Citrix Asia-Pacific will ride the cloud to rise to CEO's lofty vision
By Dzof Azmi May 29, 2017
- Despite losses last year, growth is currently into double digits and will continue to improve in 2017.
- A big driver will be Improved cloud adoption on the back of increasing Azure presence, with 70% of customers coming from Australia.
Citrix Asia-Pacific is ready to pursue the vision laid out by its CEO Kirill Tatarinov to "power a world where people, organizations and things are securely connected and easily accessible", by espousing its security advantages while leveraging the growing interest in its cloud-based solutions.
This is despite reporting a net loss in 2016 of about half a million US dollars. Stanimira Koleva, VP of Sales and Services for Asia Pacific, explained, "The first half was a bit slow, the second half we went into growth pattern and now we've been growing last quarter". She is pleased to report that they are now in "double digit growth" and expects to see a big growth in cloud adoption.
Part of this optimism is due to the continuing uptake of Azure in Asia Pacific, with data centers now in Australia, India, Singapore, Japan and Korea.
"Our plan is to deliver out of this," she told Digital News Asia during an interview at the sidelines of the Citrix Synergy 2017 in Orlando recently.
For example, she predicts a three-fold increase in the adoption of Citrix's cloud services compared to 2016, with 70 percent of the customers coming from Australia.
One key advantage touted is the improvement in security. "One of the big manufacturing companies in Japan (now) wants to move 70,000 of their users to the cloud". The reason? "They actually recently got hit by WannaCry," referring to the ransomware recently highlighted in the press when it infected 75,000 computers in nearly a hundred countries earlier this month.
She insinuates that it is time customers got educated about security. "Very counter intuitive to what people believe, the cloud provider can secure the data better than the enterprise themselves." She also points to the fact that while the Citrix service runs on the cloud, the data can reside in a local data center.
The hope is that growing confidence in Citrix's products to provide security will underpin a drive into regulated sectors such as banking and healthcare.
One major challenge is to try to align technological innovation with industry regulations. Citrix tries to help organisations stay on the right side in implementation, but relies on partners to lobby regulators. "We have a bigger organisation like Microsoft which clearly has a lot of interest helping governments to evolve their policies."
At the heart of it all, it's not about just securing applications and data, but to also take into consideration its impact on the workplace.
"For years and years people were centralizing and virtualizing access for security reasons, but sometimes at the cost of productivity. The message is now is that it is easy for people to be secure without sacrificing productivity," highlighted Stanimira (pic left).
In fact, Citrix is very much keen to improve productivity, in part by seeing companies adopt "a workplace of the future".
"One is the productivity driver which involves flexibility around how you enable your employees to work," citing Citrix's mantra "Anytime, Anywhere, Any Device".
Some regions such as Australia have already adopted strong flexi arrangements for work. "I would say around 8 out of 10 have clear policy around remote working and flexibility."
But even countries that have been more conservative in working arrangements are beginning to look forward. "If you follow president Abe in Japan, one of his biggest policies is centered around the population growing older, including (reaching out to) mothers from home and broader female groups that wouldn't normally work full time."
All this is part of a bigger challenge facing companies today. "One aspect that I don't see becoming apparent in all countries is the war for talent."
"Especially in R&D, the latest trend is have flexible hiring of freelance developers," highlighting not only Citrix's ability to extend a workspace beyond boundaries, but also for their new Analytics service to monitor what their employees are doing.
Currently marketed as a tool to help security, the Analytics service is flexible enough to, for example, monitor working hours of offshore workers, and report on what files and resources are being accessed, while providing alerts when certain thresholds have been crossed.
"I see more and more in many of the advanced companies thinking how is technology going to play a part of me attracting the right skills."
Perhaps Citrix's mantra will now be "Any talent, anytime, anywhere."