Citrix Systems Inc. has launched a new rewards program for its channel partners to keep their loyalty.

“”We’ve grown up as a company with the channel. We’re also realizing that channel partners have a number of options with respect to where they put their resources and their energy,”” said

Bill Ferara, director of Citrix’s channel sales in North America.

“”We just want to ensure that they stay focused and continue to focus on Citrix as the technology becomes more robust. We decided that one way to do that would be to reward these customers on the back end in the value selling activities that they conducted with the customer.””

The new program, called Advisor Rewards, provides monetary rewards for Citrix Solution Advisors who register deals and submit sales forecasts to channel territory managers earlier in the process of selling Citrix volume licensing products, and who provide value-based solutions selling around the Citrix MetaFrame Access Suite.

“”We’re interested in working with those partners that at some point in the relationship the customer will look towards the reseller as the trusted advisor,”” said Ferara.

“”We can recognize them for what they’ve done to drive the Citrix solution into the customer.””

Depending on the licensing program used or, in other words, how many seats are sold, the fixed commission rate ranges from seven to 10 per cent.

Partners eligible for the program include all 5,000 Citrix Solution Advisors within the Citrix Access Partner network.

The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based application server software vendor also simplified and renamed its VAR group. Now called Citrix Access Partner network, it’s been reduced to three categories: Solution Advisors, Alliance Partners and Certified Professionals and Education Partners.

There are 7,000 partners in total in the network worldwide with 1,500 in the Citrix Alliance Partners and 1,000 in the Citrix Certified Professionals and Education Partners categories. Citrix has 259 channel partners in Canada alone.

“”Up until this point we had a lot of disparate programs and names from all the partners we work with,”” explained Ferara. “”It was time to put it under one umbrella. Within that are the subsets based on how the partners go to market.””

Citrix Solution Advisors, resellers and distributors of Citrix products formerly known as Citrix Solutions Network (CSN) members, can receive up to 10 per cent incremental margin on the suggested listing price of the products sold.

Regardless of who fulfills the order, the Advisor Rewards program gives Citrix Solution Advisors a fixed commission rate for driving demand with the goal of relieving pressures associated with product margins.

Channel partners benefit from gaining a deeper understanding of Citrix access infrastructure capabilities, Ferara said, while customers get the best product pricing and optimum service levels. Other benefits include two revenue streams, reselling software licenses and earning post-sale rewards for demonstrated value selling.

David Fung, president of Charon Systems Inc. in Toronto, said he’s happy that Citrix has decided to go in this direction.

“”Everybody’s talking about putting profitability and profit margin back into the channel, which is of course from a channel point of view, a very good thing.””

Charon Systems Inc., a platinum-level partner, has been partnered with Citrix since 1995.

“”In prior years they have had similar programs and now they have just expanded it to make it more palatable to the channel. This is a good thing,”” he said.

Fung expects the program will help Charon enhance its position in the marketplace.

“”We expect that we’ll be able to make more money. Not only are they putting the profit back into the channel, they’re setting the requirements higher for the channel members to qualify from a certification and sales point of view with a new product mix.””

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