Citrix Partner Summit 2014

19 Jan 2014

Citrix celebrates their 25th anniversary this year here are some highlights from their Partner Summit specifically relating to UC. This event was intended to train their world-wide partners and Citrix field sales organization on the latest Citrix technologies from a technical and sales perspective. There were approximately 4000 people in attendance probably 2000 world-wide partners and 2000 Citrites.

The biggest news was the absence of CEO Mark Templeton who has been the face of Citrix for over 20 years and CEO since 2001 he has been out on a personal leave since October of 2013. The charismatic and passionate executive has been at the forefront of creating many of the major trends in the IT industry like BYOD, cloud and mobility. Everyone is hopeful he will return to the helm he is sorely missed. (Full disclosure I worked at Citrix from 2010 to 2012)

This event was not so much about new announcements as it was education and training on releases from Q4 of 2013. Most significant from a collaboration and UC strategy is the XenMobile Client which brings together many of their acquisitions over the last two years into a powerful management and security framework to enable BYOD strategies.

XenMobile which is built on the 2013 Zenprise product acquisition is the MDM container that now can be bundled with Worx Mobile Apps, GotoMeeting, Sharefile and GoToAssist. Citrix is incenting their partners to sell the broader suite of solutions. They made two significant announcements. That the SAAS applications which these fall under will be on their normal price list and are eligible for deal registration. Previously the SAAS solutions like GoToMeeting, Sharefile, and Podio were sold by a separate sales organization under Citrix Online and the traditional Citrix partner channels could only refer opportunities. SAAS which is 25% of Citrix's revenue is growing at 14%. Their networking solutions i.e. Netscaler their application delivery controller is another 25% and growing even faster.

Citrix continues to deepen its relationship with Cisco despite competing with one another in web conferencing and collaboration. They did joint presentations on BYOD, XenDesktop built on Cisco UCS architecture and Citrix's Netscaler for application delivery. Citrix has actually been making inroads into the VCE architecture that stands for VMware, Cisco & EMC. Their joint messaging is around BYOD and collaboration with no reference to UC. There were an increasing number of Cisco's largest reseller partners that did not attend in years past.

Vidyo was a first time Summit sponsor and reportedly was well received by Citrix partners. According to Ami Barzelay, Solutions Architect. "Partners are telling us that our enterprise-class, locally implemented solution solves a customer challenge." No major announcements with Microsoft or any other vendors in the UC space. The remaining exhibitors were primarily storage and systems management vendors with some security as well. The partners were enthusiastic about the Citrix technology but there are still some strained relationships in the large enterprise space where Citrix has been moving to a more direct model since 2012. Citrix always puts on a great show and appears to be riding the BYOD wave to another year of continued growth and technology innovation.




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