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Citrix: What kind of company is it anyway?

CEO explains how Citrix's mobile, cloud and social pieces fit together

By , Network World
December 19, 2012 06:01 AM ET
Mark Templeton
Mark Templeton

Network World - Citrix (CTXS: NASDAQ) is many different things to many people. It's a cloud company, it's a virtualization player, it's a mobile technologies vendor and it's a collaboration products provider. But according to Mark Templeton, Citrix CEO since 2001, all of that blends together and fits with where enterprise IT shops are headed. Here, speaking with IDG Enterprise Chief Content Officer John Gallant, Templeton dishes on Citrix's overall strategy, its relationships with Cisco, Microsoft and Apple, its rivalry with VMware, and its controversial take on open source cloud computing. (Read more IDG Enterprise CEO Interview Series interviews here with the biggest names in IT.)

You guys are in a number of different product areas. You've got hypervisors, GoToMeeting, cloud-related products, desktop virtualization, a slew of things. I think sometimes people may get confused as to what kind of company Citrix is. Fill in the blank: Citrix is a ____ company?

Citrix is the company that enables mobile work styles and powers cloud services that deliver them.

Let's drill into that. Talk about what that means for a customer and how you deliver on that promise.

Most of enterprise computing is focused on where people work and accomplish the mission of business in a productive, flexible, empowered way. We tend to start with that end of our conversation because everything is directed at driving mobile in terms of work styles, whether that means mobile across devices, locations, applications, data or a wide variety of situations that most individuals and enterprises face every day. That means a few things to us. To be able to seamlessly and easily collaborate with anyone from anywhere.

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So when we think about our portfolio in collaboration, it really is being able to work across firewalls with high-definition video, VoIP, screen sharing and document sharing, so that people can work anywhere and work on the kinds of things that make them more productive and create the value to the business mission they're on. Next is our work in the data sharing area, which is particularly important these days as people have more devices. In the U.S., we see the trend going up and I think this year in research we've seen an average worker on a daily basis will use 2.3 different devices in a business context. Having applications, as well as data, available across them is critically important. Just behind that is the ability to then unify and aggregate all the services and capabilities that people need to work anywhere as a service that IT provides. Behind the curtain, at the back end, are all of our technologies that enable Windows apps and desktops to be an on-demand cloud service. And then behind that would be the platform that allows you to build the next-generation cloud infrastructure, Amazon-style, to then power not only traditional apps that you deploy, but the new style apps that you're building that are by definition probably mobile first and then Web second.

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