Bucking the trend in tough times can bring its own problems


Bucking the trend in tough times can bring its own problems

If you talk to people at Citrix you can't escape the impression that whatever the conditions elsewhere in the industry or the wider world, life is pretty good at the vendor right now. The channel's not doing too badly out of it either judging by one of the briefings I went to at the Citrix Summit where people talked of growth rates of 87% and 144%.

But there can be consequences to success. For example, EMEA vice president of channel strategy Carsten Thomsen (who can be pretty direct in conversation), revealed there were parts of the channel suffering from a fundamental capacity because they didn't have enough people to meet the demand from customers.

Even more startling was his statement that the problem was so pronounced in Germany that there were partners who could not sell any more because their capacity was "maxed out until next year".

It's an intriguing situation to face where sales channels for certain technologies may be suffering constriction because of a lack of capacity to fulfil demand, especially in these rather straitened times. You could even label it bizarre, but it's still a problem. 

The lack of suitably trained and qualified people available is driving Citrix to try and use its own consulting resources and technical support people to help drive "knowledge transfer" to the channel. Which shows it's being proactive about the situation but these things still take time. 

And while you might argue this is a good problem for a technology supplier to have, it's also potentially a bit of a disaster if you're having to turn customers away or put them off.

This was first published in October 2011

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