Q&A: Citrix CEO Mark Templeton hints at what's to come

Citrix will bring the Internet of Things to many of its enterprise products, the company’s chief executive says.

Longtime Citrix President and CEO Mark Templeton has been integral in shaping the company's culture and technology strategies -- strategies that have undergone a number of reinventions during his 17 years at the helm.

Templeton spoke with TechTarget ahead of the Citrix Synergy conference next month to discuss his ongoing role as CEO, the next technology wave and much more. In this excerpt of the full interview, which will be available in the Modern Mobility e-zine on May 12 and via podcast, he hints at what's to come during the confab, including how Citrix Workspace Services and apps give IT a way to deliver a Netflix-like experience.

Citrix has made some interesting acquisitions over the past year, specifically Octoblu, the Internet of Things (IoT)-related machine to machine networking company. Can you describe your plans around that technology?

Mark Templeton: Octoblu falls generally in the IoT space but we think of it as the "integration of everything."

In the marketplace, in terms of technology, we expect there will be quite a few of these types of things out there and no one will have an IoT platform that will dominate the industry; it won't turn out that way. The way it will turn out is the IoT platforms that are open and collaborative will be able to interoperate. Our goal is to use Octoblu and our integration of everything platform to connect all of our products and third-party products, whether hardware or software, with people, so that we can enable a smarter workplace.

So Octoblu will integrate with Citrix Workspace Services?

Templeton: Yes, it absolutely will, and the way it will do that is first, it will run in our Workspace Cloud, which is the control plane for building and managing WorkSpace Services.

That service allows you to connect a variety of applications and devices and define task flows, workflows and functional flows that make for a more productive and smarter workplace. For example, the intelligence in there allows you to put an iBeacon in a conference room so when people arrive, the online meeting starts automatically, and it lights up everyone's tablet, laptop and the screen in the room; immediately people can collaborate without having to set up the meeting infrastructure. With that we can also automate transcription, sharing transcripts automatically after the meeting -- and this is just one example of what Octoblu can enable.

We expect our integration partners -- whether they are solution advisors, network, SI partners or our most sophisticated customers and service providers -- will take advantage of the platform along with integrations with tools like iBeacon and other devices that can trigger various events and allow people to focus on the task at hand, rather than on the technology to do the task.

What about the acquisition of Virtual (a company that makes an ARM-based hypervisor for mobile apps). Will we hear more about that at Synergy?

We will enable [IT pros] with a Netflix-like infrastructure, and enable them with House of Cards-like content.
Mark TempletonCEO and President of Citrix

Templeton: You'll see evidence of that. From a technology point of view it won't be visible, but from a talent point of view it will. Some of the tech in Virtual was and is being incorporated into various other products. That team is quite amazing and talented, and I'll leave it at that and let you enjoy the surprises when we unveil them in May.

Can you tell us what you are most excited about us seeing at Synergy?

Templeton: I'm most excited for people to see how all of these years of working hard to bring the pieces together are now paying off.

We want to enable IT organizations to be service providers and hold themselves up to the service providers we love, whether it is the entertainment service providers like Comcast or DirectTV, or like iTunes or Netflix -- these are the role models for the new IT, where the focus is on distribution of compelling content, and the content is a combination of documents, video and apps.

I am pretty excited about showing customers how easy it is going to be to bring it all together using the Workspace Cloud. We will enable them with Netflix-like infrastructure, and enable them with House of Cards-like content. Our House of Cards-like content would be all of our mobility apps -- Go To Meeting, ShareFile, WorxMail -- you'll see we will have a great line-up of content that is part of the infrastructure … including content you can get only on Citrix delivery channel.

Bridget Botelho is the Senior News Director of TechTarget’s Data Center and Virtualization and End User Computing Media Groups. She can be reached at [email protected]

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