“Our GTM realignment was aimed at strengthening our channel partners”

Citrix offers a complete range of virtualization, mobility management, networking and cloud services, which securely deliver apps, desktops, data and services to any device on any network or cloud, thereby empowering any organization with mobile workspaces. The company sell all solutions through our partner network, by offering a workspace suite which unites our virtualization, mobility, networking and cloud services technologies, and enable our partners with an end to end mobility offering, rather than a single point solution. In an interaction with Kaushal Veluri, director, Channels & Alliances, Citrix, he tells us how partners are the fore front of the firm’s outreach in the market and act as trusted advisors to customers.

How are the partners helping you to expanding your reach?

Our partner network is a very significant contributor to our growth story in India. They have added tremendous value to our ecosystem by extending our reach to a wider range of customers across India. We have completed over a decade of our presence in India with more than 3500 customers, gained a dominant market share in desktop virtualisation segment, and emerged as a strong player in the enterprise mobility, networking and cloud space – it was possible because of our robust distribution model and partner network. We have a select base of partners who are well trained, and capable of identifying opportunities, articulating the value proposition, and deploying the solution after successful closures of PoCs. Not only they have supported us to expand our reach, we get critical customer feedback through our partner network, which helps us to constantly improve our offering.

Our channel partners help us expand our marketshare and mindshare by customer acquisition of new customers, reaching deeper into their existing customers and cross selling and upselling our technology, providing support to the customers and winning their trust on our technologies.

How much do you think about the profitability of the partners?

We are committed to our channel model which thrives on ensuring partner profitability. We drive regular channel enablement program which provides on-the-job training to support the partners, so that they are well prepared to leverage every business opportunity from existing and new customers.

Today customers are not just interested in understanding the benefits of technology, they are more concerned about how technology can help them to achieve business goals faster and more efficiently. To convert customers’ expectation into business prospect, we make sure that our partners follow a consultative approach with customers, and recommend solutions which are aligned to their business imperatives. This also means that it creates more business opportunities for partners which boost their profitability. Besides that, with our strong product portfolio which includes emerging technologies like Enterprise Mobility solutions and established technologies such as Desktop Virtualisation, partners can look forward to a rewarding relationship with Citrix.

Since inception, how has Citrix revamped its marketing/GTM strategy in India?

Citrix announced a revamp of its go-to-market (GTM) strategy in India in line with the realignment of its India sales team. The India business is now divided into two divisions with separate focus areas namely Enterprise business and Emerging Business-Partner Led. While the enterprise business will target the leading Indian organisations and government sector, the Emerging Business- Partner Led unit will have a focus on emerging sectors and territories that will lead execution only through partners. This realignment is aimed at strengthening the role of channel partners in selling Citrix solutions and expanding the company’s presence in territories such as Pune, Chennai, Gujarat, Hyderabad, West Bengal and Goa in India apart from other SAARC countries.

To support this new go-to-market strategy Citrix has invested in expanding its Channels and Alliances team as there will be an increased effort in recruiting and supporting specialist partners who are focused on the Enterprise Mobility and Networking (Application Delivery Controllers) spaces.

Which are the territories in India have you penetrated through partners and how much business have you garnered?

Citrix’s solutions are applicable across industries and not specific to just one or few industries. This gives us an advantage to acquire new customers from any industry across geographic locations. With over 3500 customers in India, we have successful customer implementations of our solutions across multiple industry segments spread across India. We see maximum traction for our solutions in BFSI, BPO, IT/iTes, Manufacturing and Telecom with successful customer implementations in Healthcare, Pharma and other segments as well.

What are the training programs that are mandatory for Citrix channel partners?

Citrix believes in regular enablement of our partner network across the solution and technology landscape. We host sales positioning sessions for our partner sales representatives and technical hands-on workshops for the technical representatives to ensure that both the aspects of our technology with respect to the partner organisation are addressed so that we have a consistent message to the customers. We have scheduled sessions on technical knowledge, PoC best practices, implementation best practices and post-implementation support for our partners. At the same time, Citrix believes that the partner sales representatives need not get just a ppt based training but also on-the-job learning and thus we ensure that we take our partners along for multiple sales calls so that they get hand on training with the customer.

What are the criteria based on which you are selecting partners?

l Solutions Focus Sale: Partners need to focus on how they can help the customers with viable solutions rather than trying to sell what they have.

l Cross functional teams: Partners need to build a solution based approach and a cross functional team in their organisations that can focus on taking the solution to the customer.

l Understand Sales Cycle: Work with the vendor to understand the correct sales cycle for the solution and work along the same.

l Adopt Technology: Internally adopt the technology they are trying to sell.

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