Broadly, BusinessDictionary.com defines customer centric as:

“An approach to doing business in which a company focuses on creating a positive consumer experience at the point of sale and post-sale. A customer-centric approach can add value to a company by differentiating themselves from competitors who do not offer the same experience.” 

Clearly this is a “big tent” definition with lots of nuances that can be pursued- from demand generation to post-sale support and services.  

Here at Citrix, the teams across the globe are in a constant state of conversation with our customers. On the XenServer side, we wrapped up our latest round of these conversations in August and were both heartened and, frankly, a little surprised by what XenServer customers had to say.   

Overall, we are very happy to hear that of those who had downloaded and installed free XenServer, over 90% ranked it as good or better then alternative platforms. Additionally, 97% of the 2000 organizations to which we talked said they would recommend XenServer to a peer. This is great news as it validates all the development work that has gone into the project, but also shows Citrix is poised to continue disrupting the datacenter. To me, in a nutshell, customers are saying XenServer has not only reached parity but as a result they plan to pull back on their VMware investment strategy

In terms of the surprises, the biggest one by far was that nearly half of those we spoke with said they chose XenServer specifically because it an open platform.  Upon reflection, this should not have come as a big surprise given that companies like Accenture have been reporting a marked rise in the acceptance of open source in the enterprise.  Also, Citrix partners like Egenera are demonstrating that openness and simplicity do co-exist and XenServer customers, including companies like Rackspace, Tesco, TomTom, had already told us that openness of the platform is top criteria that drives their investment decisions. I guess what surprised me was how broadly these views are held – companies from all over the globe and of all shapes and sizes participate 

So…for those who love openness, want to avoid lock in and, perhaps most importantly, are preparing to capitalize on cloud computing, today’s XenServer and cloud announcement is for you.   

This announcement provides tangible evidence and roadmap for how Citrix is furthering its leadership in cloud computing by embracing openness.  Specifically by openness in the platform (with XenServer), in the fabric (with an open virtual switch) and in the management layer with open lifecycle automation (via the VMlogix acquisition and the incorporation of OpenStack), customers can be assured that is Citrix is committed to provide choice – while avoiding lock-in.   

And ultimately, it is this ability to avoid lock-in that will not only drive the migration from on-premise datacenters, but also unlock the economic potential of cloud.