Opinion

What to expect from Citrix Synergy 2019

With concerns mounting, the digital workspace company has no choice but to dazzle in Atlanta

If you were to ask me exactly one year go what shape Citrix was in, I'd have answered 'promising' at the least. Towards the end of last year's Synergy conference, analysts noted the cloud computing firm had managed to unify its family of products and business strategy to the point it could really attack the market.

But what a difference a year makes. Since then, Citrix's share price has fallen and revenues have disappointed, especially when compared to the success of rival firms like VMWare and F5 Networks.

Then there's the small matter of the massive 6TB data breach the company sustained earlier this year - catastrophic for a company that frequently stresses the importance of security at each conference.

All of this taken together means, in contrast to its outlook 12 months ago, the company finds itself with a point to prove going into its annual Synergy conference, hosted this year in Atlanta, Georgia. We'll be especially keen to see whether Citrix addresses the data breach head on, or leaves it to mutate into the proverbial elephant haunting every room we float between over the next few days.

But gloom aside, Citrix has a chance to show off its new-look product portfolio after undergoing a major rebrand last year, and we'll be keen to check in on how its cloud business is performing. Citrix Cloud has been growing gradually, and now accounts for a bigger slice of its business than the same time last year. But we'll find out whether its adoption rate is growing fast enough for the firm's own liking.

We should also hear a little more on Citrix's work with Microsoft in the form of Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) hosted on Microsoft Azure. The two companies went into this a little at Microsoft's flagship Ignite conference in March, but ahead of its official release later this year, we're hoping for a few more details next week.

Elsewhere, we will be chatting with a Sapho executive following its acquisition by Citrix for $200 million. We're hoping to grasp some more details about their relationship in the coming months, and how Sapho's employee portal will integrate into Citrix's flagship products, namely the likes of Citrix Workspace.

Finally, with the General Data Protection Regulation's (GDPR) one-year anniversary landing that same week - it'd be good to get some perspectives from Citrix customers based in the UK and Europe, as well as figures from within the company itself on how the regulations have changed their businesses and approach to data protection.

In 2018 Citrix executives outlined a vision for the 'future of work' - a term that essentially comprised an amalgamation of products we've seen knocking around in some capacity as far back as 2014. Next week we will discover whether there's any substance to this vision, or if it's just a nifty turn-of-phrase.

I'll be live-tweeting the events and covering the latest news from Citrix Synergy 2019 for both Cloud Pro and our sister site IT Pro next week between 21 - 24 May.

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