Citrix layoff news is dominating the headlines, but the new head of CSG's global channels says its commercial business will be 100% channel.

Jeffrey Schwartz

January 11, 2023

10 Slides

Layoffs at Citrix dominate the company’s headlines Wednesday, but the company and its parent also have significant partner program news. Cloud Software Group (CSG) plans to implement a common channel program across its various holdings, starting with Citrix. Citrix partners will transition into the new partner program on March 6, led by head of global channels Ethan Fitzsimons.


Cloud Software Group’s Ethan Fitzsimons

CSG has tapped Fitzsimons, who joined Citrix in early 2020, to form and lead the new global partner program. Ultimately, the program will serve the companies that make up the new CSG portfolio. Besides Citrix, CSG’s holdings include NetScaler, Tibco and Information Builders.

Private equity firms Vista Equity Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital formed CSG on the heels of its  $16.5 billion acquisition of Citrix. Fitzsimons joined Citrix as managing director for worldwide distribution, and later became COO of worldwide partner sales and ecosystems. Before joining Citrix, Fitzsimons provided strategic business development for Logicalis US. Fitzsimons spent a decade working for two distributors: Tech Data and Avnet.

Citrix was without a dedicated channel leader since the last year’s departure of Mark Palomba. Palomba had only held that role for only six months. Chief customer officer Hector Lima was tasked with overseeing the company’s partner sales. Lima announced the new program last week.


Citrix’s Hector Lima

“Based on the feedback of many of our partners worldwide, this new program is designed to bring great predictability, profitability and joint success for Cloud Software Group partners,” Lima wrote. “It dramatically simplifies our channel approach to drive better transparency and efficiency for our partners and ensure we are rewarding those partners most invested in the success of our joint customers.”

Later this year, CSG will bring its other holding companies including Tibco, into the program. Fitzsimons, CSG’s new head of global channels, discussed the new program with Channel Futures. Echoing Lima’s statement, Fitzsimons said partners will see more consistency from the company.

Commercial Sales Now 100% Partner-Led

The new program classifies customers into two categories: commercial and enterprise. While the Citrix sales force will continue to target enterprises, the company will classify a fewer number of those customers as enterprises. Citrix will classify all other customers as commercial, 100% of sales will go through channels.

“It had been heavily channel in the past, but was not 100% channel,” Fitzsimons said. “And that’s really the mode for us. All new business that we run through that segment will all be partner-driven, and partner-led, and it’ll be a channel motion, through and through. And that’s a change from what we’ve done in the past. I think the partners are definitely going to see benefit in that.”

Excerpts from our interview with Fitzsimons appear in the slideshow above.

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


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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.

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