In Citrix’s future, Asia not that ‘inscrutable’ after all
By Gabey Goh May 26, 2015
- Rich with opportunity, banking on Workspace Cloud amongst other offerings
- Region’s diversity a challenge, each market has to approached differently
ASIA Pacific is a “vast question,” but one that holds much potential for the future of Citrix Systems Inc, according to its chief executive officer Mark Templeton (pic above).
“There are economies and sectors that are ready and rich with opportunity,” he said, adding that all technology companies face the same geo-political issues across the world.
“You have to respond to that, and we are in the way we invest. In places where the geo-political situation is changing, we are focusing more on partnerships, working with local partners to represent us in local markets,” he said in response to questions from Digital News Asia (DNA) during the recent Citrix Synergy conference in Orlando, Florida.
According to Templeton, India is a strong market for Citrix. There, the company takes a more sector-based go-to-market approach and has a sizeable presence in the healthcare, retail and banking and finance sectors.
In Japan, one of its more mature markets with the company having had a presence there since 1999, Citrix is enjoying increasing popularity, he claimed.
“People appreciate the issues around power, energy, travel and green technology, and we have a tremendous value proposition to offer there,” he said.
In China, the company is exploring “all kinds of things” with partnerships, and is expanding its foothold to “try and keep that market open,” he added.
Citrix already has two research and development facilities in Beijing and Nanjing, along with partnerships with companies such as Shanghai Telecom.
Managing APAC growth
Citrix Asia Pacific vice president Rob Willis said that while Australia is its biggest market, India and China were “growing fast.”
“The Asia Pacific challenge, which is the same for any company, is that it is very big with a lot of different things going on at the same time.
“Our focus is on managing our growth and dealing with different types of customers in different countries,” he added.
Willis said that Citrix’s virtualisation products XenApp and XenDesktop represent the biggest slice of the company’s overall business in the region, followed by application delivery controller NetScaler and enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform XenMobile.
“Of course it varies by market – for example in China, XenApp and XenDesktop are huge, while in South Korea, it’s primarily about NetScaler,” he said.
In the first quarter of 2015, Citrix reported revenue of US$761 million, compared with US$751 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2014, representing a 1% revenue growth. However, net revenue for the Asia Pacific region decreased by 2%.
Compared to the first quarter of 2014, product and licence revenue was down 12%, while professional services revenue, which comprises consulting, product training and certification, decreased by 13%.
However, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) revenue increased by 8% and revenue from licence updates and maintenance rose 8%.
In a statement, Templeton expressed his disappointment in the results but said that confidence remained strong in the financial, operational and strategic initiatives Citrix announced in its previous quarter.
“While these changes position us for our next phase of growth, they had a greater near-term impact on our execution than we anticipated. Our commitment to margin expansion, however, remains unchanged.
“Looking beyond Q1, I’m excited about the innovations I see across our workspace services, delivery networking, and mobility apps businesses. Through these innovations, we’ll continue our focus on enabling the software-defined workplace,” he said in the statement.
CWC the key to Asean?
Templeton said that Australia and New Zealand were “ahead of the curve” in terms of cloud computing, and that Citrix expects those markets to have the fastest uptake of the Citrix Workspace Cloud (CWC) once the offering is available.
CWC is a new cloud-based management platform designed to simplify the on-demand delivery of a wide range of IT tools and services, with general availability and pricing expected to be revealed in the third quarter of this year.
The platform creates a new control plane that merges the on-premises and cloud worlds, and is intended to enable IT managers to create secure, mobile workspaces that include desktops, applications and data from whatever infrastructure source best meets their specific needs, according to Citrix.
Templeton said the introduction of CWC “opens up a lot doors in the Asean (the Association of South-East Asian Nations) world,” expanding opportunities for partners in the region.
“We can give our partners much more capability, an exoskeleton of sorts, to do some of these things with less training or knowledge – but still provide high-quality solutions to customers,” he said.
Meanwhile Willis (pic) said that for the soon-to-be-released CWC, Citrix’s Asia team sees a lot of opportunity in Australia and believes that India will be another hotspot for this offering.
“It’s still early days yet but we’re looking carefully at the technology and seeing where it fits best to map out our go-to-market strategy.
“For South-East Asia, we have no firm view yet on how CWC will be rolled out, but much like our previous products, we will start with Singapore and then expand out from there,” he added.
In addition to CWC, Willis said he believes that enhancements to its remote user experience technologies called High Definition eXperience (HDX) will be well received in South-East Asia.
“That’s a big issue in the region, where infrastructure across the country is not always fantastic, so anything that gets better performance over the wires has a significant impact.
“Everything we do in that area is always well received in this region,” he said.
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