Citrix Partner Accelerator, 2016

Welcome to Part 1 of my blog “mini-series” on the Citrix Partner Accelerator 2016.  I decided to write a couple of blogs on this as there was a lot of content squished into a single day. Well done Citrix! This article will focus on the Keynotes.

This year’s CPA took place on 25th February at Wembley Stadium in London, a very grand venue for Citrix to announce their grand plan.  This was my first official Citrix event so I was prepared for the self-gratifying, backslapping and whooping that one hears about from such type of events.  However, this is Britain and we have decorum.  It was a civilised affair!

Mark Beaumont, Head of Channels for North Europe kicked it all off to give us all the facts and figures with Jason Tooley popping on to cover off a few points.  There was also a live demo of the new Virtual WAN features in NetScaler SD WAN (formerly WANScaler, formally Branch Repeater, formally CloudBridge but not officially changing name until Q2 apparently) which included hi-vizzes, hard hats and bolt croppers!  Citrix may think this is novel but many a customer facing consultant would be used to this equipment!  This was by John Spencer.  He seemed nice.

The main points from the Keynotes have been distilled into bullet point below, however there is a lot of content!

Citrix have decided to spin off GoToMeeting & GoToTraining – these are not strategically aligned to their other core products.

  • Q4 2015 profits beat expectations (good for you Citrix)
  • New CEO with Forrester naming Citrix as EMM leader
  • Citrix UK&I business growth of 8% with significant growth in NetScaler and Workspace Suite
  • Citrix will be moving from tactical to strategic solutions (welcome to 2016!) with more focus on vertical markets (that’s the tall ones not the fat ones apparently).

In order to try and convince the part of the world that doesn’t know about the core benefits of Citrix’ main product set, there was a big drive on the seemingly obvious, which was good in a way as it’s now been said with pretty pictures and lots of % signs meaning people can nod sagely and regurgitate the information to their customers. I would also like to add for transparency that this was based on an “independent” report that Citrix themselves commissioned.

By 2019, organisations will deliver twice as many apps remotely than 2015 – good news for Citrix and their partners

  • The “Flexible working tipping point” will be 2017 (not good news for the impatient types). This is where 50% of UK organisations will adopt some form of remote working, with this number rising to 70% by 2020.
  • There was also the usual reasons on why remote working is cool
  • Citrix will being focusing on the “workspace” (it’s all about the workspace nowadays) with their tried and trusted “any, any, any” mantra. This time slightly changed to:
    • any device
    • any cloud
    • any app

Citrix also wanted to reiterate the fact that Networking using Netscaler is core to Citrix’s workspace vision which was seem in the technical stream with 50% of breakouts being NetScaler orientated. There is a lot of love for NetScaler at the moment!

The 2016 sales priorities were announced as; new customers, Expand footprint and Partner for success. These were expanded upon in the Sales track of the breakouts but that’s for Salesy types.

Then the event that we were all looking forward to except the one who had the spoiler from Neil because he’d seen the demo already this week at Chalfont…

John Spencer, Citrix Northern Europe CTO, came up and told us about the latest techno shiz and direction.

  • Browser App Service. You can now launch an IE 11 or Chrome browser session seamlessly within any other browser!  This is an alternative approach to just publishing the link in IE via XenApp but to try and give the user a more native experience. For more on Browser App Service, see here.
  • Citrix are more aligned with Microsoft than ever. Collaboration with the a massively used platform with huge cloud services and the leader of “any app, any device, anywhere” can only be good.  Just a bit odd that all the Citrix big boys are now ex-Microsoft…
  • Skype for Business (S4B), Azure, Windows 10, Office 365 and Windows Server 2016 are the main tech focus of this year, which I found very pleasing and reassuring as these things feature in my own personal focus and I believe any self-respecting Citrix partner’s focus.
  • CloudBridge is now called NetScaler SD WAN (although Simon Cooper gave a conflicting account and said the name change wasn’t until middle of 2016)

 

NetScaler SD WAN Overview

With NetScaler SD WAN, you can put your Corporate MPLS line, internet-based ADSL backup and even 4G backup-backup line through the NetScaler SD WAN and it will seamlessly switch over if one of these goes down.  As discovered in a later breakout, there is even more coolness here but that’s for another blog J  This was where John Spencer risked life and reputation but getting his assistance to chop through the links one by one, MPLS, then ADSL whilst holding a S4B video call live on stage.

Mark Beaumont returned to wrap up the keynotes with some more £ signs to get the bosses and Sales guys to sit up again after the chop chop demo.

 

  • $500m opportunity for Citrix license sales in the corporate and mid-market businesses. That sounds good! Plenty to go round you’d think!
  • The vertical focus that were discussed before will centre on finance, healthcare and local government. Again, good move as these are sectors that can all easily benefit from Citrix’s core products, even if you just gave them XenApp!
  • Never under estimate the importance of services! This is why we’re called Service Providers right?  There were some of those modern day pie charts, more like ring charts (?) with the facts.  In 1995, 20% was services, rest was product revenue. In 2015, this rose to 35% with 2020 predicted to be 60% services compared with product revenue. No wonder Citrix are looking to change!  A valuable insight to us all here!
  • Mid market use cases and success kits available on SalesIQ
  • New incentives for new opportunities in the mid-market (free pens and USB sticks probably)
  • CARs now available on all customer segments (I was a little bit mystified at this one) but they seem to be making it easier for people to register and claim CARs
  • Citrix are committed to partner success and want to help everyone more this year by having better partner engagements (they want to be in front of your customers), help growth, increase profitability with more predictable engagements. Again, this is good news and this is the type of thing we’re all trying to achieve right?  So, Citrix are our friends and will help us to be bigger, better and more vertical (something some people think I could benefit from)

 

Thanks for reading.  Man, that was slog!  Keep an eye out for Part 2 where I’ll “summarise” the four technical breakout sessions with good stuff from NetScaler, NS SD WAN, XenApp/XenDesktop and the very sexy Citrix Workspace Cloud!

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