One of the more fascinating and challenging aspects of the high tech industry is when companies create new terms for things. Today, I learned a new one from Citrix channel chief Tom Flink: “workstyle”.

As Flink explains it: Workstyle is a workplace evolution brought on by mobility. The mobile workstyle is not just about improved productivity but also improving the lives of employees.

“At Citrix we talk about worklife harmony and employees have the ability to tune that harmony in their lives. They have the technology tools and solutions that put the power in the hands of the employee,” he said.

For example, if an employee needs to go home for a delivery, they can because they can still do their jobs at home.

Workstyle plays a big role in the development of Citrix’s new channel programs that were launched yesterday.

Flink along with his channel team spent a year talking to channel partners about what is working and what needed to be improved upon. The results ended up being the Citrix Solution Advisor and SaaS Advisor programs.

The cloud is a given today, but the mobility part is what really drove Citrix in developing not just its product line but its channel incentive strategy.

According to Flink, Citrix solutions with the cloud empowers the mobile lifestyle. “Work is not a place,” said Flink. “When you strip away the messaging and get to the heart of what these businesses are looking for is to make sure they have in place the technology, the processes and the culture that allows people to be more productive no matter where they are.”

What this does is start the conversation going about what the workplace of today and tomorrow will look like. Flink added that some solution providers may be asked to provide insight on non-technical decisions such as designing the work environment or implement a BYO policy.

The Citrix Solution Advisor program and a new Citrix SaaS Advisor program were developed in a way to enable solution providers to have this big picture discussions with customers.

Customers are looking for more value out of not just the solution provider but the vendor as well. Citrix in turn is asking more from the channel, Flink admitted.

The focus of these programs are to make the channel partners profitable, to improve margins and market competitiveness. And, this program delivers on the first part with front end incentives that when combined with back end rebates could raise the total margin of a deal between 18 to 22 points.

But it’s the last part that may make these two programs memorable. What differentiates one solution provider from another? Well if that reseller can also design a functional workplace along with providing technology solutions they can increase their value to the customer.

These two programs also rewards the solution provider who can influence the sale, which is a progressive way to manage your channel. Too many times vendors reward partners just on fulfillment and I credit Citrix for recognizing that there are many fingers in the sales life-cycle pie these days.

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