Citrix gets it mostly right with the CTP Program
The advent of social media and the increased use of user bulletin boards, companies have come to realize that there is a significant value to be gained from having users and partners as product evangelists. Microsoft has been doing this for years with the MVP program and a few years ago VMware joined suit with the vExpert program. Citrix has also seen the benefits of these evangelist. Arriving in San Fransisco today for the Citrix Partner Summit, it is immediately evident that the Citrix community not only supports the designation of Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) but wants to see it succeed. The group gather on a semi regular basis and Citrix provides support for the program through incentives that include invitations to exclusive events, access to the product teams, and access to early release software. These are just a few of the incentives provided to a group that Citrix has entrusted not only with their name but provided backing. The largest drawback I can see with the program is the extremely limited size of the group. While a small group makes it easier to provide benefits to, it also limits the reach of the group. This past year the VMware team has said that there were over 1000 applicants for the vExpert program, clearly a number that has to be trimmed down to be able to provide the credentials as an exclusive and beneficial group. Neither group has stated how many times someone can become a CTP or vExpert, and having the same members year in and year out could result in an “old boys club” rather than the true group of passionate supporters and technologists. Overall the program looks to be very beneficial for Citrix and the CTPs.The CTP group is also speaking throughout Citrix Synergy and Summit. I look forward to hearing how this group can represent the Citrix products line.