Liveblog: Citrix Summit 2011 Keynotes

Citrix Summit - Tom Flink

Citrix channel chief Tom Flink speaking at last year's Citrix Summit

SAN FRANCISCO – Victoria Day will have to wait. Your intrepid blogger is settling in for the keynote session at Citrix Systems’ biggest partner event of the year, its Citrix Summit show at the Moscone West convention centre here.

On tap, a look at where Citrix has been in the last year and where it’s going for the next, courtesy of its top leadership, including worldwide channel chief Tom Flink and CEO Mark Templeton.

The company may also have a surprise announcement or two up its sleeve, but we can’t really say anything more about that at this point. You’ll have to tune in live to find out what’s going on for the virtualization software company.

The liveblog should go live in time for the 2:00 pm Pacific Time (5:00 pm Eastern Time) keynote kickoff. Join us for the play-by-play after the jump!

  Citrix Summit 2011 Keynotes (05/23/2011) 
Good afternoon from San Francisco. The crowd — expected to be be the largest-ever for Citrix Summit, is just filing in now… keynotes should be starting in a few minutes.
Monday May 23, 2011 1:59 
Citrix channel chief Tom Flink said this morning that the show will host some 2,500 to 3,000 partner representatives from 1,500 partner organizations, and was particularly proud that it’s the largest Summit crowd ever given that this year — like last year — the company is hosting an Americas event and an EMEA event, meaning that the Americas event is now larger than the whole-world event was two years ago.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:01 
Ahhh, you know it’s a Citrtix keynote — the music over the opening montage of shots from Summits past is from The Moody Blues, a personal favorite of Citrix chief executive Mark Templeton.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:02 
And speaking of Templeton, he’s out to get things rolling, looking casual and playing a little air guitar.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:03 
“Lovely to see you again, my friends,” he says, taking from the lyrics of the song.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:03 

“The biggest Summit ever coming after the biggest year ever for Citrix partners in 2010,” Templeton says. 

Monday May 23, 2011 2:04 
“This is a big week,” he says — and not just because he’s seeing The Moody Blues on Friday.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:05 
“2010, as we look back, was a record in every way,” he says, stressing that “WE,” including partners, set the record last year.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:05 
“All that credit goes to you. From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank each and every one of you,” he says, leading a round of applause for partners.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:06 

“A year ago, we asked you to do some things,” he says. “The results showed that you did that.” Last year, he urged parnters to USE Citrix technology, then SHOW that you use it, to SELL it. 

Monday May 23, 2011 2:06 
“This year, I’m going to ask you to do one bigger thing. I’m going to ask you to start with why.”
Monday May 23, 2011 2:06 
“Why is the best way to touch someone’s heart, to help them see why they actually want something.”
Monday May 23, 2011 2:07 
Focus on the needs of customers, but also on the wants of customers, the bigger goals that will enable them to do cool things.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:08 
Handing it over to a video from TED speaker Simon Sinek to explain the “why” comment.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:08 

Great leaders think, act and communicate a different way than most, Sinek argues — starting with why, then how, and then finally what.

Monday May 23, 2011 2:10 
Everybody knows what they do. Some know how they do it. But very few know why they do what they do. “I don’t mean to make a profit, that’s a result. What’s your purpose, your cause, your belief? Why do you get out of bed in the morning and why should anyone care?”
Monday May 23, 2011 2:11 
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” Sinek argues — that’s the key to Apple in his estimation.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:13 

“Why” is the basest level of brain function, he says — his theory has a grounding in biology. By communicating to “why,” you’re communicating with the part of the brain that makes “gut” decisions, the part of the brain that ultimately controls decision-making.

Monday May 23, 2011 2:15 
“If you don’t know why you know what you do, and you can’t tell people why you do what you do, how will you ever sell people or get loyalty?” he asks.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:16 
Talking through the standard innovation bell curve and how it applies to his theory.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:17 
“There are leaders, and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority. Those who lead inspire us. We follow those who lead for our own reasons, not because we’re told to.”
Monday May 23, 2011 2:18 
And that wraps up Sinek’s presentation. Back to Templeton.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:18 

“It’s because ideas can inspire people, and people can change due to inspiration,” Templeton says. “An idea can change the world.”

