You might have heard of Citrix’s CTP program (of which I’ve been a proud member for many years), but you probably haven’t heard about what goes on at the semiannual meetings because they held under a strict NDA. At these events, various product teams present current problems, initiatives, and future roadmaps to the group of 49 people (!) and ask for feedback. Each of us has a different background and specialty, and most importantly, each of us has a different perspective. Citrix knows that if they ask a question and we all have the same answer, they should probably listen.
Things get interesting when we don’t have the same opinions (either between the CTPs or between us and Citrix...or both), and the tightly packed agenda rarely stays on time. The discussions are very frank and open, which is the purpose of the group. The protracted discussions always spill out into the hallways, then to dinner, then to the hotel bar. They may seem combative at times, but everyone in the room (CTPs and a fair number of Citrites) is there for the same purpose, so even the “worst" critique is still constructive and well-meaning.
We talked about the most recent CTP meeting (which was last week in Fort Lauderdale) on our BrianMadden.com Podcast with Claudio Rodrigues last week. As you can imagine, we were particularly interested in attending this one because of all that has happened between the last meeting in May and now. Citrix has undergone a lot of changes that have been well-documented, and so heading into the meeting I was very curious to find out how their efforts to “focus on core” have been coming along. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. In the past, the meetings are peppered with new technologies and tangential ideas, but this time around it was all about core products like XenApp, XenDesktop, CWC, XenServer, XenMobile, ShareFile, and Netscaler.
Of course, I can’t talk about specifics, but as Claudio and I stated on the podcast, it was quite apparent based on the discussions we had that Citrix has, indeed, found its center and is once again “dancing with the one that brought them.” I mentioned this to several people during the meeting that also agreed. Everything they announced earlier in November appears to be taking place, and though it’s tough on employees during layoffs, the product direction is certainly more focused. Citrix still has to execute their vision, but so far, so good.
Admittedly, you have only my word to take on it for now, though hopefully you’ll share the same opinion after Summit and Synergy this year. 2016 should be an interesting year for Citrix on many fronts. We’ll find out publicly how the re-focus and restructuring is going, and we’ll also learn about the effects of Elliott’s involvement, a forthcoming new CEO, and the results of any potential acquisitions (either by Citrix or of Citrix).
I know this article is light on detail, but I thought it would be good to share my sentiment after being on the inside for a few days. It’s an exhausting meeting, but in the best way possible. Perrine Crampton and Brad Nunn do a fantastic job. Maybe after Summit we can all talk about some more specific things!