Citrix responds to partners with promise to stop getting in their way with new channel-first strategy.

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

October 19, 2023

3 Min Read
Commit commitment
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Citrix’s Cloud Software Group (CSG) will no longer stand “in the partner’s way” as it commits to a channel-first strategy.

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Citrix’s Aleksandra Lubavs

That’s according to Aleksandra Lubavs, VP, Europe commercial and channel business at CSG. The exec said the company is “now invested and doubled down into our channel.”

CSG was created following Citrix’s 2022 acquisition by Vista Equity Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital, which combined it with TIBCO Software. The Group now maintains the primary business units of Citrix, NetScaler and TIBCO.

The channel-first approach was adopted with the creation of the commercial organisation. All of CSG’s business goes through channel partners, said Lubavs.

“The change came from that … we can’t be everywhere all at once, but we can get to our partners and our partners can be everywhere all at once. In our commercial business, we want to make sure that we’re driving the scale to the end customer. The best way to do that is through the partners who are there day in and day out.”

The switch to channel-first meant a reorganization of the business, said Lubavs.

“We took quite a few functions from direct sales, direct marketing, direct technologists, etc. and created a partner sales manager role and a partner technology specialist role. Those are really the two roles that are at the forefront of our relationship with our channel. We’ve created the tools and the programming to enable our partners to be that frontline of our solution in the market in our commercial space.”

Getting out of the way

The investment also follows partners’ complaints of a lack of investment by Citrix.

“What I was hearing from the channel was ‘we don’t have enough technical resource being invested in us’. So … we’ve invested in the technology support of our channel,” said Lubavs. “That enables them to have a better deliverable to their customers, as we create portfolio, go-to-market tools that fit into their story as opposed to us just throwing our collateral at them.”

The biggest difference that partners will see with the new channel-first approach, however, is that the vendor will no longer “get in the partner’s way.”

“Instead of standing in front, or in the way, of the partner at times, we really take a step sideways or backwards and work with the partner to make sure they have what they need to take more control of that relationship, to take more control of their own profitability, to take better control of the offering.”

Being easier to work with

One of the first and biggest challenges was to make it simpler for partners to work with CSG. This is an ongoing initiative, said Lubavs.

The exec wants “to give them more tools, to give them more freedom and license to create their own offerings that make the most amount of sense to the customer, and also to be as profitable as possible.”

To that end, changes made early this year “moved a lot of the profitability decision making into their hands. And now we’re actively listening to the feedback from them and making the tweaks as we need to make them.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Christine Horton or connect with her on LinkedIn.

 

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About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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