Citrix cuts channel by a third

The Citrix logo on an office building
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Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) has revealed it cut roughly a third of its channel partners across EMEA this year.

In a dramatic shake-up of its indirect sales channel, the vendor ditched a large number of non-performing resellers during 2011. “We kicked out around 2000 partners throughout the year,” confirms Citrix VP for channels, sales programmes & strategy, EMEA, Carsten Thomsen.

“We identified what the ideal profile of a partner should be, and then we looked at our total partner base, and who is bringing business to the table. We saw a lot of partners did not comply with our requirements or didn’t bring in any business – so why should they be a partner of Citrix?”

Post-cull, the vendor now has 4200 reseller partners in EMEA.

Speaking at the Citrix Synergy Summit on Barcelona this week, Thomsen also spoke about how the firm’s UK distributors went from five down to just two over the past year.

Citrix ended its relationship with Ingram Micro and ComputerLinks in the UK “by mutual agreement [as] “the organisations opted to focus on different market priorities.” Meanwhile, IQSys was acquired by SDG, leaving just that distie and Arrow ECS in the UK.

On the topic of its current European distribution strategy, Thomsen says: “We now have tier one, two and three distributors now…Depending on how much [the distributor] invests in a given market qualifies them for the tier-based model. The higher the tier, the more profit you can make.

“We did it because we needed a different approach and because we see value-added distribution being under threat by consolidation. We need to protect our franchise, as we need value-added distribution now more than ever before.”

Citrix is due to meet with its remaining two UK disties next month to discuss its plans for next year.

Thomsen insists the situation now is “much more productive” with VARs gaining a greater share of resources. “Before we were just pouring out investments into all of our partner space, and perhaps didn’t have so much of a targeted approach as I would have liked.”

“Commitment goes both ways,” he maintains.

Christine Horton

Christine has been a tech journalist for over 20 years, 10 of which she spent exclusively covering the IT Channel. From 2006-2009 she worked as the editor of Channel Business, before moving on to ChannelPro where she was editor and, latterly, senior editor.

Since 2016, she has been a freelance writer, editor, and copywriter and continues to cover the channel in addition to broader IT themes. Additionally, she provides media training explaining what the channel is and why it’s important to businesses.