Citrix To Build MDM-Ready Channel

Citrix Americas channel chief Mike Fouts.

Citrix Americas channel chief Mike Fouts.

With its acquisition of mobile device management specialist Zenprise behind it, and the company’s flagship MDM product rebranded as XenMobile, Citrix Systems is looking to build a channel around this new business for it.

At its Citrix Summit partner conference held in Anaheim this week, the company took 48 of its partners from across the Americas who had self-identified as interested in building a practice around MDM, and put them through a one-day “mobility boot camp.”

The program was the first part of a strategy to both attract new MDM-focused partners to Citrix, and to introduce MDM to its existing base. When the acquisition closed in February, it took the company until the end of March to get its own people trained up on the new technology, and starting in April, it’s started to get the message out to its partners, said Mike Fouts, the company’s North American channel chief. That effort has included identifying the traits it’s looking for in MDM-focused partners with distribution partner Ingram Micro, and seeking out partner that match the profile.

According to Fouts, there are predominantly two types of MDM customers: those who “just need something now” to solve a pressing and current business need; and those who are looking to develop a mobility strategy.

“That’s the bigger, more strategic conversation, and that’s the one we’re looking to have more,” Fouts said.

The good news for the software vendor is that while Zenprise had its own channel base, there was a great deal of overlap with the Citrix channel, according to Fouts. And many Citrix channel partners are likely pre-disposed to the mobile device management message due to the company’s focuses over the year – ranging from CEO Mark Templeton’s embrace of the “Bring Your Own Computer” concept years before BYOD became an industry-shaping trend, to its more current approach to target “mobile workstyles” with its desktop and application virtualization products.

“We’ve identified the right folks, and we’re starting to have some conversations,” Fouts said.

Fouts said he expects to have both parts of the channel community ramped up on XenMobile by the final quarter of the year.