Computer Science Alumus Returns to Discuss Keys to Success

Hüseyin Koçak, Professor and Chair, Department of Computer Science; Dean Leonidas Bachas, College of Arts & Sciences; Al Monserrat, as SVP of Worldwide Sales and Services at CITRIX.

So, why does someone major in Computer Science? “I wanted to build code that does something,” said alum Al Monserrat, who returned to campus recently to speak to UM students about his experiences creating his own startup and working as SVP of Worldwide Sales and Services at Citrix, an industry leader and multi-national cloud computing company that enables mobile workstyles. 

Following his graduation from the College of Arts & Sciences in 1989, Monserrat and a few friends established Innovex Group, Inc., a technology consulting firm, which found ways to connect modern front-end technology to legacy backend databases. Innovex was such a success it was acquired by Citrix within a few years.

Monserrat likened his strategy for success in entrepreneurship to a journey, with a start, middle, and end

  • The journey begins by starting with a strong foundation including a clear idea about how your business is different, and a strong team you can trust.
  • The journey continues through maintaining focus on your key competencies, awareness of your role in the market, ability to adapt, and finding the opportunities, which are not obvious.
  • The end, which can mean a variety of things including an acquisition or merger, is also critical to reward key contributors, and to accept the next step without emotional attachment.

Today, Monserrat is responsible for global sales, services, and partner organizations at Citrix. Collectively, his team delivers Citrix╩╝s market-leading cloud and networking solutions to support the mobile workstyle objectives of over 230,000 customers worldwide. Monserrat has carved out a reputation as a charismatic leader who works hand-in-hand with his team, partners and solution providers to develop sales strategies that have made Citrix an industry leader.

During the Computer Science Pizza Lecture UM computer science students not only satiated their stomachs, but also received fuel for their entrepreneurial dreams.


March 27, 2014