Citrix: A Case of Agile Sites

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Jun 12, 2013


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THE SOLUTION

After investigating Adobe Experience Manager, she decided that the "out-of-the-box" software package did everything that her in-house open source solution would have done. And it saved Citrix from unnecessary internal development.

To implement the new framework, she says, Adobe and Citrix in 2012 created a hybrid team that worked in a shared physical office space. The old-school dynamic confused people at first, Kalmanowicz says, but the colocation erased the need for constant emails between team members. The team began with a "road map" for implementing the new system, which included specific dates by which certain tasks should be completed.

"This implementation basically played out to the T of how we planned it, and that was pretty shocking to me," Kalmanowicz says. "I'm telling you, it played out to the day-which never happens. I think that speaks to the ease of implementation of the actual solution."

Loni Stark, director of product, solution, and industry marketing at Adobe, says that implementation flowed so well for Citrix in part because Kalmanowicz and her team "didn't look at their project as just a technology exercise."

"They came in knowing what they needed from a goals perspective," Stark says. "Their organization was put in place to build brand awareness for Citrix and drive demand to their website."

THE OUTCOME

In November 2012, Kalmanowicz's team gave Experience Manager prime-time play when it debuted the newly revamped Citrix.com. Since then, she says, her team has published several other sites built with the platform, and she has a road map to migrate all of the company's properties to Experience Manager by the end of 2013.

Her product sites reach a launch-ready state faster, Kalmanowicz says, and any member of her team can work on any given site. Stark says Experience Manager can support hundreds of authors, which prevents production bottlenecks. Enabled by Adobe, Kalmanowicz says, a single marketer can build a new website in a day using a WYSIWYG editor. The program lets marketers drag and drop elements to alter page layouts any way they like.

"Click, click, click, it's done," Kalmanowicz says. "And before it was heavy coding."

That capability cuts out the 2-week process that used to run through the development team. Building new modules, she says, can still sometimes require help from development, but those mini-projects are more robust and enduring. Any time the development team creates a new module, it joins others in a toolbox of existing options. If another site 3 months later calls for a particular video plug-in that's already been developed, the marketer working on the project can pull it in without contacting development. As an additional benefit, pages can be crafted to pipe information from a central location. If a price changes, Kalmanowicz says, the marketing team need only change that price in one location and it will change on all relevant sites. This not only increases consistency across Citrix sites, it also cuts down on the time Kalmanowicz's team spends dealing with nitty-gritty details.

"We've seen a 300% increase in productivity," Kalmanowicz says. "It allows the business to spend more time on planning and strategy and less time on production and execution."

Stark says that the system also offers benefits that Kalmanowicz and her team won't notice directly. Experience Manager, she says, automatically optimizes content for different platforms and connection speeds. Images will render at full size and resolution when a user loads a site from their broadband-connected desktop. If they load the same website using their iPhone over a slow Wi-Fi connection at an airport, Experience Manager dynamically shrinks that image to prevent long loading times. The platform treats video in a similar fashion, Stark says. Any video needs to be uploaded just once. Experience Manager will render the clip down to smaller sizes and lower resolutions to fit any screen size and connection speed.

Additionally, Stark says, the newly updated Experience Manager allows marketing teams to edit mobile versions of the sites on mobile devices. "It's hard to develop for mobile when you're on a desktop," she says.

Stark says the same framework has worked for companies as diverse as Hyatt Corp., NASCAR, and General Motors, and Kalmanowicz plans for it to work more broadly for Citrix.

Now that Experience Manager has proven its worth with Citrix.com, Kalmanowicz says the company will migrate its online services and property division to the platform. By the end of the year, she says, she expects to manage all of Citrix's customer-facing sites with the software suite.  

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.)

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