Citrix pushes design thinking to supercharge its channel

Citrix pushes design thinking to supercharge its channel

Citrix's A/NZ channel director Brian McColm outlines four broad partner opportunities

Brian McColm (Citrix)

Brian McColm (Citrix)

Credit: Supplied

With its share price near all-time highs, Citrix Systems is proving to be one of the most resilient vendors in the era of Covid-19.

It is also a very channel focused business, which is urging its partners to think differently about the way they engage with customers.

Brian McColm, Citrix’s director of channels for the Australia and New Zealand, told Reseller News last month he was working with the channel on differentiation through applying "design thinking", a set of methodologies and techniques that emerged in the 1960s and gained widespread adoption from the 1980s.

"If everybody is doing the same thing, it comes down to a price conversations so we are working with partners on differentiation," he said.

Opportunities for partners include the remote workspace technology Citrix is most famous for but also building template and flow-driven micro apps to increase productivity, applying workspace intelligence and working with customers on how to use the technology. 

User centred design thinking has been a big part of Citrix's mantra for a decade, a period in which the company has gone from being perceived as under threat to an industry standout. 

In a 2015 interview with McKinsey, Citrix senior VP of customer experience Catherine Courage said traditionally, many of the company's product organisations would start with a problem and then -- based on intuition about what our customers want -- race toward a solution. 

"Today, they actively engage customers along the way, with an iterative process of failing and learning fast as part of the journey," she said. 

"Getting to this point has required big process changes and a new mind-set across the company."

Citrix's embrace of design thinking neatly coincided with a business and perception turnaround that has lifted the company's share price from around US$35 in 2010 to push past US$150 this week (see chart below).

Credit: Google

Over the same decade, revenue increased from US$1.9 billion to over US$3 billion.

That period also marks Citrix's transition from being a 30-year provider of desktop virtualisation technology on perpetual licences to the cloud and a subscription model.

McColm, who spent twenty years at Cisco before moving to Citrix in mid-2017, said design thinking is an opportunity for partners to engage and ask questions about what their customers use and how they use it and then to find ways to improve that and add value.

It is also an opportunity to clearly define their value propositions and the technology they can bring to bear on customer challenges.

Read more on the next page...

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