I am still on my trip through Pacific and I made a stop in India.
I got a chance to speak with a customer of Citrix who is using Presentation Server for a very small deployment – a typical few seats of CPS for few remote users for 1 or two applications. They are happy with the product and the functionality and now they are thinking about their application delivery strategy. This customer is a large auto financing organization based out of India that provides loans for buying cars to individuals in many countries in Asia and are also expanding into South Africa and Australia. The CIO of the company was aware of CPS; however, did not think of it as any more than a access thing And, Citrix teams are often cornered into non-strategic. Sounds familiar?
This customer is now thinking about building an application delivery strategy for their CRM and office productivity applications for their branch offices and dealers, who sit in every location in every country across Asia. These are not large cities, but small locations but still servicing thousands of customers (think about the number of people in India and China alone). As we all know, CPS definitely is an ideal solution for this environment, which is why they got interested in Citrix. The internal Citrix teams have been selling the benefits of the technology to the CIO, but with limited success.
I rarely go into the customer meetings to sell, since my role is to collect customer input (more inbound rather than outbound). But, here I am in this sales situation with the CIO where it is going to be either a go or a no-go with centralized application delivery model. After few minutes of the CIO explaining his environment and challenges to us, he asks me to give him 5 reasons why he should consider centralization of applications. (At this time my mind is trying recollect the top 5 points and prioritize them with what I learnt from him about his challenges but my passion of working with the technologies for more than 9 years took over and I walked up on the white board in the room). I start with:
1. User performance over unmanaged network and device – blah, blah, we know the story
2. Manageability – unmanaged devices means hard to install applictions locally
Up until now he was slightly warm and interested, but he had heard enough of that already. So, the third thing that I discussed was quite different:
3. Visibility Control over user experience – This is where I talked about EdgeSight (not the product but the ability to monitor end user experience). I wont go into product details as you can check it out at http://www.citrix.com/edgesight.
I was getting ready to write my fourth point on the white board, when the CIO interrupted me and he said AM SOLD I didnt beleive what I heard (due to his accent). He then started telling me his current set of challenges where his end users complain about performance and when he checks with his network team, database team, application team they all give him their reports where everything looks good or dont make sense to him. He said that this is the biggest problem for him and he was quick to understand how centralization with EdgeSight will be able to help him a great deal. He also told me that this was something that impacted his personal reputation within business and this is what he and his peers in a worldwide CIO forum complain about. He asked his team to start on the deployment ASAP and we stopped talking about the benefits any more (still had the marker in my hand).
I definitely got a great deal of gratification from hearing those words; but more importantly I learnt what CIOs need at this point of time. So for those of you like me who beleive in centralized application environment but have a hard time explaining to your CIOs or senior management within IT, you have something to tell your story.
Just an insight into all of you blog readers that we plan to offer an integrated solution with the next release of Presentation Server, where all the end user performance data collection will be integrated with ICA client and CPS. We will talk more about it at iForum next week. />
Honest confession, I dont know what I would have said for #4 and #5 points. That could be an interesting discussion in itself. If I recall, what was on my mind – I would have gone with Data Security and Easier ability to integrate new organizations (since they are growing rapidly). What do you think?