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Rafael Garzon, an eight-year veteran with Citrix Systems, became the managing director for the Americas channel in early September. He takes over the job from Mike Fouts, a 13-year veteran with Citrix who served as the company's Americas channel chief for three years.
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In his new position as the Americas channel chief, Garzon, like his predecessor, is responsible for the company's partners in North America and Latin America. Citrix has about 2,000 partners in North America.
More specifically, Garzon is responsible for driving and executing the partner go-to-market strategy. SearchITChannel spoke to Garzon about his goals and objectives for the channel going forward.
What do you have in store for Citrix partners?
Rafael Garzon: The first thing I did when I joined the team was develop our vision. What I identified as the most import mission is to develop the partners to leverage our high-growth small and medium[-sized] business [SMB] market where we have the biggest opportunity today.
We're doing really well on the enterprise level, but below our top 1,000 accounts, there's a wide-open opportunity in the account space below from 1,000 to 11,000, or 10,000 companies. The reason why this is happening is because customers at that level -- SMBs -- are starting to see virtualization as a key component of their IT strategy. We're seeing these customers more into the mobility play and virtualization play, and we know that our partners have relationships and are already selling to these customers.
Our goal is to maximize their knowledge and their ability to sell our technology to those customers.
How do you plan to do this?
Garzon: The first thing I'm working on here with my team is to identify the value proposition to partners. We have a great value proposition, but we need to put it together. 'What is the value proposition for you to sell the product? How do you create a services organization? And how to make money with our solutions?' That's the first priority I'm working on.
The second thing: If you look at our portfolio on the networking side of the business, it has a tremendous potential. In networking, there's a demand, and there's incremental growth that we're seeing in addition to mobility -- XenMobile, XenApp. We're putting together use cases on these products that demonstrate value proposition to the partners so they can go out and use them and get quick wins.
Specifically, I'm talking about NetScaler and XenMobile. XenMobile is new, so we want to get partners up to speed on XenMobile. On NetScaler, where we've definitely seen traction, there's an opportunity for us to go out and find additional partners who are pure-play networking partners who can see this [as an] opportunity to grow their networking business. We have an opportunity to expand the partner mix with very targeted networkers.
We see NetScaler and XenMobile as two products that we believe in 2015 will get a lot of traction. And we're also putting together specific use cases on XenApp.
How many partners is Citrix looking to add?
Garzon: We're going to go through the exercise of territory planning in January to identify the specific number of partners, but I'm thinking maybe about 50. But that's a preliminary number at this point.
What other objectives do you have for the channel?
Garzon: The next big objective for us is enablement. We have a lot of good content, but we need to make it more consumable for our channel partners. So I'm working on that now. For partners who have difficulty attending long-term classes, we're working on how to make the content more consumable for them either virtually or via video, for example.
The next priority for me is alignment. There's been a lot of effort to get the field sales managers and corporate account managers to work more closely with our partners. We're going to look at metrics to identify some of the leverage-building behaviors and track those behaviors against territory performance and try to find those key attributes that will help us to be successful in getting the partners to work closer with us.
Rafael Garzonmanaging director for the Americas channel, Citrix
Last but not least is business intelligence. We're looking at data from Hoovers and internal Citrix data and other databases to dice the information to make sure that we know which customers to go after.
Then we'll create internal campaigns for partners for the high-growth market customers so that they have leads coming out of those campaigns immediately. I'll be doing this myself on the channel side and with the marketing organization.
How would you like to introduce yourself to the channel, and what do you think Citrix partners want to hear?
Garzon: I think that partners definitely want to hear how to make money, so the value proposition is big for me. I'll use Citrix Summit in January 2015 as a new platform to launch what we're trying to do, using some of the same successes we're using internally and how partners can use them to work with Citrix.
There are some programs that are being developed by Tammy's organization [Tammy Richards, managing director for worldwide channel at Citrix] … programs that are going to reward partners that invest with Citrix. … So I'm looking forward to that and communicating that to partners in January.
Is there anything else that you can share with Citrix's North American partners?
Garzon: The bulk of our market is here, and, when we roll out our initiatives, they're rolled out first in North America. I want partners to feel like they're high on our priority list.
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