Citrix: Bolstering Market Leadership with APIs
Citrix is a leader in mobile workspaces, providing virtualization, mobility management, networking, and cloud services to enable new ways to work better. With 2013 revenue of $2.9 billion, Citrix solutions are in use at more than 330,000 organizations and by more than 100 million users globally.
Challenges & Opportunities
In a world transformed by digital technology, companies with easy-to-integrate products can better compete. Like many other mature SaaS companies, Citrix grappled with unanticipated new competitors offering products purpose-built as open platforms. With a product stack built before the API age, Citrix had to find a way to make its products ready for the vast opportunities of the new digital market.
“Becoming digitally savvy is not a choice anymore, it’s a business imperative and core initiative for Citrix,” says Landry Chouambe, product development manager at Citrix. “We have to move faster, scale faster, and extend to a broader audience to keep our market-leading position.”
To encourage product integration, Citrix needed to expose its internal assets by opening up key APIs. Building and exposing first-class APIs became an important corporate focus for Citrix, but managing and scaling their external API program was a challenge. “We realized that we cannot build everything in-house and support the growth we need to lead the market and innovate,” Chouambe adds.
After an in-depth cost versus benefits evaluation, Citrix decided to partner with Apigee in order to build a world-class API program and enable developers to leverage Citrix APIs by building on them to support changing customer needs.
Citrix exposed five key product APIs through the Apigee API management platform: GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, GoToTraining, GoToAssist, and GoToAssist Corporate. With the externalization of their APIs, Citrix faced the new challenge of providing stable, high-quality APIs that, unlike internal APIs, cannot be changed freely.
To fully leverage the capabilities of their API program and to stay agile in the market, Citrix built a dedicated SaaS API team with a digital mindset, tasked with creating innovative applications like the popular Google Calendar-GoToMeeting plugin that allows Google Chrome users to schedule meetings directly from their Gmail accounts. The Google Calendar-GTM application launched in early 2014 and within eight months became the application with the highest traffic using the GoToMeeting API.
While the Citrix API program is still fairly new, the company has already started to see results. Through APIs, Citrix discovered a new revenue channel that enables it to sell more licenses. Partners like Hubspot and Marketo can now easily integrate Citrix products into their marketing solutions. Because of the deep product integration, these strategic partnerships also enhance customer retention.
As part of their new API focus, Citrix is planning to take its developer partner program to the next level. The company is planning a Partner Marketplace that promotes existing partners and Citrix APIs, and provides regular updates to its growing 7,000+-member developer community.
While today Citrix only offers its product APIs as external assets, the API team also plans to expose key GoToMeeting services running in the background, like screen sharing, chat, and video to enable developers to build Citrix-like products on the company’s APIs. On the strategy front, Citrix will continue to raise awareness internally to align their API initiative with core company strategies.
- Make products ready for the vast opportunities of new digital market
- Move faster, scale faster, and extend to a broader audience
- Enable developers to leverage Citrix APIs by building on them to support changing customer needs
- Discover new revenue channel enabling Citrix to sell more licenses
- Enhance customer retention with deep integration of strategic partners' products
- Build a partner marketplace that promotes existing partners and Citrix APIs