since the company launched here in 1998. More than half are Australian based, a massive increase on 12 months ago when there were less than 500, according to Abel.

"Our considerable growth throughout the region is due in no small part to the continuing success of our partners in the Citrix Solutions Network (CSN) and the high performance application server software solutions they provide Citrix end users," says Nabeel Youakim, managing director of Citrix Systems Asia Pacific.

"Citrix products help drive peripheral and service revenues, leading to higher productivity and increased profit margins. Subsequently we are seeing an expansive trend of individuals and organisations becoming accredited Citrix providers," Youakim added.


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