Citrix has stressed the importance of maintaining a value added distribution channel in the face of increasing pressure from larger distributor rivals.
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EMEA vice president of channel strategy Carsten Thomsen said it was one of Citrix's priorities to ensure value added distribution was maintained.
"We feel we need value added distribution now more than ever before," he argued. "We need to adapt to make sure it pays to be a Citrix distributor and that the ones we want continue to be Citrix distributors."
The newly launched VDI-in-a-Box product aimed at SMEs has raised questions over whether the current profile of Citrix distributors includes partners capable of serving resellers in the SMB market.
Thomsen said the VDI-in-a-Box product could fit well into the Citrix Service Provider programme going forward. He revealed that 99% of customers using the annuity model with service providers were new to Citrix: "It's all incremental business."
In the end, it was "up to partners what role they play [but] as aggregators of technology they have a huge role to play".
System integrators also had a larger role to play for Citrix. Thomsen reported that the share of revenue going through big integrators in EMEA had risen from 3% at the end of 2009 to 15% at the end of last year. Their customers were pushing them to engage with Citrix, resulting in a number of big desktop virtualisation projects.
The role distributors and partners fulfil in the shift to a cloud computing world is expected to feature on the agenda at Citrix's conference with distributor partners in Lisbon next month.
Thomsen revealed the vendor had hired someone to focus purely on channel innovation and examine these types of issues. The company has already reduced its distribution partner numbers and changed its model by moving to a three-tier structure.