I attended the third annual “Citrix Strategy Day” meeting in New York City. This is a half-day event for analysts where all of Citrix’s executives talk about their vision about the future direction, sales, growth, and financial performance of the company. In general this is the same content of the general sessions at iForum (complete with same customer references), but I did pick up a few interesting points today. Here they are in random order:
One of the future capabilities that Citrix is looking to is user experience management. No word on what exactly this means, but I'm sure it's something like SLA monitoring or end-to-end monitoring to see if the system is actually doing what it should be doing.
For Longhorn, Templeton said that Citrix will add specific capabilities for security, client experience, manageability, and scalability.
When talking about the “Access Experience” Citrix typically focuses on delivering presentation services and collaboration services. Today was the first time I noticed a third box called “delivery services.” Mark Templeton said that delivery services will be things like file services, mail, VoIP, and web applications.
Templeton mentioned again about how they’re really pushing the entire Access Suite. John Burris (SVP of Sales) told us that there are actually commission multipliers in place for the “other” (i.e. non-Presentation Server) products, so it’s in the Citrix salespeople’s interest to sell the other products.
Templeton said they’re really trying to shake off the thin client or server-based computing image to move to the Access Solution image, although all of the customer references today were for “classic” thin client computing environments.
Templeton said that IDG claimed that the access infrastructure market would be $22B per year by 2007! (To me this seems really huge, although I've not looked into how this number was created. I guess if you group all server-based computing, VPN, security, and portal products it's easy to get to $22B...)
Citrix will be creating specific solutions and sales groups that will focus on verticals. (Microsoft is doing this now too.)
Interesting: One of the Citrix speakers (I forget who) said that they plan to see the launch of the 4.0 suite have a six-quarter impact on financials. (Does this mean that it will be six quarters until 5.0? Or that 4.0 will carry into 5.0? Or am I reading too much into this?)
Templeton talked quite a bit about the benefits of browser virtualization. (i.e. using a web browser in a remote Presentation Server session.) He claimed 30-40% more speed whatever that means. Is this a way for Citrix to justify their existence in a world of web apps, or is this a great way to manage web apps via the Citrix framework?
Apparently Citrix Presentation Server 4.0 has a "proximity printing" feature that I was not aware of. It looks like now printer mappings and change when you disconnect and reconnect so that a nearby printer is always available.
There was lots of talk about 64-bit and higher user densities / fewer physical servers in general. Phrases like "we’ll go with Microsoft on 64-bit" were thrown around, but there's still no word yet though as to when the Citrix products will actually work on a 64-bit platform (which is available today from Microsoft). I wanted to ask this as my question, but for some reason they cut off the Q&A period at 12:45 even though the agenda said it went until 1:00.
The old Net6, CSG teams, and MSAM teams have been consolidated into one single team (called the “gateways” division).
Citrix hosts 800,000 GoToMyPC sessions per week. (No mention of how many are immediate disconnects. :) That’s more than one per second.
Citrix is breaking out Latin America and the Caribbean into their own geographic region. So now they have Americas, EMEA, PAC, and LAC.
For accounting purposes, since Subscription Advantage is built-in, Citrix will typically count about 80% or so of a license sale as revenue for that quarter and then spread the remaining revenue out over the next four quarters. However, with the “Get Current” program, (the program that allows people to “catch up” if they let their licensing lapse), it seems that they dump all the “catch up” revenue into the current quarter that the “catch up” takes place. This could make for some very sweet quarters, although I wonder when that “bonus” source of revenue will run out?
Oh, in closing Templeton mentioned that Citrix had a “down to earth” culture.