Citrix's managing director for worldwide enablement discusses how the pandemic shifted her game plan.

Jeffrey Schwartz

November 23, 2020

5 Min Read
Top Gun 51 Profile: Tricia Atchison on Citrix Partner Enablement

When the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly forced offices to close, Tricia Atchison was on the front line, focused on Citrix partner enablement as partners scrambled to expand customers’ virtual client access capacity. The global crisis created a surge in demand for Citrix client access licenses, added infrastructure and cloud usage.

As the Citrix executive responsible for worldwide partner enablement, that forced Atchison to recalibrate her 2020 game plan. She is a member of this year’s Channel Futures Top Gun 51 list, which recognizes premier leaders in the indirect IT and telecom channel. The criteria include advocacy for the channel and commitment to partners’ business success. There’s also dedication to earning the channel’s trust.


Citrix’s Tricia Atchison

Chosen by a panel of distributors, master agents and industry analysts for this year’s Top Gun 51 list, Channel Futures spoke with Atchison about how her team has helped partners address their customers’ needs to provide remote access to employees working at home. The following are some highlights, edited for clarity.

Channel Futures: Citrix is going through the shift from perpetual licensing to subscriptions. How’s that been going so far?

Tricia Atchison: It’s going well. The work we’ve done around business continuity and remote work has played well together. A lot of the work that we’ve done both from an enablement standpoint and a marketing standpoint are tied to how we’ve already been engaging with our partner community as they start to transition our joint customers to the cloud. From an enablement standpoint, one of the things that we’ve been focused on is creating a framework for our partners to guide them through the learning process. Obviously, they sell other solutions, and they have a lot of different things going on.

With the pandemic, we have been focused on business continuity. And we saw, very early on, even in the, March, April, May time frame, that as we got the enablement out and got some of the demand-gen campaigns out, we saw a huge uptick in engagement, where they were leveraging those to engage with their customer.

CF: What kind of enablement did you put into place at the beginning of the pandemic?

TA: We did some technical enablement, but in this case, particularly around business continuity and remote work, we have focused primarily on presales and sales enablement. And obviously, it was digital. But we created some modules for the partners to go in and take those at their own pace. We also did some webinars. Also, we started what we call “snackables,” where we clip some smaller snippets and things that don’t take so much time. Because some people are more willing to do something for 5 or 10 minutes versus sitting down for an hour or two hours to sit through something. We just wrapped up; we did our Summit Series, which was a digital customer event. It had three modules around cloud, security and workspace.

Citrix’s Tricia Atchison is part of Channel Partners/Channel Futures’ 2020 Top Gun 51. This program recognizes today’s channel executives who build and execute channel programs that drive partner, customer and supplier success. See the full list.

CF: What type of programs are you preparing for next year?

TA: We will continue to focus on how we help our partners help their customers transition to the cloud. You will see us focus a lot on customer adoption of the cloud. We will continue to do things to help our partners not just get their customers to the cloud, but to help them to drive that adoption with their customers. And for the work that I’m doing, I’m always thinking about our partner experience. We are looking to give them things that can enhance that experience for them with Citrix and make sure we’re giving them …

… the tools that they need and giving them the connections within the organization and making sure they can engage with us to make that easier.

CF: What will be the focus next year in addressing the Citrix partner experience?  

TA: It will be making sure that as they engage with us, that they’re having a great experience. That’s not to say today that they’re not having a good experience. It’s more around putting focus on things like transition to the cloud and customer adoption and making sure that we give them the tools that they need so that they can be successful. When I think of delivering enablement, or I think of delivery, it’s about making sure we give them a great experience as they engage with us.

CF: Are you looking at doing any co-marketing or enablement programs with some of your alliance partners? Where does that fall into?

TA: We had the announcement over the summer with Microsoft. Now we’re delivering a six-part webinar series with Microsoft that talks to some of the market opportunities of our joint solutions. Those trainings show demos on some of the joint solutions, and how we work together, and we really try to educate the partners on what tools are available, and how they can do joint programs with us. So we have done some joint demand-gen campaigns, and those work really well. Partners tend to like those because if they have a lot going on and they’re working with two vendors on one program, oftentimes that’s a better experience too, so you will definitely see us continue to work with some of our bigger partners like Microsoft.

TA: It’s been a year since Bronwyn Hastings came on board as worldwide channel chief. What impact has she had since coming on board?

TA: I think she has done a great job. One of the things that she has definitely brought to the organization is broadening the conversation right around the whole ecosystem. So as you look to things like how we’re starting to work with Microsoft, and some of the programs that we’re doing, she really thinks to the strategic level of the overall ecosystem and how all of the different partner types play in that ecosystem. Because all different types of partners bring different things to the table. I think, partners have evolved so much that it really does become more of an ecosystem.

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like