Citrix Gears Up for Big 2014 with Acquisition, New Products
By Jennifer LeClaire / CIO Today. Updated January 16, 2014.
Citrix isn't wasting any time driving toward its mission in 2014. The company has made strategic promotions, rolled out new products and made an acquisition it hopes positions it to take more market share this year.
For starters, the cloud company just acquired Framehawk. The Framehawk solution, which optimizes the delivery of virtual desktops and applications to mobile devices, will be combined with HDX technology in the Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop products to improve the user experience under adverse network conditions.
With the increase in mobile users adopting tablets and smartphones, Citrix sees it as critical to ensure a rich virtual application and desktop user experience on Wi-Fi and cellular networks where quality may be intermittent or poor due to congestion, high packet loss and high latency. Citrix understands that these mobile workers need anywhere, anytime access to their business resources with a user experience that is equal to what they have in the office.
"With enterprises increasingly enabling mobility for their employees, the ability to deliver apps and desktops with the best user experience to any of the billions of devices on the market is of paramount importance," said Sudhakar Ramakrishna, senior vice president and general manager of Citrix's Enterprise and Service Provider division. "As a company, we are focused on delivering the best user experience on any device, over any network."
Focusing on Mac Users
Citrix rolled out DesktopPlayer for Mac, a client virtualization solution that extends the benefits of the Citrix XenDesktop solution to mobile MacBook users. DesktopPlayer gives users the ability to work on their Windows virtual desktops in any network scenario -- including over low-quality connections, congested Wi-Fi hotspots, and even when no connection is available.
According to Citrix, using DesktopPlayer with XenDesktop makes it possible for users to switch between local and hosted virtual desktops with ongoing synchronization of personal profiles and data. This, the company said, allows users to work on their MacBook laptop, then seamlessly switch to any other device to access their cloud-hosted virtual desktop. It's all part of Citrix's commitment to the "bring your own device" trend.
According to Forrester Research, the growth of BYOD is expected across many personal devices including tablets and laptops. Forrester expects sales of new laptops used for BYOD will grow from over 5 million in 2014 to more than 7 million by 2016, significantly expanding the number of BYOD laptops already in use within enterprises.
By 2016, Forrester expects the number of employees using their own laptop or tablet to double, significantly expanding the number of such laptops already in use within enterprises. A recent Citrix survey found that enterprises expect the presence of BYOD MacBooks will grow from 5 percent of their employee base today to 16 percent by 2016.
Citrix also announced that its NetScaler platform is now Vblock Ready certified, delivering key functionality to VCE Vblock Systems. Citrix, also now a member of the VCE Technology Alliance Partner program, is working with VCE to give customers the ability to seamlessly incorporate the NetScaler platform into VCE Vblock System deployments.
"Enterprises adopting private and public cloud require an application-delivery infrastructure that is dynamic, responsive, and inherently service oriented," said Rohit Mehra, vice president of Network Infrastructure at IDC. "With the integration of Citrix NetScaler into VCE's Vblock, customers get a pre-integrated ADC solution that seamlessly delivers cloud-centric elasticity and scalability while dramatically simplifying the deployment process."
Finally, Citrix appointed Rakesh Narasimhan as group vice president and general manager. In this role, he will drive strategy for the company's desktop and application virtualization business with responsibility for a broad portfolio of products including Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix XenApp.
A seasoned tech and business leader, Narasimhan brings more than 25 years of software industry experience to Citrix. Narasimhan spent 15 years at Microsoft serving as general manager for several business lines in the Server and Tools division covering Microsoft Azure, SQL Server, Windows Server, Windows Client, virtualization, storage, data protection and security products.
"The appointment of Rakesh Narasimhan brings real industry strength to the Citrix team," said Ramakrishna. "Narasimhan has a deep understanding of technical strategy and a wealth of experience leading and transforming large global product teams in high-scale businesses. He is a perfect fit, and I look forward to working with him in what is a key focus area for the company."