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Citrix to boost channel margins

Company makes tweaks to its channel program and strategy to support XenDesktop

With desktop virtualization gaining momentum in marketplace on what seems like a daily basis Citrix Systems has made some alterations to its channel program and strategy to push its XenDesktop products through the solution provider community.

Citrix will now offer its more than 350 channel partners in Canada double the amount of Advisor Reward margin pay out in its two-tier channel program. Under the old system, channel partners received 10 per cent margins for XenDesktop. Company vice president of Americas channels and field operations Craig Stilwell, said Advisory Rewards worked as a deal registration program. When the solution provider registered the deal a Citrix sales person would analysis it to make sure the registrant was adding its valued expertise over just fulfilling the order. This system would ensure that the solution provider would get paid even if the deal was sent elsewhere based on lowest price.

The company also boosted its margins by up to 50 per cent on new customer deals involving XenDesktop.

A solution provider could conceivable earn 20 points for just selling XenDesktop and an additional five per cent bonus if it’s a new customer. The 50 per cent increase is solely on the initial Advisory Reward base of 10 per cent margins, Stilwell said.

“We recognized from channel partners that the next new customer is difficult to get and so there is a new component called Customer Bonus which works out to be a 50 per cent uplift. The cool thing is you can put the two together,” he said.Citrix’ strategic marketing fund for partners was also tweaked. Those who submit a marketing idea will get more coop money.

These new channel program tweaks does not mean Citrix channel partners had difficulties being profitable with the vendor’s product line, Stilwell said. “Partners would make sales and technical investments during the sales cycle and then it became an all-out bidding war for the lowest price. Partners did have a difficult time getting profits. Since we rolled it about seven years ago it almost never happens. It was designed to prevent against the truck slammers. You still get paid for your value added activity and 75 per cent of the time the person who received the Advisor Reward also fulfilled the deal,” Stilwell said.Citrix wants to be a front runner in the desktop virtualization space and that was a main reason for these channel changes and new direction. “This type of change of direction does not happen overnight and we want to put some serious muscle behind it. We are asking people to do something different then what they have done in the previous 20 years,” he said.

Another factor is that large system integrators are entering the desktop virtualization market, but they lack bench strength. These companies are starting to work with local resellers for implementation and the Citrix channel team is working to align the two parties with its XenDesktop product line.