Citrix channel chief lays out three major program changes, hints at another upcoming

Citrix is adding a new, incremental front-end discount for new opportunities among both new and existing customers. They are also reworking their MDF program, and redoing their CAR program to simplify it and increase partner opportunities.

Kimberly Martin_Citrix 300

Citrix channel chief Kimberly Martin

Today, Citrix is announcing three changes of significance to how benefits are allocated within its partner program. The Net New Partner Sourced program adds a further seven per cent margin for partners qualifying new opportunities – even among their existing customer base. The new Strategic Development Fund for Citrix Solution Advisors replaces Citrix’s MDF funding, and is designed to target the best ROI activities proposed, even if the partner in question is too small to have a marketing department. The third new initiative is a reworking of the Citrix Advisor Rewards program to simplify criteria and make them more consistent.

“At Citrix Summit in January, our channel themes were around profitability, sales growth and predictability,” said Kimberly Martin, Citrix’s VP, Worldwide Partner Strategy & Sales. “What we are doing here is building on that.”

Martin highlighted three new programmatic initiatives.

“First, we are introducing an incremental seven per cent margin for partners hunting for opportunities in the midmarket,” Martin said. This upfront discount will apply on ALL partner qualified opportunities. It is also on top of existing discounts including Specialist CAR Plus and Opportunity Registration for Networking.

“It also applies for opportunities among partners’ existing customers,” she said. “Our partners have deep relationships which are long-standing. We don’t want them just to find new customers, which we know is more difficult, but to leverage their existing ones as well.”

Martin also indicated that while the program is designed to provide more midmarket opportunities, it also applies to enterprise deals as well.

“Even though we want partners to focus on the midmarket, this is not limited to the midmarket,” Martin stated. “It goes up and down the stack. We do think that this will really benefit the partner who invests in going after the midmarket, rather than just being brought into deals.”

The second change is a major reboot of Citrix’s MDF program, which Martin acknowledged had not been delivering the returns Citrix expected.

“We looked at our existing MDF, and found that we couldn’t make a correlation between most MDF spend and our highest growth rates, which we would expect to see,” she said. “We didn’t see that. So what we are doing is centralizing funding and replacing MDF with a new Strategic Development Fund for Citrix Solution Advisors and distributors.”

The new Fund will roll out in July in the Americas and EMEA, and in Asia-Pacific later this year.

“The Strategic Development Fund will replace existing marketing fund programs, and allow us to focus on what we think will be the highest value activities,” Martin said. “This will allow us to identify which marketing activities are the most effective, and to provide more help to partners who don’t have their own marketing departments. We think that this will be another way to help midmarket growth.”

The third initiative is not a new program, but rather a simplifying of the criteria of the existing Citrix Advisor Rewards [CAR] program in response to partner feedback.

“We are simplifying the program to provide consistent black and white criteria,” Martin said. “We want to be the easiest vendor to do business with.”

To illustrate how these changes will work, Martin noted that CAR in the best was based on if the partner helped with the solution part of the deal – but defining what this constituted, whether it was just identifying the deal, providing a proof of concept, or whatever, was very subjective.

“Now it’s very objective,” she said. “Even if a Citrix sales rep knew about an opportunity, if it’s not there registered, we will approve it for the partner. It’s black and white.” Martin indicated that this is designed to increase the number of partner rewards, not be neutral.

Finally, Martin noted that part of the midmarket message at Citrix Summit had been that partners could expect a Cloud Partner Program in the fall.

“It would be fair to say they are likely to see something to that effect,” she said.