Citrix hunkers down on refining ‘fully fledged’ A/NZ channel approach

Citrix hunkers down on refining ‘fully fledged’ A/NZ channel approach

The vendor’s A/NZ channel chief, Neels du Plooy, reveals the next stage of its partner strategy.

Neels du Plooy (Citrix)

Neels du Plooy (Citrix)

Credit: ARN / Foundry

After vowing to double down on partner engagements last year, Citrix is now set to tighten its focus and fine-tune its partner initiatives.

This is according to the vendor’s Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) channel chief Neels du Plooy, who told ARN and Reseller News when he took up the reins at Citrix 12 months ago that there was the need to “to really pivot and make some changes to [its] operating model”.

Now, he claims, this model has been fully adopted and become “fully-fledged”.

“When you make these changes, it comes with a couple of bumps in the road as people are getting used to it,” du Plooy said.

“The whole idea of that was to drive that intimacy and that intimacy is not just with our partners, but it's also with our sellers, our partner managers and our partner sellers and that is really now starting to come to life.”

That intimacy, du Plooy said last year, involved Citrix having a strong focus on a state, territory and regional level across A/NZ, with territory partner account managers based in every region. 

“If I look at how the sales parts that have developed from making the change to an operating model, with the support of Martin [Creighan, Citrix managing director for A/NZ] and the extended leadership team, we are really driving that close integration,” he said.

“We do our joint meetings, we're driving intimacy with our partner engagements, getting really good feedback from our partners in that they're happy to see the level of engagement we have, I've got a full complement of team members on board; it's really exciting.

“It's been a great journey and it's a journey that we will continue to drive. These things are great, but you need to continue to evolve drive that engagement into partners and sellers.”

Part of that engagement, particularly over the last 10 to 11 months, has been reviewing partners that are up for renewal, du Plooy continued.

“We actually review these new partners in particular and we will do a qualification process with them. We will go out and reach out to them, understand why they want to sign up with us, what do they see in Citrix? What is it that they are going to bring? What did they see the value of what Citrix potentially can bring to them? We’ve been very specific in how we go after new partners,” he said.

“In some cases, maybe it's been more than one new partner per quarter in an environment. But I'm very happy to report that it's not been a mass acquisition of partners because we've been so selective as to who we bring on.”

Now that Citrix has wrapped up the first phase of its channel strategy, du Plooy said the vendor has entered into its next phase of fine-tuning.

“Last year was all about building the foundation and setting the foundation in place. Now, it's truly about focusing on what are the things that we now need to go and do,” he said.

“The next thing for me is really putting the emphasis on is that partner-centric approach; working really closely with our partners to create the market, creating pipeline, incentivising them and funding money to build really awesome campaign sales into the market, making sure that we can continuously drive innovation and transformation within our existing customer base.”

Following phase two of du Plooy’s plan, the vendor is set to keep the wheels in motion and improve its partner strategy further while, at the same time, moving past the constraints of not having a “new normal”.

“What is important for me is we're starting to come out of this pandemic and we're starting to get some formal fashion of the new normality back up and running,” he said.

“The next level for me is, which will be a more global Citrix thing, is we need to continue to improve systems, programs and making sure that it is well suited to the environment and as the market continues to change and throws new challenges at us as vendors and our partners. So, unbeknownst to us, as we continue to drive that programmatic-type approach, in the way we engage with our partners, we really need to think differently.

“How do we continue to challenge the norm? How do we continue to work with our partners to challenge, bringing new ideas to them that we can take to market and utilise our customer experience centres that we have, continuing to drive innovative thinking into our partners in what we can do differently for these changing demands of customers?

“We've got everyday challenges around security, people working on any device anywhere, how do we continue to drive that innovative thinking around that? That's really important.”

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