TecHR Interview with Tim Minahan, EVP and CMO at Citrix
Know My Company
What is your role and experience about the journey into technology?
I like to joke that I was in on the Cloud before the cloud was cool. In the early days, I led Marketing at Procuri, a pure Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) startup that nearly tripled in size in as many years. I was part of the leadership team that converted Ariba, an established enterprise software company, into a top-three Cloud application provider in terms of revenue, growth, and profitability. I had a hand in shaping the strategy and team for SAP Cloud. Now, I am at Citrix helping to transform our product and business to a SaaS model and power a better, smarter way for one billion people around the globe to work.
How do you see “the Talent Crisis” disrupting the technology industry?
The Talent Crisis is disrupting every industry. A recent Stripe and Harris Poll found that 61 percent of C-Suite executives view access to talent as the greatest inhibitor to their growth aspirations. Specific to technology, an IDC CIO survey found that the lack of experienced developer talent is holding many companies back from pursuing innovations such as multi-cloud strategies, Security, and Artificial Intelligence initiatives.
How does Citrix arm companies in the battle for talent?
The Talent Crisis isn’t going away anytime soon. By 2020, McKinsey & Company estimates that there will be a shortage of 95 million medium-to-high-skilled workers globally. Making matters worse, experienced workers are retiring and the talent companies do have often lacks the skills required by modern digital business.
Companies that focus on creating a world-class Employee Experience can overcome these challenges and attract and retain the people they need to make their business go. And this is where Citrix comes in.
Employees today expect work to be as simple and efficient as their personal lives. They don’t want to navigate through monolithic apps. They want to automatically get the intelligence they need to execute tasks quickly when they log in. Like grabbing an Uber or Lyft or ordering a drink from Starbucks with one click.
They don’t want to search for things. They want the insights they need to make informed decisions in a timely fashion delivered in the context of what they need to get work done. And they don’t want to have to navigate through multiple screens to execute simple tasks.
It’s called an Intelligent Workspace. And it’s what Citrix delivers. Using our solutions, companies can enable their employees to work when, where and how they want in a secure and reliable way.
They can give people flexible access to all the apps and content they need to be productive in a one, unified experience. And they can actually guide them through their days using innovative technologies such as Machine Learning alongside simplified workflows to automatically serve up tasks they need to focus on and the insights needed to get them done.
They can, in short, make work the way it should and the way their employees want it to. And in doing so, they can effectively compete in the battle for talent and win.
How did your role at SAP and Ariba, Procuri help you build a powerful vision for Citrix?
Ariba was the first enterprise application provider of scale to successfully transition into a leading Cloud company. At the time, no how-to guide existed for what it takes to transition an established software or infrastructure company to the Cloud. So we carved our own path.
We had to modify every aspect of our business – from development to go-to-market to customer support and finance. It was by no means an easy task or a guaranteed result. And not everyone was up to the challenge or committed to the vision.
We also needed to take extra care to bring our existing customer base along on the journey, demonstrating how the Cloud would speed the pace of innovation and extend the value of their existing application investments. And if that wasn’t challenging enough, we were a public company and had to guide investors who did not yet have confidence in the Cloud.
We had to recalibrate our approach more than a few times along the way. Yet we never wavered from our objective of becoming a leading Cloud applications provider. And as we began executing on our strategy and meeting our financial targets, we were rewarded both by our customers and the market, eventually selling for a greater than 11X multiple.
I think my biggest takeaway from this experience was that to be successful in any transformation, you have to persevere and keep your eye on the prize.
A year ago, we laid out a multi-year plan to transform Citrix that includes revamping our product portfolio, business model and financials. Our goal is to become the preferred way for one billion people to work globally by delivering a general-purpose digital workspace that empowers all users with unified, secure, and reliable access to all apps and content they need to be productive – anytime, anywhere.
As we execute this strategy, we’re facing a lot of the same issues that Ariba faced. But we’re also seeing similar results. In the last year, we have doubled our revenue growth rate and margins and cash-flow results are also roughly a year ahead of our original forecast. We are performing at 3X the overall market and have added more than $2 billion in market cap in the past 12 months.
How does Citrix add value to enterprises?
