Delivering a virtual practice

Delivering a virtual practice

As the national practice manager for Citrix at S Central, Craig Stones has the responsibility over a substantial part of the services provider’s business. He speaks to ARN about dealing with the market challenges, and using technology at home.

What was your first job?

My first job was as an apprentice for Honeywell, which involved basically implementing security systems, alarms and working in the electronics field.

How did you end up the IT industry?

I was working with RMIT, which is one of the major universities in Melbourne, where I was looking after all their satellite communication gear. Our department split into two, with computer systems being one of those two, and I put my hand up to jump into IT. However, even as a radio trades apprentice for Honeywell, I was doing IT services in the background, so I’ve always been involved in IT in some way.

And how did you progress to where you are today?

From there, I moved into specialising in NetWare, Microsoft and Citrix. I saw Citrix in the old metaframe days, as a developing technology that was going places, and I basically ran with that 20 years ago.

What was the appeal?

For me, it’s the ability to give users easy access to their applications. Everything is becoming more and more distributed with remote offices and remote networking, and it’s all about creating solutions that deliver applications and important data to those users.

What is the biggest achievement in your career?

Probably the main one is setting up the Citrix practices in the last three jobs I’ve been at. In particular, I’m very proud of setting up the Citrix practice while working at S Central and building it so we’re now one of the largest Citrix resellers in the country, and have won a number of awards.

What percentage of S Central’s business is now Citrix?

It’s one of the major players at S Central. Our company is broken up into three areas – application delivery, unified communications and data management – and Citrix is a main focus.

What are some of the challenges for Citrix at the moment?

Competition with VMware – there’s more and more competition coming now. However, Citrix has diversified its product range, which has made it easier to drive into customers. Whether it’s over the Internet, WAN, LAN, it’s all about that application to that user and we can offer solutions around that.

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