Ireland grows ahead of the curve for Citrix


4 May 2006

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Citrix, the provider of access infrastructure software, grew by 50pc in Ireland last year and total sales have tripled over the past four years, the company said yesterday. Worldwide the company is forecast to clear the US$1bn revenue mark this year.

Irish customers include the Health Service Executive, Meath Co Council, Bon Secours Hospital, the Irish Prison Service and the Law Library. According to Christopher O’Toole, Irish sales manager for Citrix, the pharmaceutical, education and legal sectors are also emerging markets for the company in Ireland.

The company established an Irish operation in Dublin in 1999 and now 90 employees — some 12pc of its total Europe, Middle East and Africa workforce — are employed there at a support centre. Citrix is in the process of recruiting a further five people to the centre this year. On the sales side, the company sells entirely through a network of 30 resellers and IT providers around Ireland, with a local sales team supporting them but not selling directly to customers.

“Ireland is a real growth market for us and is continuing to grow more quickly percentage-wise than the rest of the market,” said Richard Jackson, who was recently installed as managing director for Ireland, the UK and South Africa. Sales growth here was 50pc last year whereas worldwide growth was 23pc. In particular, 20pc of the Citrix Ireland business was based around a suite of products rather than an individual software package — much higher than the 9pc average seen throughout the rest of the company’s markets.

Citrix products have traditionally been pitched at large enterprises but last year the company launched Citrix Access Essentials, which is suitable for organisations of 75 employees or less. “We’re getting a lot of customers that weren’t traditional Citrix customers,” said Jackson.

According to Jackson, Citrix has historically been perceived as providing ‘thin client’ or ‘server-based computing’ solutions. Now companies are increasingly mixing the kinds of applications that they use as well as the way that they use them — locally on the desktop, remotely from a server, via a web browser or some combination of all three — and Citrix has adjusted its product line to suit this. “We want to be seen as a strategic business solution. As soon as you start saying ‘access’, everybody gets it,” said Jackson. “If the access is right, then it doesn’t matter what’s at the back end; the main thing is helping people to get access to information.”

By Gordon Smith