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I can't think of a product in our portfolio without an Indian touch: Mark Templeton

Interview with CEO, Citrix System

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Citrix System, a virtualisation solution provider, witnessed more than 45 per cent year-on-year growth in its India business, and is betting big on emerging trends like desktop virtualisation. In an interaction with Pradeesh Chandran, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Templeton, spoke about Citrix’s plans and the growth of virtualisation in India. Edited excerpts:

You said that you believe in the theme 'Building India is building Citrix Global'. Why do you say so?
India is a strategic market for us. Building India is mainly about two things. The primary objective is to build our India business and increase our market reach here. Our India business grew more than 45 per cent last year. Secondly, the India R&D team is part of our global innovation fabric. We are a software company, and for a technology company like Citrix, innovation, invention, engineering, development and creativity are the lifeblood. Around 80 per cent of the Indian team is engaged in R&D and the rest in support functions. The R&D is an integral part of our invention and innovation fabric. I can't think of a product and technology in our portfolio without an Indian touch, whether small or large.

How much team India contributes in your product development and in R&D? Could you quantify it?
It is very difficult to quantify the contribution made by our Indian team. However, the impact made by the India team can be quantified in couple of ways. One of the major impact can be considered as the patents filed by us. Huge part of our patent portfolio in terms of application and others, begin in our Bangalore centre. Another way to quantify the India R&D is, this is our largest single R&D engineering centre in the world. Most of our products are engineered here, for example, more than half of our networking technology are invented and built in Bangalore. Some of the component of our cloud platforms, platforms, software as a service (SaaS), are built in India.

Do you think that the adoption of newer technologies like virtualisation, and cloud computing are picking steam in India?
There is a change in mindset of IT organisations. Most of them are looking for a cloud like models, which means services are on a ‘on-demand’ kind or self-services. They turn to technologies and solutions which can take the windows environment and deliver them in a cloud like manner. The cloud kind of environment provides them security, manageability, flexibility and controlability.

India business for Citrix grew above 45 per cent, could you tell us which verticals do you think will adopt virtualisation?
In 2011, we virtualised about 100,000 desktops in India. We are seeing huge change in mindset from customers across sectors like financial services, ITeS, telecom and a bit of manufacturing. This is not a 10 year old technology and the adoption of virtual desktop in India is growing. Server virtualisation is a matured category in India and many customers are doing it. We expect to do around two or three times more of the business that we have done in the last year. The penetration of desktop virtualisation across various verticals in India is only around 10 per cent. But if you look at ITeS and financial services, the penetration is very high and it will become main stream in next two years. Virtualisation is the first step for cloud computing. After virtualisation of the servers and the desktop, customers started realising the benefit of cloud computing.

Most of the employees prefer to bring their own devices to work and is creating challenges for the CIOs in the companies. Citrix also endorse this policy, do you think there is a change in the Indian CIOs for this?
I don't interact much with Indian CIOs. But in the interactions which I do, I see great evolution in understanding the benefits of desktop virtualisation, not only on the cost but some of the strategic benefit. CIOs embrace the concept of Bring Your Own (BYO) device for work.

According to a recent survey done by us, the BYO adoption is deepest in India, where, over 34 per cent of workers are using personal devices. The survey also said it will help in attracting and retaining talent and increase productivity and mobility.

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