Less than a month in advance of its training conference for partners, Citrix Summit 2013, Citrix Systems Inc. today rolled out its next-generation channel program that, most importantly, increases certification and revenue requirements. The program also targets improving margins and market differentiation, as well as making it easier for partners to do business with Citrix.
The company is making changes to the Citrix Solution Advisor program, which in a nutshell boosts rewards for Silver, Gold and Platinum partners who meet the company's higher bar for revenue and certifications, and it's introducing the Citrix SaaS Advisor Program, which has two components: a Software as a Service (SaaS) resale and rewards program, and a program for service providers and SaaS aggregators.
"These changes represent the foundation of our partner program and the next generation of the Citrix partner program, which will be competency-based around our technologies that span mobility, desktop virtualization, cloud networking and our products around SaaS," said Tom Flink, vice president of worldwide channels and market development at Citrix.
Citrix Solution Advisor program changes
The Citrix Solution Advisor program enhancements are in direct response to feedback from the community of about 8,500 partners worldwide, according to Flink.
The four core changes to this Citrix partner program include:
- Raising the bar around certification and revenue requirements, which are localized based on different markets in different parts of the world;
- Publishing clear and predictable criteria for Silver-, Gold- and Platinum-level partners;
- Differentiating financial benefits to partners based on tiers; and
- New opportunity registration and upfront discounts on cloud networking products.
"We're asking our CSA partners to do more or to meet higher levels of revenue and increase the number of competencies to meet the requirements for Silver, Gold and Platinum levels," Flink said.
Yearly sales-level requirements in the United States have been changed to $3.5 million in suggested retail price for Platinum partners, $850,000 for Gold partners and no minimum for Silver partners. Prior to today, the requirements for partners were as follows: Platinum, amount specified in individual agreements; Gold, a booking value of $225,000; and Silver, a booking value of $40,000.
To qualify for Platinum status, partners in the United States also need eight Citrix Certified Sales Professionals (CCSPs); and eight Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineers (CCEEs)/Citrix Certified Integration Architects (CCIAs) or Citrix Certified Administrators (CCAs) for NetScaler. For Gold status, partners need four CCSPs and three CCAs or CCEE/CCIAs. No certification is required for Silver partnership.
The company is particularly set on partners improving their organization's technical competency around Citrix products that span mobility, desktop virtualization, cloud networking and SaaS.
To support this change, Citrix is delivering a series of no-cost training subscriptions to all of the company's baseline content related to technology and sales, including online labs, demos and hands-on work, according to Flink.
"To make the changes even more compelling for our partners, we're publishing criteria that is 100% objective and predictable so that if a partner invests in the program requirements, they will receive the designation based on those requirements," he explained.
Prior to this change, becoming a Gold or Platinum partner required an invitation from Citrix even if a partner invested in certifications.
The company is changing and clarifying the financial incentives of the Citrix Advisor Rewards Program corresponding to tiers. For example, Platinum partners will be compensated at a higher level than Gold partners.
The last change to the Citrix Solution Advisor program is a new opportunity registration and upfront discount, specifically for cloud networking products. It is a fulfillment-based incentive paid to the partner of registration on an opportunity at the time that the partner procures the product from fulfillment, i.e. the distributor.
"From a profitability perspective, the partner can avail themselves to the combination of the upfront discount opportunity for cloud network and the differentiated Advisor Rewards or the back-end rebate available to the partner who is validated as providing influence on a deal that's tied to the partner's tier level," Flink said.
These four changes are tied to how Citrix thinks about partners and the locations they maintain. Going forward, the vendor is moving to what it calls a country-based designation -- which means a partner with multiple offices that achieves a particular designation level is recognized at that level across all offices.
The new Citrix partner program goes into effect today. Any partner that meets the new requirements will receive the benefits immediately based on the level they qualify for. Partners who do not qualify have until January 2014 to meet the new requirements, according to Flink. If they don't meet the new requirements, they will lose their status level.
New Citrix SaaS Advisor Program
The second part of today’s announcement addresses the new Citrix SaaS Advisor Program.
In addition to establishing the new program, the company is also introducing two components. The first component is the SaaS resale and referral rewards program for Citrix GoToMeeting, GoToAssist and Citrix ShareFile. The program allows partners to buy and resell these products through the vendor's distribution partners or to refer customers to Citrix and get paid a referral reward.
The second component is designed for service providers and SaaS aggregators that are building marketplaces for SaaS products and would like to integrate the "GoTo" services into their marketing plans. Citrix will support these initiatives with a number of resources, from reference designs to best practices, marketing resources and so on, according to Flink. The Citrix SaaS Advisor program will be rolled out over the coming months.