Citrix partners: Get ready for a 360 view of yourselves

Tom Flink

Citrix channel chief Tom Flink.

SAN FRANCISCO – Ever wondered exactly how a vendor partner sees your business, and your partnership with them? Not the niceties,the cordial personal relationships, the motherhood and apple pie statements of commitment and support – but the actual numbers, rates and metrics that vendors use to measure their own business with you and through you?

Citrix is getting set to give its partners an opportunity to stand in front of those full-length mirrors, and get a full look at themselves as they look in the vendor’s eyes.

At its Summit event here this week, the company is previewing new Partner Dashboards, part of its MyCitrix partner portal and set to debut in the second week of June, according to Tom Flink, vice president of worldwide channels and market development at the company.

The Partner Dashboard essentially presents to partners all of the numbers and metrics that Citrix collects on their partners, in real-time, and as Citrix sees them.

The metrics have come together as a result of a project known internally at Citrix as “Partner 360,” in which the company completely re-architected its partner management systems to allow easy access to any number of metrics, from rolling four quarter comparisons, to real-time sales numbers, to deep drilldowns on pipeline and leads. When combined with the data gathered on pipeline through the company’s Partner Rewards program, Flink said it “drives a really complete picture” of each partner’s business with Citrix.

“Having a shared understanding of our situation is super-important,” Flink said. “And this really allows partners to see themselves as we’re seeing them, their productivity with us, their number of certified people, the details of their pipeline, so that when they’re working with our channel managers and looking at our business together, we’re looking at the same things.”

Having access to the data is interesting and important – it gives solution providers a unique look into how the vendor looks at them, and gives them the chance to more proactively address any discrepancies between the vendor’s view of their business and their own. If done right, it has the potential to create a tremendously transparent common language or framework for vendor/partner discussions and negotiations.

But perhaps where things get really interesting for Citrix partners is in “phase two,” as Flink puts it. There are no firm dates attached to phase two, but Flink says that already baked into the system (both the dashboard and the underlying infrastructure at Citrix) is the ability to do to shared goals between the vendor and its partners.

“What I’d like to do in the future, is create a system of rewarding partners for hitting those joint goals,” Flink said. “And with this system, we have the infrastructure to do that.”