Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

Having a larger product portfolio usually requires vendors to make some adjustments to their channel programs, and Citrix is no exception. After expanding its footprint beyond desktop management and virtualization to include networking, mobility and software as a service (SaaS), Citrix announced that it is refining its channel strategy by extending it Citrix Solution Advisor (CSA) program and adding a new Citrix SaaS Advisor (CSSA) program.

“Our product portfolio has grown,” said Tom Flink, vice president of worldwide channels and market development. “Not only do we need new partners in certain areas, but we want existing partners to focus on those new areas.” He added that enhancements to the CSA program are also designed to give partners more visibility into the specific sales activities that will ultimately make them more profitable.

Specific enhancements include deal registration opportunities for the company’s Netscaler product line, additional certification requirements and more specific guidelines on how to become a Gold or Platinum Citrix partner. “We wanted to make the process more objective by removing any subjective nature in determining who becomes a Gold or Platinum partner,” said Flink.

Meanwhile, the new CSSA program, which will be rolled out over the next several months, is intended to get Citrix partners to recommend Citrix SaaS applications that span everything from online meetings to IT management. “We also want to reward people for influence, not just fulfillment,” he added.

The most unique attribute of the CSSA program, however, may be access to application programming interfaces (APIs) that will make it easier for partners to integrate Citrix SaaS offerings within large cloud-based applications.

Citrix has been making the case for expanded channel opportunities in the cloud for several months. With this announcement, the company is applying its resources in a way that focuses on turning its cloud channel theory into a profitable reality.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.