If you had told me in 1993 that in the year 2006 we would be a 3000 employee company with close to $1B in revenue, I don’t think I would have believed you. I would have especially disbelieved you the week that they told us there might not be enough money to pay us that pay cycle (http://citrixblogger.org/2006/09/12/early-citrix-history/).
But, here we are and we are certainly a different company than 1993.
In this post, instead of focusing on the past, I’m going to speculate a bit on the future.
First of all, the most challenging aspect to future Citrix is its relationship with Microsoft. Either we need to learn to dance with the tiger (borrowing an old quote from the IBM/Microsoft days) or we will need to change our tactics to more directly compete with Microsoft. Companies can still thrive with Microsoft being a direct competitor, but it takes a lot more focus. So, if Citrix can deal with Microsoft effectively (either as a dance partner or as a competitor), then Citrix will continue to thrive. The idea of co-operating with Microsoft depends on Microsoft needing Citrix to do certain tasks. There is evidence of this with recent agreements but this kind of work needs to be more fully expanded and Microsoft really needs to think that it cannot fully address the multiuser market without Citrix has to offer. Since 1997, there has been erosion based on Microsoft developing their own solutions to match what Citrix has. The only way to play this game is to always stay ahead of Microsoft on feature set.
Ever since 1997, Citrix has had a bit of identity crisis. With so much core focus on producing system software for business applications, it was hard to shift gears and look at expanding our market to other areas beside ICA.
Our most recent affinity is with the Access story and the idea that we can bring a solution together that includes many pieces to make a better whole. Instead of selling you ICA, we can sell you everything that enables your access from remote sites. This includes things like VPN, Web integration, WAN optimization, and in general the concept of using appliances to solve common networking problems. A continuance of this trend would look for continued integration from end to end for the user experience. The hope is that it will become so much easier and cheaper if everything is meant to work together.
Anyways, by this point I haven’t told you much about where Citrix will be. Perhaps I have revealed that there is a pending crisis with how Citrix looks at its business.
Instead of rambling on and making this a longer post than it already is, I’ll stop and ask the question.
What do you think the future of Citrix should be?