Ecosystem Leaders

Episode 74

August 21, 2019

#74 Steve Blacklock: How Alliances are Helping Drive Success for Citrix

Steve Blacklock, Vice President, Global Strategic Alliances at Citrix.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

How Alliances Are Helping to Drive Success for Citrix

Citrix isn’t your grandpa's Citrix anymore. They’ve made a lot of transitions over the past several years and have made a major pivot toward employee engagement.

What they’re delivering today is all partner based solutions. Obviously, that means alliances are key to enabling the success of these pivots and strategic efforts.

On the latest episode of the Alliance Aces podcast, we had the chance to talk with Steve Blacklock, Vice President, Global Strategic Alliances at Citrix. He talked us through issues like, how alliances are helping to drive success for Citrix today, what metrics Steve and his team are focused on, and how they vet potential alliances.

These were our top takeaways.

All About Citrix

As we mentioned above, Citrix has taken a lot of pivots in recent years.

The one you're probably most aware of is the transition to cloud and to a subscription model. They’ve made that shift toward cloud in the way they deliver their technology and in the way customers consume the technology. And the subscription, of course, is the business model for that.

The other change they’ve seen is that end user customers today have a different set of expectations around what they get from that technology than end users of years past. Modern customers are not just looking for a desktop or an app to get something done at work. For them, it’s about getting the right data, at the right time, in the right application, to get a task done at work.

The expectations of customers are much higher than they used to be. So, not only has the company moved to cloud and changed the business model, they're also changing what they deliver to customers to be able to encompass all they need to do to get their work done.

How Alliances Are Driving Success With This New Strategy

If you think about what Citrix is delivering to customers today, it's all based on partner solutions.

Their technology is at the core of what they do. And that’s delivered through partnerships with technology partners.

They've got partnerships with Microsoft, Google, AWS, Oracle, Cisco, HP, and all the major service providers and device manufacturers. It’s about giving that choice to customers around how they want to deploy Citrix technologies

Note: A couple months ago Citrix had their big customer event, Citrix Synergy. All the videos are online so you can go take a look at those if you’re interested.

Where The Alliance Team Reports

Obviously, Steve’s team is responsible for those technology partnerships.

So, where does his team fit in the organizational structure of the company?

Today, Steve works for the Chief Product Officer. But in the past his team has worked within many other departments: sales, marketing, strategy, and solutions. So ,other than HR and Legal, they've reported just about everywhere.

Here’s what that’s important to know. Where you report doesn't change the fundamentals of what you do in strategic alliances. It just changes who you work for.

Steve challenges his team with this idea all the time: “You're the GM of your business. Go manage it.” In order to do that, you have to understand sales, strategy, the product is, the roadmap, the channel strategy, and the marketing strategy. You need to understand all aspects of your business.

So, whether your team is homed in product or sales or strategy — wherever it might be —  you need to understand what's going on across the business. Plus, you need the resources that exist outside of your organization to go and execute the plans with your key partners.

Let’s Talk Metrics

If Steve’s team has reported to so many different areas, how has that impacted their metrics?

Well, they look at baseline metrics like bookings, revenue, marketing metrics around impressions, investment dollars in marketing go-to-market campaigns. No matter who they report to, they keep an eye on these numbers.

But when it comes to the bigger items an alliance team might be responsible for, the focus can change depending on who you’re reporting to. For example, in a product organization, you're often responsible for a big launch, for the next big solution or the next big partnership. But if you’re reporting to a Chief Revenue Officer, they probably won’t care as much about a big partnership announcement with a Google.

So, there's a baseline of metrics that all of us in alliances have always used to measure the impact we have on the business. But your boss and the strategy of the company will impact those bigger items that you're looking at in terms of measuring your success.

Listen to the podcast here.

To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to the Alliance Aces Podcast, or visit our dedicated Alliance Aces page.

To contact the host, Greg Fox, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by:

The latest Workspan Insights, straight to your inbox

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

The latest Workspan Insights, straight to your inbox

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.