Ready, Set, Synergy!

The excitement is building in Orlando, Florida, as Citrix Synergy 2015 is about to begin. What are the expectations for Citrix’s largest event of the year?

It’s been a fairly tough twelve months for Citrix. When the conference convened last year in Los Angeles, California, everyone was disappointed to hear only a small number of new announcements, and attendees were under the impression that this was Mark Templeton’s last Synergy event. A month later, everyone was surprised to learn that MarkT would be staying on as CEO. In addition to some upper management changes, there were some revenue pressures, and then far-reaching layoffs occurred in January. Expectedly, there was quite a bit of turmoil as Citrix attempted to regroup itself internally after the downsizing.

Whether leaving of their own accord or as a result of the layoffs, several key individuals associated with the Citrix realm defected over to VMware, and the challenges imposed by the Horizon View team have and will continue to sway some customers away from Citrix. However, one benefit of this increased competition is that both companies are forced to accelerate their product development and release more robust, well-developed products to address customer needs.

Citrix also suffered a setback when it announced that it was discontinuing the VDI-in-a-Box product in January. Although this seemingly low-revenue product only impacted the small business sector, it left a notable hole in the Citrix product portfolio. As a result, small businesses that are starting down the virtualization journey will not have the option to purchase a Citrix on-premises product to address their requirements while still small.

While Citrix XenServer suffered some hard one-two punches due to a lack of roadmap, the XenDesktop/XenApp flagship product continues to be the market-share leader in desktop and application virtualization. Other market challengers continuously compare themselves to Citrix and have made some headway in encroaching on Citrix customers.

Aside from the desktop and application virtualization market, Citrix continues to feel pressure from other competitors in the product space, such as NetScaler. Although NetScaler and its key features, such as load balancing and gateway functionality, are tightly coupled with Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop, others in the delivery controller space continue to battle for success.

The Citrix that is emerging is one that seems to be focused on getting to the next level. It is an organization that is asking more questions about how the various products can be improved. It’s a group of Citrites (as Citrix employees refer to themselves) who ask questions, take notes, and then pose “what if?” scenarios. It’s a Citrix that listens.

What should be expected from Synergy 2015? Of course, two days of keynote addresses will no doubt include some product announcements. Further, Citrix needs to show that its myriad small acquisitions weren’t frivolous and that they do each have a purpose. However, even more important than any product or marketing announcements that Citrix will make, Citrix needs to demonstrate to the attendees that a new and improved company will emerge from the tumultuous series of events over the past year.

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