Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What has Citrix got up its sleeve for Africa?

In July this year, the Company appointed Johnny Karam  as Vice President, Middle East and Africa (MEA). Prior to joining Citrix Karam held the position of Managing Director, Middle East and French speaking Africa at Symantec.  Based in Dubai, Karam has also worked for NavLink and Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie in Paris.

Karam is responsible for the growth and development of Citrix operation across the Middle East and Africa, generating new business opportunities and cultivating the company’s valued partner ecosystem.
“Mobile workstyles are at a tipping point in countries across MEA. The consumerisation of IT has begun to heavily influence the enterprise, driving demand for a more cost effective and flexible way of working,” he said at the time.

“There is a significant opportunity for these technologies to help businesses in the Middle East and Africa embrace flexible working, foster self-service and create more agile IT environments. The prospects open to me by joining the company were clear from the outset; Citrix leads in the enterprise mobility space.”
This week, in Johannesburg, Karam outlined the Company’s strategy to effectively meet requirements from IT organisation and end user markets.

A two-pronged approach
Central to this strategy is the provision of support to clients that want to- and have to provide a seamless working experience, access to data and reliable connectivity.

It also covers mobile and mobility, consumerisation, mobile device management and BYOD, all of which represent key influencers in IT application and service delivery.

Acknowledging that Africa is diverse, vast and unique in many respects in terms of technology adoption and requirements and that a ‘one-size fits all’ approach does not work, Karam explained that the first guideline principle is “to be close to the customer”

“Having hubs, where staff are flown in- and out of country to service customers, is not ideal,” said Karam. “So, as a guiding principle, wherever we can, wherever it makes sense, we need to be closer to the customer.”

The second principle is regardless of the investment, if the Company fails to enable the partner community – the backbone of what it does – it cannot scale and cannot service customers properly.

“At the end of the day, when you look at IT projects, they are rarely about one technology. They are usually about a solution where a certain technology plays a certain role. Granted, in certain projects, our role is about 80% or 90%, but it is very important to have a system integration approach to customers to add value. The second part of our investment is our channel,” Karam continues.

Citrix regional leadership is investing heavily in ensuring its partner network is supported and equipped to represent the Company, those who specialise in Citrix technology, to bolster service delivery.


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