Citrix to Move Beyond Virtualization with 'Intelligent Workspaces'

Citrix Summit '19 focuses on expanding the company's footprint beyond virtualization.

Lynn Haber

January 7, 2019

4 Min Read
Cloud-Hosted Virtual Desktop

CITRIX SUMMIT ’19 — Citrix is pressing partners to move beyond virtualization and address a growing market for intelligent spaces enabled by Citrix Cloud. That was the key message Monday for the 2,500 Citrix partners convening at the vendor’s Summit ‘19 in Orlando, which runs through Wednesday.

Citrix expects this to be its largest annual sales kickoff, with about 5,000 employees and partners in attendance. The company is coming off a banner year, boasting partner productivity gains of 16 percent.


Citrix’s Craig Stilwell

“We have a tremendous opportunity in 2019 to expand the market that we’re going after,” Craig Stilwell, vice president, worldwide sales at Citrix, told Channel Futures. “It’s an opportunity for Citrix to move beyond virtualization with intelligent workspaces, which is four times greater than the market for application and desktop virtualization.”

For many years, the cornerstone of Citrix’s business has been the application and desktop virtualization market. But as user adoption of cloud and SaaS grows, the virtualization market has been stagnant.

“Application and desktop virtualization account for about 30-40 percent of the end users, so we haven’t been able to effectively address the other 60-70 percent of the users of any given customer,” explains Stilwell.

While not abandoning its traditional market focus, Citrix’s push this year is to evolve beyond just virtualization and provide some of the same capabilities it has, such as providing users with a great experience, high-performing applications and good connectivity, while offering flexibility and security.

“The Citrix Workspace, which lives in and is powered by Citrix Cloud, is the answer to being able to address the other 60-70 percent of employers’ customers, and is the thing that I think is going to be able to expand our addressable market by as much as four times,” said Stilwell.

Two years ago, at Citrix Summit 2017, the vendor announced its vision for Citrix Workspace, the cloud-based service that delivers an adaptive unified workspace for secure delivery of all apps and data across all applications, both on-premises and in the cloud. Since then, the company has been unifying its product portfolio and bolstering its Citrix Workspace, which it calls the one complete digital-workspace solution.

The most recent enhancement to its digital workspace solutions was announced on November 15 — the acquisition of Sapho, a micro app platform which it will use to enhance the guided work capabilities within Citrix Workspace. Integration work is underway with general availability planned for the second half of 2019.

“With the addition of Sapho, we’re now able to fully deliver on the vision for the intelligent workspace,” said Stilwell.

The technology is included at no additional cost to all customers and provides them with the same functionality as they get with their on-premises solutions.

“Our partners now have one less barrier when working with customers that are hesitant to move to the cloud.”

In 2018, Citrix upended its partner program with two goals in mind: to make it easier to do business with the company, for both net-new and existing partners; and to redesign its disparate programs into one cohesive program with Citrix Cloud and subscription-based revenue in mind. So partners might see tweaks, but no big changes to its partner program coming out of Summit.

One area where Citrix will realign rewards is by putting less of a focus on renewals and more on …

… driving customer value with higher product adoption and utilization.

What partners will celebrate at this week’s sales event are the results achieved in 2018 — 300 percent growth, year over year, for Citrix Cloud, according to Stilwell. Partner productivity gains – 16 percent  year over year – are in part attributable to 900 new transacting partners in 2018.

Citrix expects to have a about 6,000 transacting partners this year, up from 5,000 last year.

Stilwell also pointed out that Citrix Service Providers (CSP), partners that primarily cater to SMBs and are billed on a monthly consumption basis, saw business grow 30 percent year over year, for a total of 1.8 billion users in 2018.

While Citrix plans to maintain the same pace when it comes to adding to its stable of partners, the vendor does plan to increase the number of activated sellers in its existing partner base.

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About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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