Q&A: Citrix Online’s Bernardo de Albergaria on BYOD, tablet apps & telecommuting

March 22, 2013

In an interview with TabTimes, the amiable Citrix exec covered several important mobile issues including BYOD, Yahoo’s controversial ban on telecommuting and why an enterprise software vendor offers free versions of its software.

BYOD just keeps growing, how does that relate to Citrix’ portfolio?
It’s huge. We play in the BYOA (Bring Your Own Applications) space through Citrix Receiver that lets you publish desktop apps on your smartphone or tablet. Our Zenprise acquisition plays incredibly well into this. Our XenMobile offering is a full end-to-end MDM (Mobile Device Management) solution to manage the device and business apps through one service.

Is it pretty clear that a lot of the growth in tablets is happening without IT?

We do see companies where the purchase and adoption is outside of IT control. We are a great example, we’re a BYOD company, we buy our own tablets.

What we sell is the ability to make the experience much more secure. And with the new version of Sharefile you can edit and create Word or Excel files on your tablet.

What did you make of Yahoo’s edict that everyone has to work in the office and not from home?
We do not to tell Marissa (Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO) how to run her business. She has a huge challenge in front of her and everyone has a lot of respect for her in making big changes.

No one would say working remotely is better than face-to-face. We believe flexibility is appropriate for the role and the person to make your business more agile.

Is there a bottom line benefit to that approach?
Yes. For example we recruit and attract talent in places where we don’t have a physical location. It helps productivity to have that flexibility. We have a clear, results-oriented philosophy.

So despite what Yahoo is doing, you don’t see a trend away from telecommuting?
We see more companies allowing flexible work arrangements. It’s happening because of how work is managed based on results, not management just to manage, and the quality of tools that are now available.

Before you only had email and now there’s Hi Def video on any laptop or tablet for any meeting, and even the remote worker has easy access to their apps and work files and can work from anywhere.

What are you seeing in the field as far as tablet adoption?
We’re seeing an acceleration in overall adoption. We’re an access infrastructure provider, not a hardware provider, so when people use us they have tablets in place. We’re seeing the usage of mobile apps go up versus our legacy Web apps. Our mobile apps, especially on the tablet side, are growing much faster.

Any insight into how these tablets are being used …

We’re seeing an increase in the number of meetings they attend and start. Citrix GoToMeeting is the top Web conferencing app. The newer apps let people be more productive on tablets so it’s not just about consumption anymore, these are productivity devices.

We see hundreds of thousand of GoToMeeting events across devices and now you can present from the tablet not just attend.

You sell infrastructure products, but Citrix also has free versions of products like GoToMeeting, GoToMyPC, Podio and others that a lot of consumers use. Does that help you with your enterprise business?
One of our core beliefs is around simplicity, simpler is better. Our first target has been the end user, not the IT buyer. By having a direct connection to the user, we can sell to them and it lets us unlock a market overlooked by others that require licenses.

How do you see tablet use as distinct from say how professionals use notebooks?
Tablets brought innovation to the user experience with lightweight apps that are really focused on a specific task or use case. Apps designed for mobile first and touch-enabled for a specific use case changed the way people work and how they consume software. 


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