Press Release 18 juin 2010

Gordon Smith
The Irish Times
Friday June 18th 2010

CITRIX SYSTEMS will continue to create jobs at its Irish operation, the company’s chief executive has confirmed. The software company employs 140 people at its customer technical support operations in East Point, Dublin, having added 50 jobs in the past year.

The Dublin operation plays a strategic role for Citrix, according to chief executive Mark Templeton, who visited the plant earlier this month. “The team is growing and we’re going to continue to grow it in conjunction with our overall growth,” he says.

The company intends to double its technical services business as a percentage of overall revenue. Templeton says its support organisation will have to increase between 25 and 50 per cent a year for the next three years.

“Our group here is probably above the midpoint of that range, so that means jobs: good, knowledge-driven, highly technical jobs supporting the full range of products that we have,” he says.

Unlike some of its IT peers, Citrix is not here for tax advantages – Ireland lost out to Switzerland on that front – but Ireland was chosen over the Netherlands as headquarters for the company’s EMEA technical support operation.

“We took Ireland because of the availability of young, highly educated, technical and especially multicultural talent because we support customers from throughout Europe from here,” Templeton adds.

He suggests the Government needs to focus not just on cost if it wants to keep the State competitive in attracting foreign direct investment. “You’re not going to win on a low cost of labour game. The game you have to play is a productivity, innovation and intellectual property game.”

Citrix technology delivers Windows applications to a variety of devices. Smartphones and tablet PCs like the iPad are a growing part of that mix. Citrix is ready for this trend, having already launched a Receiver app which makes a company’s business software accessible from the iPad.

The idea of accessing information anywhere leads the discussion to cloud computing, currently the focus of much IT industry hype. Templeton is more circumspect.

“Everyone is saying what they always say which is: ‘this new thing replaces everything old’. That’s never really what happens. It is revolutionary. It’s not old wine in new bottles, although there are some old ideas in this that are radically improved upon. I think that these things that get all this hype usually end up years in the making in terms of becoming a reality.”

One of the cloud concepts is the idea of being able to use computing power on demand without having to own it. Templeton calls that “a very compelling proposition” and companies are beginning to adopt this.

While some aspects of cloud computing could threaten Citrix’s business, Templeton says the company has made a strategic bet in this market.

“We have a division that builds cloud infrastructure that is used to deliver internet-based applications. In fact, all the biggest internet applications in the world are delivered by Citrix NetScaler, such as Google, Apple iTunes, Amazon. We have a huge presence there, it’s just that it’s not what we’re known for.”

While Citrix has cleared the $1 billion revenue mark and now carries a certain heft in the sector, its name comes up occasionally in acquisition rumours. Meanwhile industry figures like HP chief executive Mark Hurd are forecasting more IT sector consolidation.

The Citrix model is forward consolidation, according to Templeton. “Financially it’s more difficult because it’s dilutive to earnings . . . You do them because they’re strategically correct.”

The $500 million acquisition of XenSource gave Citrix a company with $2 million in annual revenue. However, its desktop virtualisation technology is one of key strategic pieces in Citrix’s portfolio. “One of these big players wouldn’t have looked twice at it,” he says.

Other key pieces of technology also came via acquisition: the Netscaler business and Expertcity which gave the company its online collaboration tool GoToMeeting.

Content supplied with the permission of The Irish Times Ltd.
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