Companies around the world are seeing that Citrix can add a lot of value to their long-term initiatives by simplifying their IT environments enabling them to reimagine how and where work gets done and improve the Employee Experience – from one of the world’s largest online marketplaces is forgoing the traditional call center model in favor of a digitally enabled home-based workforce; to a multi-national financial services company that is enhancing Employee Experience and productivity with an open-plan office model at all its facilities saving $10 of millions of dollars in real estate costs each year in the process; and one of the country’s largest hospital networks that are using Citrix to cut the time doctors and nurses spend logging-in and keystroking data so they can spend more time with patients.
What is the current state of Cloud-based Marketing?
It’s all about experience and creating engaging at every part of the buyer journey from the initial moment of truth to post-sale adoption and success.
What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in marketing operations for 2019-2020?
Every marketing challenge can be whittled down to a mathematical equation. Whether it’s measuring customer sentiment, tracking conversions, or weighing the return on a particular campaign. Data-driven Marketing can eliminate much of the he-said/she-said friction that has historically muddied Sales and Marketing relationships. It can cut through emotional biases and drive the right course of action to reach and win the market and deliver the best results. And in the years ahead, technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will make it smarter and easier to execute.
Machines can recognize patterns and analyze things with greater speed and efficiency and automatically deliver insights and intelligence that humans can use to make more informed decisions and engage customers and prospects in the most optimal way.
Could you tell us about an outstanding digital campaign? Who was your target audience and how did you measure success?
Earlier this year we partnered with QUARTZ to build a fresh way of telling the Citrix story to an audience we had typically not catered to rising millennial leaders. We aimed to highlight our Citrix Analytics story through an experience that would both appeal to, but also build an understanding of our solutions to this tech-savvy audience. Through the QUARTZ creative team, we put this audience in the shoes of a CSO facing an industry-wide cyber-attack through a gamified experience that showcased the power of Citrix in helping identify and prevent large-scale cyber-threats.
We knew QUARTZ indexed high for rising millennial leaders and had a track record for building successful campaigns, but we also wanted a way of validating the success metrics they provided with a third party. To do this, we layered on Knotch, a digital content measurement platform that enabled us to gain real-time performance data on this QUARTZ program. Through their partnership with QUARTZ and the power of their pixel tracking and data dashboard technology, we were able to measure the success of the campaign in real-time without having to rely on or having to request reports from the QUARTZ team.
Through the creative expertise of QUARTZ, the campaign exceeded engagement benchmarks.
In a month-long period, we saw an average time on page of 1:45 seconds – 3.5X the QUARTZ benchmark of 0:46 seconds for interactive sponsor content. For social engagements, we attained 14,680 social referrals – 6X the QUARTZ benchmark of 2,406. 79 percent of traffic engaged with the game, 40 percent completed it, and 60 percent won! An outstanding performance overall, that we were then able to validate via our Knotch measurement technology. We were also able to validate that we hit our primary audience with 49 percent of the audience reach coming from ages 25 to 34 and 28 percent from 35 to 44.
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
What are you currently reading?
Subscribed by Tien Tzuo
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Always hire people smarter than you.
Thank You, Tim, for answering all our questions. We hope to see you again, soon.
Citrix is a digital workspace platform that gives employees everything they need to be productive in one unified experience while arming IT with the visibility, simplicity, and security needed to enable and control it all.
Since 1989, Citrix has made it easier for people to access the applications and content they need to do their very best work – wherever and whenever work needs to get done. Today, more than 100 million users across 400,000 organizations – including 99% of the Fortune 500 – trust Citrix to power a better way to work.
We deliver digital workspace, networking and security, and analytics technologies to help you.
Tim Minahan is the executive Vice President, Business Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Citrix, where he has a proactive role in helping to drive focused strategic initiatives and the company’s overall business strategy. In addition, he leads global marketing strategy and operations for the company’s vision of securely delivering the world’s most important apps and data to enable people and businesses to work better.
A technology industry veteran who specializes in defining new markets and positioning companies to own them, Minahan has served in a broad range of business leadership roles at leading enterprise software, cloud, and services firms. He most recently spearheaded SAP’s successful transition to the cloud as CMO of the company’s Cloud and Line of Business unit. Minahan joined SAP when the company acquired Ariba, where he was SVP of Business Network Strategy and global CMO.