Citrix's Australian channel manager Belinda Jurisic on vendor's CSP investment

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This article appeared in the February 2017 issue of CRN magazine.

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Citrix's Australian channel manager Belinda Jurisic on vendor's CSP investment
Belinda Jurisic, Citrix

Belinda Jurisic explains how Citrix invests in partners and what the future has to hold from its alliances with the likes of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Cisco.

Journey

I joined Citrix three and a half years ago. It’s been an interesting journey because when I came on board we were really trying to ramp up the networking business and the sorts of partner we needed to grow that part of our business. So I’ve spent a lot of time understanding what the channel landscape was for Citrix and what was needed to both build the capabilities of the partners and understanding whether more partners were required to build the business. 

Every year when we have our new priorities I will look at the landscape and ensure that we have the right sales motions to be able to grow the business with our partners – to ensure they can build their business and we can meet our goals as well.

I also get pleasure out of being a member of the executive council for CompTIA, because it is all about adding value back into the ANZ channel community – how we deliver resources and information that they would not normally be able to access as a channel partner.  We aim to deliver information to partners and the channel community to help them be more successful as businesses.

Biggest changes

The major changes have been the introduction of a lot more partners to our business through our Citrix service provider (CSP) program. This is where we work with partners to deliver some type of as-a-service, consumption model. That’s changed the type of partners that we work with. We have our standard CSA (Citrix solution advisor) provider program, and that has also evolved quite a bit over time, but the growth of our CSP program the last three years has been quite phenomenal.

Partner program

Our program is based on returning profitability for the partners that invest in Citrix skillsets and invest in growing their Citrix business. We offer very good incentives for partners and give them the ability to register opportunity with us and give them the greater ability to be more profitable in selling our products based on the certifications they invest in. The goal is that we have a very good customer experience and we have a very good profitable partner landscape.

Awards and events

We are introducing an Asia-Pacific and Japan partner summit this year, happening late April. This will be the first of its kind in the region.

Challenges

A challenge for us is just ensuring we invest time and money to enable partners to position Citrix products to existing customers, but also working with those same partners to look at new use cases for new businesses.

We as a vendor need to ensure we market who we are. We must give our partners the ability to go out and talk about Citrix, and ensure the customer understands the value of the Citrix message. 

The challenge is making sure that I stay on top of what is happening in the market, stay on top of where our channel partners are trying to take their business, what is important to them and where they are making money.

Lessons learned

Some lessons I learnt was being able to clearly identify what the partners’ skill sets are and where they are trying to take their business and how we can help them do that.

Future

This year, we’ll be announcing a hyperconverged infrastructure program around Citrix cloud with HPE and making some announcements with vendors, specifically one with Cisco. We believe we will enhance our partners’ business by coming to them with some of these partnerships.   

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