Ambitious Citrix ventures into virgin territory

As infrastructure access software vendor Citrix ventures into unknown territory with a new range of networking and security solutions, Middle East channel manager, Fady Iskander, explains how the vendor plans to entice potential allies.

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By  Dawinderpal Sahota Published  March 27, 2007

|~|Fady-Iskander200.gif|~|Fady Iskander, Citrix|~|Channel Middle East: Why should resellers partner with Citrix?

Fady Iskander: The Middle East is one of the fastest growing areas for Citrix globally and is also one of the fastest for adopting new technologies. The market share for Citrix in the Middle East is much bigger than the 25% that Citrix has globally. We are selling more new products and the customers are adapting the latest generation of products from Citrix. I’d say that this is just the tip of the iceberg and we’re aiming for 40% year-on-year growth in 2007.

CME: What sort of training are you providing to partners for your new product range?

FI: We’re currently going through the educational phase because the new products will require new training schemes. We’ve already started the training. We have now held our first training scheme and our first workshop for partners to participate in hands-on training. Further extensive training will be taking place in the coming quarter. I’m also looking to recruit more networking and security partners to quickly jump on the opportunity with the new products: access gateway, Netscale and WANscale.

CME: You’re branching into network and security with your latest product range. What impact does that have on your channel strategy?

FI: Our partners who have been with Citrix are very strong in what we call application virtualisation, but Citrix now is complementing and completing its vision in terms of application delivery — this includes faster network delivery and security over networks in order to make sure that we’re delivering the solution quickly and securely to the customers. This is an area that we’re looking at non-traditional Citrix partners because we weren’t talking to the networking or security channel before. Now is the time when we are ready, we have a business proposition and a strong product that has been accredited by Gartner and IDC who have hailed the product as a leader in this technology. Now we need to take it to the market with the leader’s cognitive expertise.

CME: What sort of skills are you looking for in potential partners?

FI: In terms of security we’re looking for partners who can understand the security policy and understand application policy. Here, we’re talking about application level security. Typically, this would mean people who use down flows in an application in order to hack it. However, there is also access security; people who have the right — who have the username and password — can cause much more damage than the people trying to hack into it. So we’re looking for people who understand access security. In terms of network delivery we’re looking for partners who understand internet protocol and content management as these are crucial products in order to be able to position the netscaler and WANscaler products.

CME: What can resellers do to effectively deliver Citrix products?

FI: We have a partner portal where the partners can declare the leads that they are developing. They introduce the deal into our lead management tool over the internet — the name of the company they are talking to and the opportunity size. Citrix then chooses whether or not to validate this lead. This is based on the value-add that the partner is putting in by educating the customer, developing the knowledge and expertise into the customer base and delivering a demo to show how it will work. Once we’re convinced that the partner has been doing his homework, we’ll validate the lead.

CME: What rewards and incentives are you offering Middle East resellers to entice them into partnering with you?

FI: Our incentive scheme is unique — it guarantees the partner a reward, and this reward is a percentage of the lead value; it ranges from 5% to 10% of the deal. A reward will be paid to the partner who developed this lead, regardless of who fulfilled the deal. So if company A developed a lead but due to a tendering process the deal went to company B — company A will still get up to 10% — a fair value that guarantees a certain level of margin for their investment in Citrix training. At our recent partner event, we announced a further 50% increase on the reward that we offer to partners. So instead of granting a reward of 10%, we will add another 5% on top for our new products until the end of this year. ||**||

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