Monday May 23, 2011 2:19 
An example Templeton offers — the transition of Citrix’s ICA from Intelligent Console ARchitecture to Independent Computing Architecture. And then onto a new meaning internally — a way of bringing computing on underserved audiences around the world “Information Citizenship for All.”
Monday May 23, 2011 2:22 
“ICA was the germ of the ‘why’ that has created this whole company that believes that people should be able to work or play from anwhere… and in my mind, this is the why.”
Monday May 23, 2011 2:22 
“It just happens that our why right now is really powerful and relevant.”
Monday May 23, 2011 2:23 
Looking back, he says, IT was about serving up a “pre fixe” menu of items. Then moving to an “a la carte” menu, but the ultimately goal for Citrix is a “chef’s table” where you can get anything you want. “That’s a truly world-class experience.” A transition from the industry from homogeneous (which saved costs), to “any device, anywhere, anytime,” and the final step is “every-ness”.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:26 
“That’s the theme you’re going to see play out for the next few years, starting this week at Synergy.”
Monday May 23, 2011 2:26 
Templeton describes it as a switch from Ford’s “… any colour you want as long as it’s black” to Gandhi’s. “The customer is not the interruption to our work, he is the purpose of it.”
Monday May 23, 2011 2:27 
What makes Citrix special is two ideas — the vision, as well as the culture, Templeton says.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:28 
“We have something incredibly special, and customers want to know about this. Share these ideas with customers,” Templeton says, in order to do business more strategically. It “includes the solutions, but is not only the solutions.”
Monday May 23, 2011 2:31 
Templeton challenges partners on what the “why” is for their businesses, and says he hopes “there is a great intersection between our why and your why” that Citrix and partners can take to customers together.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:31 
Templeton taking partners through  drawing of the Citrix ecosystem from the time of its IPO, and providing an updated view for the cloud era.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:34 
“Our customers are going to sit at the intersection of these forces for the next 15 years,” he says — Consumer experiences vs. Business productivity, and Enterprise Systems.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:35 

“We’re going to lead the IT conversation… we’re going to differentiate ourselves by starting with why and lead a whole new conversation about IT that starts with service. Welcome to the journey. Welcome to the next step,” Templeton says, wrapping up his presentation with a “thank you” to partners.

Monday May 23, 2011 2:37 
And with that, Templeton introduced Al Monserrat, worldwide sales chief, who’s introduced with a video parodying Charlie Sheen. Has to be seen to be believed.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:38 
Monserrat talking about “the people,” and camaraderie between Citrix and partners and amongst Citrix partners, including the Citrix Summit Cup — a hockey tournament run independent of the event.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:40 
Nice…. the Summit Cup this year was played at the HP Pavillion “just after a San Jose Sharks” game.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:41 
Monserrat uses the word “Citrites” a lot as the term for Citrix employees.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:41 
Last year, “we delivered some amazing results,” including 400 per cent growth around XenDesktop — which meant more than four millions XenDesktop licenses shipped in 2010.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:42 
“And customers actually saw enough value in those licenses that they paid for them and used them,” he quips.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:43 
“If we go into a pilot or a POC with XenDesktop, 90 to 95 per cent of the time … XenDesktop wins,” Monserrat tells partners.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:44 
Data centre and cloud sales were up 29 per cent.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:44 
Interesting — according to Monserrat’s numbers saw productivity up 28 per cent and saw product bookings up 36 per cent. Making a strong case for partners to attend the show.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:44 
Three objectives from Monserrat:
Monday May 23, 2011 2:45 
1) Sell XenDesktop
Monday May 23, 2011 2:46 
2) Build a networking practice.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:46 
3) Engage with Microsoft.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:46 
Even the worst analyst report on desktop virtualization shoes a $1B opportunity by 2013. Citrix itself figured about $2B.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:49 
People want desktop virtualization because “they want to work on any of a number of really cool devices” — that’s “the why” for desktop virtualization. Says every time a partner goes in and shows using XenDesktop on a tablet device, the customer is hooked and gets it.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:51 
Showing a video produced internally promoting the XenDesktop value proposition — a “XenWow” parody of the ShamWow informercials. “You know Citrix engineers always make good stuff.”
Monday May 23, 2011 2:54 
My favorite line: “XenWow absorbs 40x its weight in data.” Kudos. Brilliant stuff.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:54 

Discussing a Trade-Up program for XenDesktop — trade up from XenApp, trade up and expand, go all XenDesktop, or “restart” from competitive or outdated products.  

Monday May 23, 2011 2:56 

Why sell XenDesktop? Because it’s mainstream, Monserrat says, thousands of customers, millions of license. Because partners who sell it are seeing two times the deal size, seeing more services and engaging at a more strategic level. And finally “because it’s the right thing for the customer.”

Monday May 23, 2011 2:57 

The second successful practice — build a networking practice — with NetScaler, Branch Repeater and Access Gateway. Currently, they represent 20 per cent of Citrix’s business. “You need them to deliver the best possible desktop and app experience.”

