Citrix pledges continued refocus on core product to partners

Citrix said at its partner event that its new focus on its core business – the secure delivery of apps and data – turned around 2015, and led to a very strong close to the year. They then laid out how they intend to continue that in 2016.

Bob Calderoni

Bob Calderoni, Citrix’s interim CEO and president

LAS VEGAS – Today, at the opening keynote of the Citrix Summit event for the company’s partners, their senior executives continued a theme it has been emphasizing since the restructuring last fall which led to the ouster of longtime CEO Mark Templeton – focusing on the company’s core strengths.

“In the past, this event was used to demo futuristic products or to talk about future strategy,” Bob Calderoni, Citrix’s interim CEO and president, told the 4000 assembled attendees, slightly more than half of whom were Citrix partners. “That’s not what I’m doing. I’m going to share how we’ve refocused Citrix on core strengths. We believe we are on a course to help make all of you very successful in 2016.”

Calderoni acknowledged that Citrix, like many companies, had tended to chase hot technology without fully considering how it would fit into the company’s core businesses.

“This is moving from new thing to new thing while ignoring what has been successful, and we were a little guilty of that ourselves,” he said. “The companies I worked for before had outstanding brands like Citrix — that foundation of great passion and market leadership that leads to great companies. With Citrix, I believe that bright future is just around the corner.”

The prerequisite for that is focus, Calderoni stressed.

“The key is to focus on fewer things, but be great at the things you do,” he said. “The simple goal is to make it easier for customers to buy and adopt, to put the focus back on what made Citrix great – the secure delivery of apps and data. We are no longer spreading resources among too many things, most of which were too small to make a difference. We are increasing our investment in core apps. We are improving the quality our of initial releases. We are making it easier for you to position our products in the market.”

The results so far have been significant.

“2015 wasn’t an easy start for Citrix,” said Carlos Sartorius SVP of Worldwide Sales and Services. “We thought we would be able to pick up and go quickly, but we had some hurdles and disappointments, and some low points in the first half. But we came back in the second half, and have had a great second half.” Calderoni indicated the last 30-60 days were especially strong.

“When we started to talk about the focus – things that were relevant – and laid out a very clear strategy and path, things improved,” Sartorius said. “We are all about secure app and data delivery, and we have the best products in the industry.”

Sartorius then laid out the sales strategy for 2016, with a very strong emphasis on increasing channel sales in the midmarket.

“We are seen as an enterprise company, but 40 per cent of new customer bookings are from the midmarket,” he said. Sartorius also indicated that Citrix has currently penetrated 61 per cent of the enterprise, 44 per cent of the corporate market, 19 per cent of the midmarket, and two per cent of the SMB. With the midmarket being a better bet for Citrix solutions than the SMB, they see that as a key green fields target.

“There is lots of potential to expand,” he said. “In addition, many customers only have one Citrix product at this point in time, and we have the opportunity to sell them more.”

Partnering with key industry partners is critical in key segments as well, Sartorius indicated.

“There are many trends in the industry we need to capture NOW – not wait. With Microsoft, these are Windows 10, and Skype for Business. With Chromebook, we enable Chromebook. We make the tool useful. Finally, there is Linux, which many customers are already using.”

It all translates into three priorities: landing new customers, especially in the midmarket; expanding Citrix’s footprint with existing customers; and partnering for success.

Landing new customers requires better targeting of product offerings and vertical- specific value propositions.

“In all segments, you should automatically attach NetScaler to any XenApp or XenDesktop deal,” Sartorius told partners. “It assures security and performance will be better. If we expand NetScaler sales by just 5 per cent, that’s $180 million. It’s 500 million if they trade up to Cloud WorkSpace. It’s another 150 million if they expand to new use cases like Linux or Chromebook.”

Sartorius emphasized that these sales priorities should enable Citrix and its partners to be successful if they deploy them right.

“I believe if we go back to basic sales strategies and see what we can do for our customers, this is our opportunity,” he said. “It is the right strategy, and we complement that with the right products.”