Synergy was an important event for Citrix this year. It was an opportunity to reset, share a new vision, and introduce its new CEO, Kirill Tatarinov.
Here are a few highlights:
- The keynote may not have included dazzle (some will understand my reference here), but Kirill shared a vision that mapped to the convergence of technology and business transformation.
This vision may have flown at a higher altitude than what many attendees were expecting, but was very valuable for the IT market, Wall Street, and the press/analyst community to hear and understand. Kirill took the time to show how the company has streamlined disparate products into a company that can play a significant role in technology transformation.
- Citrix is a stronger company when sharing a “better together” story with its technology partners. At Synergy, Citrix took the opportunity to reignite their partnership with Microsoft, which included keynote videos with Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, and on-stage appearances with Brad Anderson, Microsoft Corporate VP, Enterprise and Client Mobility. For companies that plan to upgrade to Windows 10, embrace Azure and use O365 — this relationship has value.
- Citrix is ready to compete. At past Synergy events, Citrix wasn’t inclined to speak openly about competition, and this resulted in some sense of weakness in the market. But Synergy 2016 was different. Citrix addressed competitors, like VMware, on the big stage. This was historically uncharacteristic of Citrix, and this year they performed with a humble (yet compelling) stance that was well-received by the attendees I spoke with.
Citrix Synergy meant as much to Wall Street trackers as it did to attendees at the event. If Citrix can just accomplish the following three things, they’ll be able to move the business needle in a positive direction in 2016:
- Execute with its Microsoft partnership. Look for strong momentum in the market before the end of 2016. If Microsoft and Citrix can’t demonstrate strong momentum by this time, customers may not be ready take advantage of their joint offerings.
- Don’t just tell, but also demonstrate a “better together” story. Citrix has an opportunity to show how 1+1=3 with its technology partners. That said, it’s in the best interest of Citrix to help their partners put together a crisp storyline to raise awareness with joint customers.
- Citrix needs to reach up the ladder and break through conversations beyond the Citrix administrator. Technology transformation has to start with senior IT folks and business leaders, and training Citrix IT pros how to become more involved with the business can only help the company to succeed.
I also observed that while some of these big tech events are measured by the number of attendees, the quality of attendee as well as the quality of business conversation, is often ignored. I received multiple pieces of feedback from attendees, IT vendors, and Citrix employees about how productive and actionable conversations were at the event. This tells me attendees are excited to get involved with technology transformation, and Citrix is a partner they’re willing to work with. Coming out of Synergy, the KPIs to watch for are all related to execution. Finally, I’m interested to observe how customers will react to a streamlined Citrix that is ready to help customers embrace a technology transformation with mobility and workspace delivery solutions.