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Citrix chases SMB channel

Citrix Systems plans to embark on an aggressive recruitment campaign across the Middle East to sign up SMB-focused resellers with a desire to move beyond basic product resell towards solution selling.

Citrix Systems plans to embark on an aggressive recruitment campaign across the Middle East to sign up SMB-focused resellers with a desire to move beyond basic product resell towards solution selling.

“In this region Citrix has been known as a company focused on enterprise customers,” said Antoine Aguado, regional manager at Citrix Middle East. “There are many organisations out there with between 50 and 300 PCs that do not yet know the full benefits the Citrix MetaFrame Access Suite offers. So now we are starting to recruit SMB-focused resellers that can help us grow in that space.”

Citrix plans to increase the number of channel recruitment seminars in major markets across the Middle East. Aguado reckons that SMB resellers are realising the need to evolve their business strategy beyond pure product resell. Citrix’s regional value-added distributor (VAD), Mindware, and training partners such as New Horizons are on hand to help resellers make the transition.

“Resellers need to start selling solutions and not just hardware,” explained Aguado. “Many SMB customers want a one-stop-shop solutions provider and training organisations such as New Horizons are seeing increased interest from resellers looking to build up their Citrix skills.”

“The market is changing and product resellers realise this,” continued Aguado. “The commitment to change has to come from the reseller management. Then he has to decide the software vendor he wants to work with and how quickly he will achieve a return on investment (ROI) on the cost of building up internal skills.”

Citrix claims that for every US$1 spent on Citrix software, an additional US$10 is spent on related hardware, software and services. This level of revenue pull-through provides an attractive proposition to partners.

Away from the SMB space, Citrix is also working hard to engage more closely with enterprise resellers and safeguard partner profitability. The Citrix Reward Programme has now been launched in the Middle East. This programme allows partners to register leads and receive a percentage of the deal value as a rebate once a project has been successfully completed.

“Even if a partner does the pre-sales, a pilot and project design there is no guarantee it will get the eventual project when the purchasing department awards the contract,” explained Aguado. “If Citrix validates the reseller as a preferred partner on the deal he can get up to 10% of the total project value back through this programme.”

With an average sales cycle of three months, Citrix resellers must register the lead at least 45 days before the contract is signed. The rebate received is between 6% and 10% according to Aguado with the percentage declining as the deal size increases. The channel initiative aims to protect resellers’ up-front investment in large deals and deter opportunistic partners from jumping on deals at the last minute.

“Partners need to offer pre-sales and post-sales service on large deals,” said Aguado. “Some partners can charge for pre-sales work, but this is difficult. This reward helps compensate partners for sending in experienced staff to do proof of concepts during the pre-sales period. We think this programme will help guarantee a return for partners that are investing in Citrix.”

Citrix has not stopped recruiting partners with the skills required to sell solutions to enterprise customers. After undergoing intensive sales and technical training, Emirates Computers has been unveiled as the vendor’s latest Gold partner in the Middle East.

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