"We intend on fueling our innovation in the SD-WAN and cloud space"

Ravindra Kelkar, Senior Director, Enterprise & Public Sector, Citrix India, says that the experience of engaging with leading enterprises on their cloud journey is very relevant to what we are trying to achieve at Citrix

"We intend on fueling our innovation in the SD-WAN and cloud space" - CIO&Leader
The cloud adoption rate in the enterprises has been fascinating. Citrix that has primarily been a premises-based product company. Today, Citrix has quickly adopted the hybrid way of life - combining on-premise, mobile, SaaS and conversational computing, to create solutions that seamlessly work together to achieve the productivity and security desired. We spoke to Ravindra Kelkar, Senior Director, Enterprise & Public Sector, Citrix India, who shared his views on how the company intends on fuelling their innovation in the SD-WAN and cloud space as businesses continue to gain from the speed and efficiency of the technology.
 
In the past, you have held leadership positions at Tech Mahindra, Microsoft, Cisco and Novell. What experiences do you bring with you and how do you plan to use it to expand Citrix's cloud business?
 
The experience of engaging with leading enterprises in India on their cloud journey is very relevant to what we are trying to achieve at Citrix. From a system integrator stand point, my experience has given me the end to end perspective required to solve a certain problem faced by the client. 
 
Isn't it true that Citrix has focused more on the workspaces side rather than on the NetScaler and application delivery controller side? With the acquisition of Cedexis, how does that change?
 
At Citrix, we offer a wide spectrum of services and products that range from cloud, enterprise mobility, file sharing, desktop and app virtualization, and networking. All of these services work together to deliver to the customer, a secure digital workspace that allows the flexibility demanded by mobile and modern workforces, while maintaining the security and control required to keep core systems, company data and work protected.
The acquisition of Cedexis, is one of many strategic acquisitions Citrix has made over the past few years and represents an opportunity for improvements for our customers and their end users. Take for example, the complexity and speed of connecting users to their apps and to data elements over countless network paths on the internet, this current challenge faces organizations as they digitally transform their business. Citrix, together with Cedexis, can significantly improve app performance in hybrid and multi-cloud environments using Cedexis’ dynamic and programmable intelligent traffic steering technology.
 
I think it is important to note that both networking and workspace technology are equally important in today’s cloud-first world. Customers are looking to reduce complexity, and want solutions that seamlessly work together to achieve the desired productivity and security. Different organizations are progressing at differing adoption rates. Our singular principle is to securely connect people to the world’s apps and data and accelerate their cloud journey. Having said that, a prevalent concern has been of the complexity encountered with connecting apps and data over innumerable network paths on the internet. To counter this and deliver an improved solution, Cedexis was acquired, whose capability has helped us extend our ability to provide customers with deeper real-time insight into network performance. Furthermore, it has enabled intelligent traffic steering for applications in multi-cloud environments. For us, this acquisition is a reaffirmation of our commitment as an organization to strategically align to serve our customers in a multi cloud set-up.
 
Citrix leadership has spoken a lot about why SD-WAN and cloud are a match made in heaven? Can you shed some light on it?
 
We are witnessing an increasing acceptance of cloud and SD-WAN solutions. While organizations reap the benefits that these two technologies provide, they are only touching the surface; especially when we consider their vast capabilities.
 
With cloud adoption being on the rise, the general trend in the industry suggests a steady shift toward the use of multiple cloud providers to manage data. Availing services of multiple cloud providers allows an organization to comfortably and flexibly access and control their data. However, this could prove to be a challenge when the data is distributed across locations. Such a scenario requires a strong network infrastructure to organize massive amount of data that is shared and consumed across geographies. This is where SD-WAN can step in and simplify data access. 
 
An effective SD-WAN solution has the capability to tackle the hurdles in new cloud-based app consumption model while providing heightened security. Its ability to understand the network at any point of time and prioritize important applications based on business needs has the potential to prove cost and bandwidth effective. With this in the backdrop, we intend on fuelling our innovation in the SD-WAN and cloud space as businesses continue to gain from the speed and efficiency of the technology. 
 
What are some of the challenges that is making many businesses turn to SD-WAN solutions to meet the requirements of a multi-cloud world? What is your multi-cloud strategy for enterprises?
 
Organizations globally are experiencing the various benefits of cloud and slowly aligning their processes to a cloud-first IT strategy. Widespread migration of workloads to public cloud is also on the incline. This development is also validated by a report published by IDC that predicts close to 80% of workloads to be processed on cloud datacenters by the end of 2018. Similarly, increased reliance on multi-cloud solution providers also has grown because of the providers’ capability to manage data and workloads between multiple clouds, either private or public based on specific requirements.
 
However, such diverse cloud environments across geographies, remote locations, and large datacenters, require a strong network that enables flexible access to applications and organizational data.SD-WAN is a one stop solution that is being increasingly adopted by enterprises for its delivery of augmented security and intelligent prioritizing of the most important applications. 
 
We at Citrix understand that every organization differs in terms of its business needs. Therefore, our efforts are directed towards helping organizations on their cloud journey, irrespective of the stage of maturity or presence of other providers.
 
What do you feel about the success of Citrix Cloud today, and what are the next steps for the future?
 
With the emergence of new technologies, organizations globally and locally are evolving every day in terms of the way they operate. Workstyles are now more aligned to accelerate overall growth by leveraging digital solutions like Cloud. Considering the various advantages provided and its seamless alignment with the existing IT structure to ensure minimal disturbance, Cloud is truly enabling workspace transformation. 
Citrix Cloud services have seen widespread acceptance across the world with around 750K cloud delivered seats. Organizations have realized Cloud’s potential owing to delivery of flexible, fast, and seamless access to a host of work apps and data. This has effectively enabled operational efficiency and aided organizations to fast-track their digital journey. 
 
We attribute this widespread adoption of Citrix Cloud to our robust channel ecosystem. We have always maintained that our channel partners are our major growth drivers and we are grateful to them for being a part of our journey. Our intent is to work with them to help our customers in every way possible to get onto the cloud bandwagon.
 
With the digitization wave bringing with it a host of opportunities for organizations in sectors like telecom, government and BFSI, the competition to stay relevant is cut-throat. To ensure sustenance, these businesses are actively seeking adoption of cloud based solutions to simplify their operational processes and bring in flexibility. Understanding these emerging needs and providingright fit solutions at the right time is our focus for the year ahead.
 
In 2012, Citrix talked about being a cloud computing company that enables mobile work styles. Isn’t it true that Citrix is a networking company when you peel back the covers and look at the technology that the cloud and mobility run on? So in essence, which one are you?
 
Since its inception, Citrix’s focus has been on providing secure, seamless connectivity across enterprises, people, and data. Our product portfolio that includes mobility, cloud and networking solutions further strengthens this core objective. Citrix, today, is enabling enterprises of varying scale and size to accelerate their digital journey with solutions that specifically cater to their needs. In essence, our offerings cannot be contained in a specific category like mobility or networking. We stand for something much larger than that. In a nutshell, Citrix is an entity that empowers organizations and people to stay securely connected in an increasingly fragmented and dynamic work environment. 

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