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This article is part of our Conference Coverage: Citrix Synergy 2018 conference coverage

Citrix Cloud services, CEO stability key to future success

Citrix's cloud-first approach drew mixed reactions from attendees at the annual Synergy conference, some of whom have concerns about cost and licensing.

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Citrix is a very different company today than it was a few years ago.

Although still known primarily for its desktop and application delivery technologies, the vendor has undergone a disruptive transformation as it repositions itself around Citrix Cloud services and security. Those disruptions included major layoffs and heavy executive turnover; CEO David Henshall, who took over the job last July, is the fourth person in that role since 2015.

David Henshall, Citrix CEODavid Henshall

Attendees at Synergy, the company's annual user conference, weighed in on the push for more Citrix Cloud services, Henshall's tenure so far and what the future holds.

Spencer Brook, global VDI service manager, Schlumberger

"Obviously, they're going very hard on Citrix Cloud. Anything new that's coming out is Citrix Cloud. I want to go to Citrix Cloud, but the concern I have is cost. It's going to be a subscription model and it's going to cost more in concurrent user licenses then we [pay] now.

"I'd love to have my control plane in the Citrix Cloud. It all depends on how much it costs." 

Andrew Hewitt, analyst, Forrester Research

"With David now in charge, they have a very strong leader who's had a lot of experience working with Citrix. He's very focused on driving three pillars: [unified endpoint management] support for different types of devices, more focus on end-user experience and ... more use case-driven examples for security analytics.

My sense is that a lot of the change happened last year, and now they're turning the corner.
Andrew Hewittanalyst, Forrester Research

"They're laser-focused on really executing this year and really hitting those key messaging scenarios. My sense is that a lot of the change happened last year, and now they're turning the corner."

Eric Gilliland, systems engineer, Great Dane 

"Citrix is very cloud-heavy nowadays, so it's a little annoying because they obviously want you to go to the cloud. But I'd be willing to bet that very few customers are in the cloud.

"It makes sense for a smaller company that doesn't have dedicated staff. It's just easy. But it's more revenue for Citrix, too, so it's in their best interest to do it.

"I will say they're innovative. They're always doing something or other. They're not just sitting on the sidelines."

Adam Johnson, VDI engineer, federal government organization 

"The cloud strategy is what we're seeing our management team push for, as well. There definitely seems to be a push for us to get rid of the data center. So Citrix is in alignment with that.

"They're starting to integrate with a lot of cloud providers and not just their own. They're trying to be cloud-agnostic."

Jack Gold, analyst, J. Gold Associates

"The ability to get work done on whatever device I have in a secure way is very advantageous. I very much think they're on the right path. It's an integrated approach.

"Citrix has gotten away from being a components supplier to a solutions provider. Instead of selling you the piece parts and saying, 'OK, go do it yourself,' they're saying, 'Here's the full solution. I'm trying to do as much as I can for you.' There's a real advantage to that, because a lot of companies can't do it themselves."

Reporting by Erica Mixon, Eddie Lockhart and Alyssa Provazza.

This was last published in May 2018

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