Citrix has promoted long-time Citrix veteran Craig Stilwell as its new worldwide channel chief, and simplifying the Citrix channel programs is just one of the projects he’ll be tackling throughout his first year on the job.
A 17-year veteran with the company, Stilwell is assuming this position from his previous role as the area vice president of Citrix’s U.S. commercial business, and a stint before that as the channel head for Citrix in the Americas.
The appointment was announced at the Citrix Summit today in Anaheim, and sets the tone for how Citrix will operate in the channel moving forward. Stilwell will be focusing on three key priorities: simplify the Citrix channel programs in place, increase Citrix’s presence in the mid-market, and further along the transition to the cloud.
All three of these priorities will be tackled throughout 2017, but simplifying the channel programs is something that partners will want to keep an eye on.
“While our [channel programs] are very profitable, they aren’t very simple. For example – for any one transaction there might be five partner programs and it gets very difficult for a sales rep of a partner to understand,” said Stilwell in an interview with CDN. “Being simple and easy to do business with is really important.”
This may mean revamping the Citrix channel programs completely, something Stilwell may turn to do if feedback from Citrix partners points in that direction. Keep in mind – this is a year long project, so partners shouldn’t expect these tweaks to come before they are announced a year from now at Citrix Summit 2018.
Stilwell references the success that Citrix has had in the channel over the last few years working in the U.S. commercial segment as motivation for really dialing into the mid-market while maintaining and growing the presence Citrix already has in the enterprise.
“On the mid-market side of things, which for us means between 500 and 5000 employees, from a purely Citrix perspective, this is where we need the most leverage, and we certainly do not have enough arms and legs to conquer it on our own,” said Stilwell. “98 per cent of all of our transactions go through a channel partner, and growing our channel presence in the mid-market will be essential.”
Citrix as an entire company will be focusing heavily on the cloud moving into 2017. This includes announcements made at the Citrix Summit such as the new Citrix HCI Workspace Appliance Program that combines Citrix cloud with hyper-converged infrastructure. According to Stilwell, if 2016 was Citrix crawling through the cloud, 2017 will be a walk through it, and 2018 will be a full on sprint.
Stilwell, as the vice president of worldwide partner strategy and sales, will be working heavily through Citrix channel leaders such as Rafael Garzon, who currently runs the Citrix channel in the Americas, including Canada. He stresses that partner feedback will be a major force in any changes that will come in the coming months and year, and that it will be vital in changing the way that Citrix channel programs look down the line.
Stilwell is replacing Kimberly Martin, who is no longer with Citrix.