Manufacturing is relatively an underpenetrated market
Citrix Group expects net revenue to grow by 8-10%
AFTER building a strong foothold serving the Malaysian telecommunication companies and banks, Citrix Systems Inc, a software company specialising in virtualisation technology, is now setting its sights on expanding its presence in the Malaysian manufacturing space.
According to Mark Micallef, who is the Asean area vice president at Citrix, the company's clientele in Malaysia come from various industries. These industries also include the public sector, retail as well as oil and gas.
"However, one sector which I feel is still relatively under-penetrated is the manufacturing sector. This will be one area of focus this year," said Micallef, during a media briefing held in Singapore recently. "We are seeing this sector gaining a lot of traction."
In short, by using Citrix's solutions, manufacturers will be able to operate more efficiently. For example, manufacturers could experience less unscheduled downtime (which can result in revenue loss) whenever its manufacturing PCs reboot due to a patch update. There are also solutions to help its staff to monitor the manufacturing progress remotely, as well as solutions that protect the manufacturer's intellectual property (IP).
"In manufacturing, there's a lot of IPs. You don't want the IPs to sit on the device like smartphones, tablets and laptops. So, with virtualisation, you can protect all the IPs as they do not sit in the devices, but in the company's server instead," said Micallef.
Growing its presence in the manufacturing sector is only part of the company's overall strategy to grow the Asean market. His other strategy is to bank on the growing trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) as well as growing concerns on security.
According to Juniper Research, the number of consumer smartphones and tablets brought into work places will more than double to 350 million units by end of this year, versus 150 million units in 2012.
Adoption of BYOD by multinational companies in Asia Pacific is also picking up. Research firm Ovum, in a survey, revealed that more than 70% of surveyed companies already have policies to support approved employee-owned devices.
These trends have played a key role in the company’s financial performance. For the 2013 financial year, the Citrix's net revenue rose 12.8% to US$2.92 billion. From the amount, Americas contributed US$1.75 billion, followed by EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) at US$858 million and Asia Pacific at US$307 million.
Micallef expects the Asean markets to continue to grow this year, however, did not reveal the quantum. Nevertheless, the group expects net revenue to grow by 8-10% this year.
More reasons to be optimistic
According to Micallef, chief information officers (CIOs) in Malaysia are currently discussing how to mobilise the entire business process as well as its workforce. Such discussions are good news for Citrix, as it presents an opportunity to cross sell more solutions to the CIOs.
"To mobilise the entire business process or workforce, you need all that different technologies at the back end. It is not just VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure). Mobile desktop management (MDM) will also come into play," he explained.
Of course, there are many benefits for companies to mobilise its workforce.
"Once you have mobilised the entire workforce, then business continuity is free. I don't have to build anything else for business continuity because I have built a platform where I can allow my employees to work from anywhere, so there's no business disruption. Like during the haze issue in Singapore, my employees had zero downtime because we all worked from home," said Micallef.
He also said that CIOs are also looking at ways to "get off the treadmills of refreshing their PCs". He explains that in some ways, CIOs see expenditure on PC refreshing as "not meaningful spending".
"They like to see if their investments can be diverted into other areas like mobility, remote access, and others," he added.
Other challenges companies are facing are the rising cost of real estate as well as attracting talent.
“Real estate costs keep going up. A lot of companies we work with are looking at ways to optimise real estate to make savings there.
“Human Resources departments are also seeing things like BYOD as ways they can differentiate themselves competitively by attracting a generation of workforce that are just coming out of the universities,” he said.
Building the experience
About six months ago, Citrix Systems transformed its boardroom in Singapore into what it calls a "Citrix Experience Centre" (CEC). In the CEC, visitors are able to gain a better idea of how the company's solutions and technology can work in real life situations.
Recently, Citrix hosted a group of journalists from Malaysia and Indonesia at the CEC. During the visit, Citrix representatives demonstrated how employees can work on a Word document or an Excel spread sheet on the desktop, and when an urgent matter arose requiring them to leave the office urgently without saving the file, the employee is still able to continue with his document or spread sheet via his tablet or laptop away from his desktop.
"So far, we have hosted more than 18 sessions. These sessions have yielded results as a significant portion have been converted into potential sales leads," said Micallef.
The CEC can also potentially help Micallef address one of his biggest concerns -- "lack of awareness."
"Awareness of the Citrix brand is not an issue. However, the challenge is to customers' awareness on how broad our solutions and capabilities are," said Micallef.
Of course, all these solutions and technologies are part of Citrix's goal to provide people the flexibility and freedom to choose where they work from.
"We believe in the world people can experience work and life their way," he added.
Goh Thean Eu reports from Singapore, at the Citrix's invitation.
AsiaPac up on BYOD cost-savings, down on innovation benefits
To BYOD or not to BYOD
Citrix rolls out MDM tool that gives users choice, and no headaches for IT
For more technology news and the latest updates, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Like us on Facebook.