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Citrix waved off partners and saw sales surge in 2016

Citrix enjoyed an upturn in its channel business last year after some housekeeping of its partner base

Citrix is claiming a 30%  increase in net new customers from partners across EMEA in 2016, despite trimming its channel numbers across the region.

The vendor reduced the number of its Citrix Solution Advisors (CSAs) in EMEA by almost 12%  last year – from 5573 to 4916 – in a campaign to bin inactive partners.

“We have sunset some partners because they were not active,” said Luca Marinelli, Citrix’s VP of partner sales, EMEA. “We sent them letters and said, ‘guys, ether you show us some activity – take a certification, sell a product, or whatever – or we are not actively including you in our partner base.’ It also to preserve the value of our partners that are actively investing.”

Marinelli said the upturn in channel sales is down to improvements in Citrix’s channel engagement over the past 12 months. This included the launch of the Net New Partner Sourced programme in May 2016, which increased compensation for CSA, SI and ISV partners that identified and qualified new opportunities, especially in the midmarket.

The vendor also introduced a Strategic Development Fund (SDF) for partners, which replaced Citrix’s MDF funding, as well as made it easier for partners to receive Citrix Advisor Rewards (CAR).

There were other high points for Citrix’s channel in 2016. Two years ago, Citrix introduced specialisations for partners, but it was only last year where the firm saw a 73% jump in specialised partners, with the most popular being networking with more than 120.

The vendor also jumped 12 points in its annual channel loyalty survey, which Marinelli attributes to simplifying its relationship with partners, and its decision to scale back its portfolio to focus on its core products: “We probably covered them in a better way, but also simple messaging, and a focus back on the core value proposition,” he said.

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