(Stephen Parker, Senior Industry Evangelist)
It’s been an interesting year for Citrix and it was with excitement and interest that I headed over to Las Vegas for the 2016 Citrix Summit. I had been invited by Citrix to present on the business model transformation required for partners as they shift to the cloud and to act as the compare/MC for a panel discussion about establishing industry vertical expertise in your business. (if you are interested you can find the content of these and other sessions on Citrix SalesIQ https://citrixpartner.gosavo.com/CustomPage/View.aspx?id=36891685 )
But I was also keen to see how Citrix’s own business transformation was taking shape and this is my take on the messaging from the summit.
The official line was that 2016 will see Citrix concentrate on the 3 themes of LAND, EXPAND and PARTNER.
However, for me the real message for the partners attending and the market as a whole was:
- New Team at the top: From the day 1 keynote onwards the message was clear that there was a new team at the top. There was no criticism of the past, in fact there was an acknowledgment of the great heritage. But the position was clear that they were looking forward and there was no historical baggage holding them back.
- FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS: The loud a clear message from this team was #FOCUS. The business has many great products however the business is going to FOCUS on the offerings where there is clear differentiation and those that are core to the customer proposition.
- Microsoft is our number 1 partner: The message was unequivocal, whilst Citrix have many great relationships with other vendors, Microsoft is the number 1. Microsoft re-enforced this message with senior execs such as Brad Anderson openly acknowledging the strength of the relationship in the Day 2 keynote. There was none of the slightly awkward and guarded “we’re now best friends” moments that have occurred at other vendor summits!! This was full on.
- Cloud is the future: Although only 10-15% of Citrix partners are enrolled in the Citrix Service Provider program (CSP) there was a dedicated track for CSPs. The ambiguity of allowing service providers to use both CSA and CSP has gone (as a Jan 1st 2016 if you are offering a service to 3rd parties then you must use the CSP program – much like Microsoft and their SPLA program). The internal compensation barriers are being addressed and partners were encouraged to look at the CSP program.
FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS
The detailed sessions get locked in far in advance for conferences, however the keynotes provide the near real time clarity on what is in and what is out. With that in mind we can assume that the business will be focusing on the 3 product areas of:
- The Xen product stream
Microsoft – Better together
Brad Anderson, Corporate VP, Enterprise Client & Mobility was not the only Microsoft heavy weight in town. As part of the Service Provider track, Matt Haynes Director, WW Channel Strategy for Hosted Cloud Services presented in 2 sessions including how Citrix CSP and Microsoft CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) programs complement each other.
The strong “better together” message was demonstrated during the Day 2 keynote, when Bill Burley sealed (with the visual theatre of a handshake) the commitment to Brad Anderson that Citrix will be ready to ship compatible products on the day Windows Server 2016 launches.
The messaging was that the Microsoft relationship will be focused around:
- Windows 10 roll out
- Skype for Business
- Azure (especially Xenapp and Netscaler).
- Windows Server 2016
- Accelerating cloud adoption
Land, Expand and Partner
To round out this summary a few interesting points used to support the Land, Expand and Partner strategy.
- There is opportunity to LAND new business in all market segments. However, the areas with the biggest whitespace are the Mid-Market and SMB
- However, the segment that gained the most #focus was the Mid-Market with both horizontal and vertical #focus areas highlighted
- To EXPAND within the existing customer base, the key stat is that 78% have bought a single product. This create a “next logical purchase opportunity” with Sharefile and NetScaler
- This was a PARTNER summit so a focus here is to be expected. However, Kimberly Martin made sure there was no way to miss the theme