Monday May 23, 2011 2:58 
Monserrat reports partner interest in networking is up. His proof point, up comes Ken Rindt from AEC Group, who Monserrat describes as “a stubborn partner” who just recently added networking.
Monday May 23, 2011 2:59 
Rindt says it “didn’t take a huge investment,” mostly just on training sales staff. As a result, 90 per cent of the partner’s deals go out the door with NetScaler involved – $500,000 in business done and another $1 million in the pipeline.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:01 
Monserrat says Citrix has formed the “Zero to 60 Club” – a group of partners that have rapidly scaled up their networking practice. The company is rewarding those partners, as well as those who have sold networking for some time, as well as providing incnetive for new networking parnters, in the form of a 50 per cent bonus in Advisor Rewards for NetScaler and Branch Repeater.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:02 
Building out a networking practice: Start with up-selling in addition to XenDesktop tand then move to cross-selling cloud deployments, Monserrat says.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:03 
Monserrat hints at Synergy announcement on networking products that “will allow you to continue to move your businesses out to the cloud.”
Monday May 23, 2011 3:04 
And with that we move onto item three on Monserrat’s hit list — “engage with Microsoft.” Monserrat detailing changes made to bring their respective channels closer about a year ago. So far, 230k shared customers, 1 million servers and 100 million users.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:05 
“The competition does not stand a chance” when partners work together with Citrix and Microsoft, Monserrat asserts, urges partners to check out the joint V-Alliance channel program announced last summer.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:06 
Last year, Citrix put $160 million into the channel in marketing funds, “money that went back to you,” Monserrat said.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:09 
Parnters who did Monserrat’s “Big three” things “got the lion’s share of that money.” And that’s why, he says, partners should focus on his three imperatives.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:09 

Citrix CFO David Henshall is out to talk about selling to the CxO level.

Monday May 23, 2011 3:12 

As he’s thought about his 34 quarters with Citrix, there’s only been one where cost cutting was the number-one priority — Q1 of 2009. The rest of the time, he says, he’s been focused on things growth, productivity, innovation, security and efficiency.  “There’s virtually no CFO who wants to be focused on cost-custting,” Henshall says.

Monday May 23, 2011 3:15 
Growth is the number one goal “because it funds everything we want to do,” fuels capital investment and provides value for shareholders. But how do you quantify its worth? For Citrix, in 2011, one per cent increase in revenues is the equivalent of $17 million increase in net income, 8 cents per share in earnings per share, 5 per cent faster growth in earnings per share, a $500m increase in market value.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:18 
“That’s why growth trumps everything else,” he says.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:18 
1 per cent increase in growth is worth the same to a CFO as a 25 per cent decrease in costs, Henshall says.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:20 

In aggregate, XenDesktop deals were 130% bigger than XenApp deals, and follow-on sales have been 8x. Multi-product deals are growing and larger than they were in the past.

Monday May 23, 2011 3:25 
Whoops. A little late, but hopefully better than ever… we caught an error that was preventing the liveblog from working properly. Sorry about that!
Monday May 23, 2011 3:29 
Four keys “sell to the CxO” from Henshall.

  1. Know your audience and the company — personalize your pitch. “Even though you call it e-marketing, it’s still spam,” including a recent pitch — from a Citrix partner to Henshall via e-mail — for VMware View. Ooops!
  2. Learn and align with their strategic priorities. Piggyback on key initiatives can make the difference.
  3. Outcomes and results matter, not the financials.
  4. Only use metrics if their specific to the company or industry.

Monday May 23, 2011 3:35 
A video on “what makes a successful Citrix partner” before channel chief Tom Flink comes out to anchor this session.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:37 
Flink’s topic “meeting the opportunity that’s in front of you.”
Monday May 23, 2011 3:38 
“Often times in the industry, the way we get you to do the things we think are important is through programs” — lots of different terms and tiers — they serve “as a filter for you participate with some of the leading players.”
Monday May 23, 2011 3:39 
But when they’ve hung that title up, and the vendor asks you to do whatever’s next, you find yourself wondering why… leads to partners trying things on.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:40 
All of what Citrix does in the channel, Flink says, is to help partners develop and offer experience and expertise, and through those two, offer customers risk mitigation.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:41 
“We’re focused on helping you get there because the IT landscape is changing. Customers are looking for experts to help them navigate … to the nirvana that we talk about in Citrix Virtual Computing.”
Monday May 23, 2011 3:41 

Talking about sales training offered under the Citrix Certified Sales Professional — “selling a solution is much more difficult than it used to be” — no longer a matter of feeds and speeds and PowerPoints. “We take this very seriously, and every year we innovate on this tool, and we expect every one of our partners to train every one of their employees.”

