Taj El-Khayat, regional director, Middle East and North Africa, Citrix, on reinforcing the firm’s market position as the partner of choice for digital transformations.
Having joined Citrix at a time when enterprises are reassessing their operations to take on the digital era, regional director for Middle East and North Africa Taj El-Khayat, says his strategy for the firm revolves around four key pillars.
The first pillar is to build on the success of Citrix as the partner of choice for a customer’s digital transformation journey. This will be largely carried out in three important markets – UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
El-Khayat says, “We have just opened up our legal entity in Saudi Arabia and hired a country manager. Over the next 18 months, we will be investing and building our business in these markets significantly.”
The second pillar is to educate the market on the company’s complete networking portfolio.
“We have capable and strong applications delivery networking technology. We have been innovating tirelessly to stay ahead in the applications delivery controllers space. We have also started looking at different security features such as web application firewalls and IP protection, which are now part and parcel of the Citrix portfolio.
“The mandate to the team is to position the whole portfolio as a solution.”
El-Khayat’s third strategy is around partners. He says, “My passion lies with partners and I am very channel-centric. The partner ecosystem at Citrix has done a phenomenal job in terms of how they have maintained the firm’s leadership when it comes to the virtualisation aspect of the business.”
Recently the firm has revamped its existing channel programme to introduce Ultimate Rewards Program.
The new programme simplifies the process and streamlines the incentives for partners. According to the firm, the initiative is closely aligned with the company’s goal of helping customers make the strategic transition to cloud.
“We are quite focused and extremely conscious of the fact that partners need to make profits. We have created the Ultimate Rewards Program in a way that provides our partners the ability to maintain good margins with Citrix without any grey areas. It is extremely automated process oriented. It is based on artificial intelligence.”
When a partner registers a deal, it goes through an automated process of checks and gets approved without any human intervention.
El-Khayat adds, “The beauty of it is that we protect the investment of the partner no matter what. After a deal registration is accepted and approved, if the partner faces unforeseen circumstances and the customer has to select someone else, we will still protect the partner’s deal to keep him motivated and so that he won’t lose the whole deal completely. Our programme pays for those types of efforts.”
The programme also motivates partners to align with the company’s strategy with the fourth and final pillar being around cloud.
“Citrix is becoming more and more a cloud-centric technology vendor. That transition to cloud is another aspect our progamme motivates. It incentives the partners to go with us as we are quite strong in helping customers adopt cloud technologies. It also rewards technical capabilities and skill sets,” he explains. “Our programme doesn’t compromise on integrity and credibility. There should be nothing standing between the partner and him realising his efforts.”
The company will continue its efforts in emphasising on cloud and networking technologies with its partner community. The firm’s distributors Mindware and StarLink have the mandate to manage the recruitment of resellers in all the markets, excite and inspire new comers to Citrix’ portfolio and support them to have the right capabilities, El-Khayat says.