A little more than a year ago, we started our alliance with Cisco in response to customer requests. We focused on how Citrix XenDesktop could leverage the unique capabilities of Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) to deliver solutions that would enable customers to accelerate large-scale desktop virtualization deployments. The results of this collaboration were well accepted by customers and channel partners around the globe.

Today, we are announcing that our alliance with Cisco has reached a new milestone. We have signed a multi-year strategic alliance to drive technology innovation, solution integration and go-to-market activities on a global basis.  This milestone has been reached because both companies believe in partnering to deliver compelling customer value.  As the leader of our alliances organization I am really excited about this because it is a true testament to the synergies that are realized when industry leaders combine forces to meet the evolving needs of our mutual customers. Continuing to build on feedback from customers,  we will extend our collaboration to innovate across a range of technology areas, including datacenter, networking, devices, multimedia and cloud.

To start, we’ll focus on 4 key areas:

1. ENABLING THE CISCO NETWORK FOR CITRIX HDX TRAFFIC. Enabling the global leader in networking to recognize and optimize the traffic from the industry leader in application and desktop virtualization can only lead to good things. For example, Cisco is delivering a new release of Cisco Wide Area Application Services™ (WAAS) optimized for Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix HDX technology to further enhance the performance of virtual desktops and apps over the WAN.  This gives customers more options for the delivery of XenDesktop and will further enhance the performance of virtual desktops and applications over Cisco networking infrastructure (see related announcement).

2. IMPROVED CITRIX RECEIVER INTEGRATIONS INTO CISCO RICH MEDIA DEVICES AND END POINTS. Cisco and Citrix are working to integrate Citrix Receiver across the range of Cisco rich media end points.  This will ensure that all Cisco endpoint devices, including the enterprise-class Cisco Cius, ship from day-one with Citrix Receiver embedded or available for download. This enables users access to the desktop, application and collaboration solutions that they need to get their jobs done right out of the box.

3. CREATING DATACENTER SUCCESS WITH CISCO UCS, CITRIX XENDESKTOP AND XENSERVER. Building on the success we have enjoyed in a year-long partnership, the companies will continue to combine our leading data center technologies to deliver optimized, validated and tested solutions combining Cisco UCS with Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix XenServer. This will ensure we can deliver the scalability, performance and cost savings benefits that new technology brings to our to all of our customers.

4.  STRENGTHENING COMMITMENT TO CLOUD COMPUTING. Building off our collaboration in virtualized desktop and datacenter solutions, Cisco and Citrix are extending our collaboration to look at how we can enable solutions for public and private clouds. We are focused on combining Cisco and Citrix infrastructure and application expertise to enable cloud-based application delivery to our Enterprise Customers and Service Providers.

For some time, Citrix has been at the forefront of the transition from the PC Era to the Cloud Era. This is a fundamental, structural shift enabling a mobile work force to access applications from any device, from anywhere. Enterprises are increasingly turning to desktop virtualization to gain this benefit and realize the security and flexibility that comes with delivering desktops and apps as a centralized service.  With solutions like Cisco Virtual Experience Infrastructure,  our collaboration with Cisco can bring  rich media experiences, new device types and new application delivery options to our mutual customers. All of these innovations will give enterprises the ability to accelerate the move to the cloud.

Strategic alliances are never easy, especially between industry leaders.  There are areas of friction and competitive overlap to manage.  Having joined Citrix from Cisco earlier this year, I can tell you that this relationship is viewed from both sides as being a little different. What is unique about the this relationship is that both companies have very similar cultures. We both have customer success as a priority, believe in bringing technology innovation to solve industry problems and have a strong commitment to the success of our mutual channel partners.  This is borne out by the breadth and depth of our collaboration over this last year: from technology groups to field account managers, from executives to individual contributors. This positions us extremely well to succeed.

I am very excited about the strategic alliance agreement and the opportunity it represents.  As we combine Citrix’s leadership in desktop virtualization and application delivery with Cisco’s industry position in networking and communications, the possibilities are enormous. The early results of this technology collaboration have shown we can deliver innovative and groundbreaking solutions to our customers and partners.  Not only can customers leverage their investments in both companies’ technology to quickly adopt desktop virtualization today, they can also look forward to exciting innovations  that speed their transition to the cloud era in the future.