Citrix Summit 2017: Channel VP outlines partner strategy

Citrix Summit 2017 kicks off today in Anaheim, Calif. Here’s what channel partners can expect the company to emphasize at this year’s meeting:

Cloud momentum

Craig Stilwell, vice president, worldwide partner strategy and sales at Citrix, said 2017 will be the year when the company “walks in the cloud.” The company, he said, began to crawl in the cloud in 2016 and looks forward to running full force in the cloud in 2018.

This year, Citrix will focus on talking to partners about how to make the cloud transition, providing technical enablement as well as coaching on positioning and sales motions around the cloud, Stilwell said. And, of course, there will be discussions on how to make money in the cloud. Indeed, the Citrix Summit 2017 opening keynote outlined three ways for partners to make money in the cloud: transactions for new cloud licenses, services (installation, configuration and managed services) and renewals (partners sell Citrix Cloud packages in a per-user, per-year subscription model).

As for the latter, Stilwell said he plans to design a renewal program for partners. He noted that once a customer makes a cloud purchase, the channel will play a key role in making sure usage is high and customers are satisfied. He said his goal it to have the renewal program figured out by the Citrix Synergy conference, which will take place in May in Orlando.

Other partner go-to-market priorities outlined at Citrix Summit 2017 include:

Secure deals for Citrix Workspace Suite

Stilwell said the objective is for Citrix sales personnel and channel partners to lead with Citrix Workspace Suite, a set of Citrix products for delivering secure access to desktops, data, applications and services.

Win with networking

Specifically, the Citrix game plan is to attach NetScaler and SD-WAN technology to every Workspace Suite, XenApp and XenDesktop deal. He said SD-WAN sales benefit from a close association with desktop virtualization and application virtualization user experience.

“We find the most uptake on SD-WAN … where resilience and uptime are of primary importance to the end user customer,” Stilwell said.

Win together with Microsoft

Stilwell said Citrix is asking its channel companies to become better Microsoft partners and focus on key use cases such as Skype for Business, Windows 10 virtual desktop infrastructure and NetScaler for Azure.

Citrix Summit 2017 will run through Wednesday, Jan. 11.

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