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Questions remain following Citrix-TIBCO merger

Investment firms Vista Equity Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital completed the acquisition of Citrix, but questions about partnerships and potential product spinoffs remain.

Citrix Systems and TIBCO Software are officially one company.

On Friday, Vista Equity Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital completed the $16.5 billion Citrix acquisition. Immediately following the deal's close, the firms launched the Cloud Software Group that will oversee the merger of Citrix and TIBCO.

The Cloud Software Group's website provided no details on the combined company's products. Instead, it listed the management team led by CEO Tom Krause, former president of semiconductor company Broadcom.

"We are excited to create a new global leader in enterprise software, designed for scale and growth, through the combination of Citrix and TIBCO," Krauss said in a statement.

Named as general managers for Citrix and TIBCO were Sridhar Mullapudi and Matt Quinn, respectively. Mullapudi was chief product officer at Citrix, and Quinn was TIBCO's COO.

The information void on the direction of the Citrix-Tibco merger had one Citrix partner, XenTegra, on edge. XenTegra provides managed services for Citrix products, such as its desktop-as-a-service technology.

"I still have concerns that Citrix plans to sell directly to their customers above 5,000 employees, which is going to create competition with their partners and ultimately distrust," said Andy Whiteside, XenTegra president and CEO.

Whiteside was skeptical that Citrix appreciated the difference between a partner that fulfills orders and a value-added reseller that resells technology that makes the core product more helpful to customers.

"Until they do, they are creating unintended competition with their real partners," Whiteside said.

In January, Evergreen and Vista said they would acquire Citrix and combine it with TIBCO. Citrix, which has 400,000 customers and 100 million users globally, provides a digital workspace and application delivery platform. TIBCO is a data management and analytics supplier that Vista acquired in 2014 for $4.3 billion.

Citrix offers TIBCO access to a customer base more extensive than its own, analysts said. There are also synergies between both companies' products.

Citrix's security and network analytics could prove valuable to Tibco's Hyperconverged Analytics, analysts said. The latter blends data science, streaming data capture, and visual analysis in a single product that feeds the vendor's Spotfire business intelligence platform.

Vista and Elliott Investment Management -- Evergreen's parent -- considered selling one of Citrix's businesses named Wrike, Bloomberg reported this month. Citrix acquired Wrike last year for $2.25 billion.

Citrix planned to integrate Wrike's project management software into Workspace, Citrix's SaaS for delivering business applications to corporate employees.

Representatives of Citrix and the Cloud Software Group declined to be interviewed for this article. 

Antone Gonsalves is the news director for the Networking Media Group. He has deep and wide experience in tech journalism. Since the mid-1990s, he has worked for UBM's InformationWeek, TechWeb and Computer Reseller News. He has also written for Ziff Davis' PC Week, IDG's CSOonline and IBTMedia's CruxialCIO, rounding all that out by covering startups for Bloomberg News. He started his journalism career at United Press International, working as a reporter and editor in California, Texas, Kansas and Florida.

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