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Citrix Summit 2013: Citrix tells partners how to compete in mobility market

One Citrix Summit 2013 presentation focuses on mobile device management (MDM) and mobile app management (MAM) and competitors' strengths, weaknesses.

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- With Citrix Systems Inc. making mobility the centerpiece of Citrix Summit 2013, it only makes sense that channel partners get the lowdown on how to compete head-to-head in the mobility market, or how to sell more of what they're already selling.

Addressing an audience of about 75 channel partners at a breakout session on Day 2 of the Citrix Summit 2013 here, Chandra Sekar, director of product marketing at Citrix, talked about the major players in mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM), their strengths and weaknesses, how to crush the competition in the enterprise mobility battle and why it’s all worth a partner’s time.

For starters, the mobility market is estimated to reach $6 billion by 2015, and is the No. 2 technology priority for CIOs in 2013, according to Gartner, said Sekar, who provided a competitive framework for Citrix channel partners to use when talking to customers. He also presented a handful of use cases highlighting how and why mobility is becoming strategic at a variety of businesses as diverse as finance, healthcare, government and restaurants. The drivers for mobility, he said, are as unique to the individual cases, such as:

  • the distribution of bills in the UK Parliament, with a requirement for version control of documents
  • data leakage protection and security to wipe out the data on the corporate-issued devices
  • healthcare delivery at the Cleveland Clinic using mobile devices to deliver a concussion app for triage in the field that syncs to the hospital's emergency room and for remote patient consultations
  • iPads issued to kitchen staff and managers by Red Robin restaurants in its U.S. locations, with the goal to turn around tables faster and to deliver training videos to staff
  • a BYOD solution for Credit Suisse for 30,000 mobile users, including secure email, secure intranet access and a unified application store with upward of 500 apps

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“In many of these cases, the conversation starts in a very limited scope of what mobility can do for the organization, and very quickly these companies realize that there are a lot more operational efficiencies that they can achieve and customer services they can provide,” said Sekar.

For Citrix channel partners, the takeaway message is that they have the complete breadth of solutions to sell: from device management; secure email, apps and data; network control, single sign-on and identity management across different applications; and mobile collaboration tools. That’s a 180-degree turn from competitors such as Airwatch LLC, Mobile Iron and Good Technology, which primarily sell point solutions and compete on features, not end-to-end value, said Sekar.

Will Gustafson, marketing director at Accelera Solutions, a virtualization solutions provider and Citrix Platinum Partner based in Falls Church, Va.,  said he is in the early stages of conversations about mobility with customers. He said that his company is in lockstep with Citrix on mobility and in its virtualization practice.

“Understanding how to compete in MDM is critical to our success,” said Gustafson, who noted that Accelera has been a Citrix partner for 11 years and is a multiple-time Citrix Partner of the Year winner. The solution provider was also a Zenprise partner before that company was acquired by Citrix, which he said was great move.

Sekar also identified for partners the customer segment where they’re likely to have the best chance for success in the immediate future: companies with 750 to 1,000 employees who already have a strong relationship with Citrix products such as XenApp, XenMobile or NetScaler. Sekar said that this segment represents 75,000 Citrix accounts. They’ve deployed Citrix as an IT strategy and are having conversations about enterprise mobility management or are in the process of conducting pilots, he said.

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