Citrix sends rescission letters to customers

One of the interesting tidbits I picked up at BriForum last week was the fact that Citrix was requiring customers to sign rescission letters before upgrading to Presentation Server 4.5. This led to one question: What the heck is a "rescission letter?

One of the interesting tidbits I picked up at BriForum last week was the fact that Citrix was requiring customers to sign rescission letters before upgrading to Presentation Server 4.5. This led to one question: What the heck is a "rescission letter?"

According to my Google searches (and I am not a lawyer), a rescission letter means that the sender wants to rescind, or take back, a contract. It seems that these are typically used if something unfair has happened with regards to a contract, and one party wants to rescind the contract based on that.

In the world of Citrix licensing, Citrix is making customers who want to upgrade sign a letter saying that they will rescind all of their existing Citrix licenses before they are allowed to get new PS 4.5 licenses.


And if that isn't enough, Citrix is asking partners to police this process to ensure that customers delete their old licenses, reminding them that making sure customers don't steal licenses can help lead to more sales.

I'm not really sure what all this means. I guess that Citrix wants to give out new licenses with 4.5, but the old ones will still be compatible? Does anyone know?

At any rate, here's how the upgrade (from XP, CPS 3, or CPS 4) to CPS 4.5 process will work (I swear I'm not making this up!):

  1. You call Citrix (1-800-4-CITRIX) and ask for a "CPS 4.5 Upgrade Validation."
  2. Citrix will email you a spreadsheet showing everything you've bought that's available for upgrading, and a rescission letter.
  3. You use the spreadsheet as a kind of mail order form to indicate which licenses you want to upgrade and whether you want to go to platinum or enterprise edition.
  4. You sign and fax back the rescission letter promising that you will delete all of your old license files once you get new ones.
  5. You place your actual order through the reseller or your choice.

Of course I'm sure your local reseller will be happy to jump through these hoops for you. Let's make them earn their 20%!

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Hey Brian,

 I agree this seems odd, and as for licensing policies i have come far along the fact of giving up, whether it comes to MS, Citrix, VMware or others..

 The way i see it, IT costs money, and the most important thing in this jungle of IT is to find partners or advisors(this could be newsgroups, websites, communities, resellers, disties) that will help guide you through this jungle. Noone doing licenses once a year will be able to comprehend the policies, thats my argument. So selecting advisers, partners that can help you find not only the best technical solution but also the most beneficial solution seen from an economical standpoint is the key.

Would it be easier if the vendors decided to simplify their licenses.. hell ya! ;)



Dear Brian and for anyone that cares,

The rescinding of licenses is something that i'm not going to discuss as from working with Citrix for the last 4 years, this is quite common where a channel partner has to jump through hoops in ref to licensing, What does concern me is that you actually do think that resellers make about 20% from a licensing deal, Without trying to sound like a know it all, it sometimes makes me think that when you dont deal with this aspect of it licensing like yourself how would you know, is that what Citrix tell you. Dont get me wrong to make 20% is not common at all and becasuse of so many resellers selling Citrix to make that would be an achievment in itself. The only really way for those that care is that you have to sell a solution where you are maximising you margin from third party products like, Secure Computing's Safeword for ....., Thinprint, AppSense, to name but a few.

So for anyone that does read this, stop beating up your reseller by getting them to jump through hoops when they actually make no real money from Citrix.

Think about it :-)

Rant over !!!


you can't really blame citrix for doing this... there are a lot of people that when upgrading from metaframe XP to citrix 4.0... they were only supposed to temporarily maintain their old XP licenses durring the migration process.  A lot of people actually ended up keeping their old XP servers along with their licenses... effectively doubling the number of available licenses.  This is why citrix is doing this...
So what are the points on a license nowadays?  When I was working for a reseller, we could barely get 3-5 points on a typical Citrix PS license.  I've been in house for a few years now, so I've kind of lost touch.
The 20% available margin is only for SA renewals, and that is the 'available' margin - realistically it will be in single figures. Margin on new licenses is nowhere near 20% - again you are talking single figures. Because Citrix allows vendors that have no investment in technical skills like Software Spectrum to sell licenses against their partners (who have to invest in Citrix trained engineers who can support their clients) they can really screw the margins down to a point where it is not worth doing the licensing. Resellers make their money from services, unless they are box droppers, and the licensing is just an added bonus and helps to retain the relationship with the customer. But if it costs a lot of money in time spent sorting out that licensing then a reseller wants to stay in business so of course they need to make a reasonable margin.
Partners no longer get 20% margin on SA Renewals.  That's a thing of the past.  Now, the renewal process is handled by Citrix and the partner gets a back end "commission" equal to 15% of the renewal.  This effectively prevents price shopping for the renewals (as was done in the past with the CDW's of the world) since they are all the same price.  The customer actually writes their check to Citrix Systems and the partner of record gets the commission sometime later (hopefully).  As for product margins, you are right - partners rarely, if ever, receive 20%!!!!!!!!
... and do what we did!  We sell Provision Networks where making real margins are the norm - besides making customers happy!

You mean Emergent Online... 


No, I meant Provision Networks.


...developed and then spun off by EOL!!
... so great!!!!!!
That has to be a Protracted April Fool!
i would like to purchase 20 additional Citrix MetaframeXP license.  we do not want to upgrade at this time.
Hi Brian, for me as a Citrix Distributor it is quite incredible to explain that bloody process to our resellers. Sometimes it really complicated to work with the processes of Citrix. Complicate, more complicate, complex, very complex, Citrix...

But in this case I have to say that Citrix made there own bed.
For years licensing has been a convoluted messy process, and one ever changing so that even a savvy client cannot make sense next time they need to purchase, allocate, reallocate, or migrate licenses. Add to the mix a website redesign on each visit and , well it does add up to a lot of frustration and effort. Besides this however, Citrix in CPS4 stated that online license verification would be active. The already required a recinding statement on XP licenses going to CPS4 and noted that there was an active 30 day time out on XP licenses migrated to CPS4. I'm here to tell you that never worked--- we're an honest shop but I did wait and see just the same -- and the old XP licenses never timed out. So what I read here , is that rather than create or repair the technology to do online license verfication, Citrix instead places to burden on customer, and partners, and in the end themselves.

Licensing, just wondering how many years of knowing a problem exists it will take for them to redsign --- properly that is.

make ya go hmmmmmmm.