On April 7, I attended an analyst and press event hosted by Dell about their data center announcements. It was a great event in downtown San Francisco where about 100 thought leaders showed up to hear about Dell’s investments into their technology solutions and services. I was there to talk about the Dell Desktop Virtualization Solution (DDVS) with Citrix XenDesktop that was announced on March 10.

The event kicked off with Steve Schuckenbrock, President, Dell Services who talked about why Dell was making many of the investments that they announced. Most of his comments focused on the changes we are all seeing in the ways businesses operate and thus the need to help the customers become as agile as possible, with new solutions for data management as well as data center and end user computing. He also talked about the need to be flexible in the solutions they offer. What was interesting to me was his comment about the number of customer requests for alternative hypervisor options. This led to the announcement on the three-year strategic initiative to help customers quickly deploy and manage virtualization and private cloud technologies – all with Dell and Microsoft solutions, specifically Hyper-V and System Center.

However, the most compelling part of the event to me was the conversations that I had with the press and analyst community about desktop virtualization. The key areas these folks wanted to understand was how the DDVS with Citrix XenDesktop could meet the needs of all users in an enterprise – not just your basic office-based knowledge workers. I spoke about Citrix HDX, which is our set of capabilities that delivers a “high definition” desktop virtualization user experience to end users for any application, desktop, device or network. What excited this community was the inclusion of Citrix Branch Repeater, our WAN optimization technology, as part of XenDesktop to ensure that branch office users get the same great experience as LAN/office users, an industry first.

However, most of the questions that I got were around application virtualization – both hosted and streamed. The analysts and press rightly commented that enterprises are struggling with their application management and application access. Sometimes, a full VDI deployment is the answer, but at other times, users just want local access to their applications in a more flexible, manageable way. Fortunately, while other desktop virtualization vendors offer VDI-only solutions, the DDVS with Citrix XenDesktop includes the ability to deliver users desktops and applications in a variety of ways. This means that for users that just need access to SAP, fine, IT can deliver it centrally…for others that want Microsoft Office locally streamed, IT can centrally manage the apps while still giving users offline access to their most needed applications. So, my answer to these industry thought leaders was yes…we have a solution for that.