Monday May 23, 2011 3:45 
New tools coming — Success Accelerator for XenDesktop 5 — part of a larger effort called the “Desktop Transformation Model” – a free tool that helps partners plan, prepare, design, implement and rollout XenDesktop. —
Monday May 23, 2011 3:46 
DDMD Encore! – Demos, Demos and More Demos — since last year, 580 partners have used the Virtual Computing Demo Centre, 880 active users, 94,000 hours of demo hours done by partners — not including the demos done virtually by Citrix internally.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:49 
89 per cent of users say they’ve gotten to a POC, pilot or purchase as a result of doing a demo, 58 per cent said they’ve closed multiple deals as a result.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:49 
New capabilities in the Demo Center — including the inclusion of Branch Repeater for network optimization. It now includes all of the company’s products.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:50 
Gold, Platinum and SI partners get access for free — Silver partners get 90 days free, after that, have to buy access packages.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:51 
And we’re moving onto a “Who’s The Expert” gameshow segment, complete with Flink wearing a fantastic mauve tuxedo jacket.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:52 
Apparently, partners being called up to play the game “have not ben told” that they’ll be participating. Although they seem to be seated near the front and got up on stage awfully quick….
Monday May 23, 2011 3:53 
Partners on stage doing a “Goofus and Gallant” routine… one doing everything Citrix wants partners to do, the other one is doing everything right.
Monday May 23, 2011 3:55 

In the end, both get an iPad 2 out of it, though.

Monday May 23, 2011 4:00 
“There’s a change in the air, and it’s impacting all of us and how we’re thinking of what we’re doing,” Flink says. “Cloud is the new black.” Every partner is “spending time, thinking about how to get into the cloud, helping customers realize the benefits.”
Monday May 23, 2011 4:01 
Two years ago, launched a service provider partner program with a cost-per-subscriber licensing model.
Monday May 23, 2011 4:02 
Annoucnding a Service Provider automation pack, a set of tools to optimize XenApp.
Monday May 23, 2011 4:03 
And also the Cloud Control Panel it picked up in its purchase of Cortex a few months ago.
Monday May 23, 2011 4:03 

Surprisingly, during Synergy Citrix will be talking a lot about connections between the data centre and the cloud, both private and public.

Monday May 23, 2011 4:04 
“We believe in an open ecosystem and depend on our partners to deliver that open ecosystems and the solutions to our customer,” Flink says, introducing the finalists for the Citrix Ready parnter of the yea rawards — ThinkPrint, McAfee, Wyse, RES Software, LinquidwareLab and Cisco.
Monday May 23, 2011 4:09 
Citrix Ready Business Solution of the Year is Cisco Systems; Citrix Ready Technology of the Year is LiquidwareLabs.
Monday May 23, 2011 4:10 
Talking about customization of the partner program in contrast to the ubiquitous Play Doh Factory toy. His point: Citrix won’t try to make partners all the same and fit them into oddly defined groups. “We want you to bring your own flavor to the mix.”
Monday May 23, 2011 4:12 

Channeling his best Steve Jobs, Flink says he’s got “one more thing,” and introduced Gordon Payne, SVP of Citrix’s desktop division. 

Monday May 23, 2011 4:14 
Last year, Citrix partners “knocked it out of the park” when it comes to desktop virtualization, and as a result “I went out and bought you a present.” Out comes a big box “a massive opportunity for you.”
Monday May 23, 2011 4:15 
He predicts it will take “desktop virtualization to millions of people and will be the “super-weapon” of desktop virtualziation.
Monday May 23, 2011 4:15 
The present is Kaviza, a VDI-in-a-box solution that Citrix has purchased and integrated. Full news coverage here. The purchase closed just today.
Monday May 23, 2011 4:17 

Kaviza has taken everything that Citrix does for virtualization in the data centre and put it on a simple x86-based server. “If you can’t get this thing up and running in 30 minutes, there’s something wrong with you,” Payne says.

Monday May 23, 2011 4:18 
Supports multiple hypervisors — XenServer, “those other bad guys in Palo Alto,” and for the first time, the company will show it off in Hyper-V.
Monday May 23, 2011 4:19 
It’s a grid-based setup — when you need more capacity, add another server, they auto-configure.
Monday May 23, 2011 4:20 
“You now have about 2,000 new friends,” Payne says to the Kaviza team sitting in the front row.
Monday May 23, 2011 4:21 
“Give us a little bit of time — we’re going to package this up with all of Citrix’s support and capabilities,” Payne says it will be brought out as a fully-Citrix product in the second half of 2011.
Monday May 23, 2011 4:22 
“You keep knocking it out of the park, and we’ll keep buying presents for you,” Payne tells partners before he leaves the stage.
Monday May 23, 2011 4:22 
Flink is detailing the geographic breakouts that come next — pretty sure this is a sign that things are wrapping up for the day.
Monday May 23, 2011 4:23 
So we’re going to call this liveblog a day as well. More coverage from Citrix Summit later today and from Synergy throughout the week. Thanks for joining us for the keynotes this afternoon.
Monday May 23, 2011 4:23