Citrix is all set on its growth path, now with a greater addressable market size brought by its Digital Workspace offering. In an interaction with CRN India, Raghuram Krishnan, Director – Partner, Citrix India, shares the company’s restrengthened market approach and how partners are prepared to tap new opportunities
What have been the major highlights for Citrix in 2019?
The year 2019 has been a defining year for Citrix, as we launched the Digital Workspace, which has also increased the total addressable market (TAM) for us. Our partners performed well in unearthing opportunities and capitalising on them. In 2019, we have expanded our customer base and bagged several marquee deals of global significance. All of these deals were done through our channel ecosystem. We also had small deals from our partners which later transpired into big ones. From the Digital Workspace standpoint, we have had customers from across industry verticals. However, the ITeS sector has shown significant response, followed by banking. The year 2019 has been crucial in setting the path for the company.
At the Citrix Summit, one of the major highlights was the intelligent workspace offering. Intelligent workspace, security and analytics are core pillars of our offerings, which will change the market.
What have been the factors driving this growth?
Digitisation is one of the most critical things driving customers to our offerings. Digitisation wasn’t able to yield results for customers throughout all these years, because the people aspect was overlooked. However, this is being identified and the trend is now heading in the right direction. Citrix Digital Workspace ensures that employees’ productivity is always at its highest. Security has been another key growth driver for us. We play a critical role in the zero trust security framework. We have the first-mover advantage in terms of our Digital Workspace SD-WAN offerings.
How has been your focus on the SMB market?
I consider the SMB market as an area of improvement for us, because we had to chart out a detailed approach to address this market. However, we are now on the path. We have adopted a CSP strategy and geo-expansion approach to further tap this market. The CSP strategy is already in place, whereas, we will consolidate the geo-expansion strategy this year. We are now looking at onboarding more born-in-the-cloud partners. We strongly feel that CSP is the best strategy for the SMB market.
How is Citrix taking along its traditional partners amidst the influx of new-age partners?
It is not necessary that with emergence of new technologies, new set of partners has to step in. In this industry, relationship has a major influence on consumption of technology and plays a critical role in business. We have partners who are present in the industry for decades. Even with the emergence of new-age technologies, these partners are the first choice for customers. Traditional partners have no reason to fear; the market is huge. Virtualisation forms 15 per cent of the addressable market; however, with the arrival of Digital Workspace, the TAM has increased to 100 per cent, so partners have the opportunity to tap the remaining 85 per cent of the market, which provides huge opportunities for them.
How is the company further aligning its channel ecosystem in line with the current market trends and opportunities, especially with Citrix Digital Workspace?
We believe that educating partners is not a one-time phenomenon; it needs to be continued on a regular basis. Partner enablement can be brown into three parts. The first is the sales part, wherein we enable the partners to sell. The other is the pre-sales aspect, which involves designing the entire solution for the customer. Whereas, the third and the most important part is implementation and support.
Every quarter, Citrix conducts training and enablement activities across all the three aspects. These trainings can be further described in two types — the one that we conduct and the other that our distributors conduct for their partners. We conduct a five-day training programme across the country. The fact that we have increased our customer base underlines the significance of our training and enablement efforts. We will continue our efforts in this direction with more rigour, because we want to push our intelligent workspace offering deeper into the market.
In this journey of moving beyond virtualisation and getting into digital workspace solutions — while many are partners are already ready — by the end of this year, a large proportion of our partner base will be prepared to tap the digital workspace opportunities in the market. Over a period of time, partners will start rendering the benefits of this opportunity.
Amidst in the industry-wide and nation-wide digital transformation, partners are getting into new opportunities; and the ones who have not yet forayed into these, will do so in the future. Digital transformation, referred to as a jargon by some, is defining how the industry is consuming IT.
All the partners who are focusing on just infrastructure, will have to join the bandwagon which will define the next cusp of technology. The market is already witnessing adoption of these technologies. As more use cases get built, partners will have to be ready to cater to them and make the next move. Most of the partners understand this and they are investing in this direction.
What is the value proposition that Citrix Digital Workspace offers to CIOs? How is the SMB market placed in terms of its adoption?
The role of CIO has changed now; from Chief Information Officer, it has become Chief Innovation Officer, as they are critical to decide the technologies that are adopted by the organisation to ensure business growth and increase in employee productivity, among many other outcomes. The Citrix Digital Workspace, for instance, helps increase productivity of employees. This provides a compelling factor for the CIO.
In the case of large enterprises, customers have already made investments in technology, and are now upgrading. However, the SMB customers are the ones who will have a leapfrog in technology. The more the SMB customers move towards cloud, the better positioned they will be. The hybrid cloud environment is now becoming a reality and SMB customers are also shaping their technology approach in accordance with this.
What more can partners and customers expect from Citrix in 2020 and beyond?
Our investments will be on enhancing the workspace solution and making it a trendsetter in the market. I’m confident that we are on the right path. We do everything in a secured manner, and security will always remain a key component of our security. This will be spearheaded by the Citrix Digital Workspace. Partners must invest in technologies that will uplift them and drive growth for their businesses.