As Citrix Summit Kicks Off, New Head of Global Channels Lays Out Strategy for ‘Winning Together’
The new head of global channels at Citrix is a familiar face to many. Craig Stillwell is a 17-year veteran with the company, having previously served as vice president of Citrix’s U.S. commercial business the channel head for Citrix in the Americas. He’s been in the position about five weeks now, and while he doesn’t have a strict roadmap yet, he’s clear on what his first priorities are as he assumes the helm. Before Citrix Summit, the company’s annual partner conference, kicked off today, Stillwell sat down with The VAR Guy to talk about his strategy in the year to come.
Top of the list is simplification of Citrix’s partner programs. “I’ve been here at Citrix a long time. I understand their channel programs pretty well,” Stillwell told The VAR Guy. But for partners, it can be difficult to understand how to make money. “On a single transaction, there might be five different programs that a single partner might qualify for.” Don’t expect any changes immediately, he says. “But my vision is that we announce some sort of program at Summit 2018.”
Like for his predecessor Kim Martin, priority number two for Stillwell is increasing Citrix’s midmarket presence while retaining its established foothold in the enterprise space. Key to his strategy is capitalizing on Citrix’s strong relationship with Microsoft. “We are asking our partners to focus on three use cases where we believe there is an opportunity for partners. Skype for Business, Win10 VDI use cases, and NetScaler for Azure and Hybrid Clouds all give us the opportunity to win together,” Stillwell said in a blog post. “Our partners who are not currently partners with Microsoft are encouraged to become Microsoft partners to capitalize on this opportunity and increase revenue by earning incentives from both Citrix and Microsoft.”
Stillwell says that “there’s a breadth statement” when it comes to supporting Citrix’s partner community’s push into the midmarket. He admits to a lot of opportunity for educating partners on what works when selling in the space, and says that historically, there hasn’t been a tight relationship between the product team and the partner team—a dynamic he hopes to change this year.
Finally, Stillwell is turning his sights to building a solid future in the cloud. But, he stresses, he wants to do it right, not fast. “We’re characterizing 2017 as a year to ‘walk in the cloud’ and 2018 is when we’re going to run. There are a lot of things it’s important for us to get right.”
There are three areas Stillwell envisions helping partners make money from the cloud this year. First, and most simply, is the transact piece and the benefits to partners of selling new licenses of Citrix Cloud.
Second, since Citrix Cloud only runs Citrix software, there’s an opportunity for partners to manage the design, integration and management of customers’ cloud-based workloads. In addition, Citrix today announced a new Services Delivery Program to help partners deliver ongoing managed services around Citrix Cloud. The program includes a Services Delivery Kit with training documents specific to each offering, an optional Citrix Services certification and increased enablement support from the company.
Last, though details have yet to be released, Stillwell says that by May the company will have a new Citrix Cloud renewal program defined by Synergy.