Citrix Systems, Inc. provides business software to more than 230,000 organizations across the globe. The Florida-based company's extensive range of products includes desktop virtualizers, professional file sharing, and a password manager. While most of Citrix's software operates behind the scenes, the firm produces and markets such consumer-facing programs as GoToMeeting and GoToMyPC.
Citrix's marketing team had outgrown its old web platform. For about 7 years, all Citrix product websites followed rigid templates. Building any customization beyond text and images could take weeks to process as the marketing team sent requests to the development team, who would then hand code the changes. The arrangement rendered last-minute alterations difficult or impossible and sometimes resulted in product launch delays. As the web has grown more rich, fast-paced, and socially focused, Citrix's marketing team needed a more agile and flexible website-building tool.
Vendor of Choice: Adobe Systems
Adobe Systems, Inc. creates a wide array of creativity products aimed at professionals and consumers alike. To address its web platform challenge, the Citrix marketing team sought Adobe Experience Manager. The web design software package offers a modular approach, including a growing, user-defined toolbox, author management, and drag-and-drop layout changes. Additionally, the suite offers native tools for building mobile and social media experiences as well as handling and optimizing video and other rich media content.
THE PROBLEM IN-DEPTH
Citrix offers a constantly evolving slate of business software, and the company's marketing team needed better, more flexible, and more agile control over the websites for those new products. In the mid-2000s, says Diane Kalmanowicz, Citrix's senior director of web marketing, the company installed a rigid, templated system for building new websites that resulted in most Citrix sites looking like most other Citrix sites.
"The tool that we had before, it was very templated. The experience from one page to the next was very similar," Kalmanowicz says. "Several years ago, that was great." But both Citrix and the broader internet had outgrown that approach. Modern users engage with the web through social media and rich content such as video and large images. Changing a new site's layout to integrate those kinds of elements, Kalmanowicz says, required that the marketing team send its request to the development team, which would then hand code the changes. The process usually took 2 weeks, and that timeline could result in delayed product launches or incomplete product websites at launch.
"We have our big annual events," Kalmanowicz says. "Just as everybody else does, we're preparing until the last minute to really get our messaging right."
Just a year ago, Kalmanowicz's team would need that content "buttoned up" well in advance of a new product launch. She says her team sought a tool that would offer more flexibility, agility, and autonomy; she no longer wanted to run every change through the development department. And she wanted to be able to make necessary changes on the eve of big annual events. At first, she says, her team planned to customize an open source tool, but the department decided it was a marketing unit, not a software development unit.
(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.)