Today Cisco and Citrix announced a five-year strategic alliance agreement with a goal of driving rapid innovation for desktop virtualization and cloud computing

Almost a year ago, Citrix and Cisco kicked off our partnership on desktop virtualization. Making our customers successful has always been the goal of our partnership from the beginning. Last year, we focused on validation and integrated support of our joint solution. And, we have gotten had great success with that so far. We have customers adopting our joint solution and scaling it to thousands of users already.

We always knew that what we did last year was just the beginning of our partnership and we had tremendous potential for offering additional customers value. The vision of the two companies is similar – enabling virtual and mobile computing. And our products, solutions and areas of focus, for most part, are highly complementary to each other. Hence, it is natural for us to partner across multiple dimensions to give our joint customers more value.

So, few months ago we started looking at what can do together to make desktop virtualization and cloud computing even easier for our customers to adopt and scale. We identified various opportunities for integration and innovation, including but not limited to:

–       Getting the Cisco network to be optimized for Citrix HDX – starting from WAN optimization from branch routers to datacenter routers and switches

–       Cisco compute to be more efficient and integrated with Citrix XenDesktop, CloudStack and XenServer

–       Citrix Receiver better integrated with Cisco’s end points to provide an even better experience to end users

–       Collaborating on unified communications so that end users get the best possible experience

We knew that these opportunities are big and customers were going to get tremendous benefits. However, to be successful, we had to enable free flow of ideas between the engineering teams across both companies. And, we had to construct this collaboration keeping a long term view by designing it in a way that allows the agreement to last for several years. In almost no time, both companies agreed on what we wanted to accomplish and moved to get through the required contractual terms to kick off this alliance.

We have designed this alliance agreement keeping all factors above in mind. Citrix is the leader in virtual desktops and apps and Cisco has market leading and differentiated solutions across networking, compute and unified communications. There is already a list of projects that have been identified and kicked off in getting these technologies from two different companies integrated and optimized when used together by our customers. The agreement enables our engineers to jointly plan a roadmap and freely execute developing these integrations. The goals that different product and engineering teams have in both companies is to continue to offer a better solution to our customers.

This is great for customers who are adopting our joint solutions for desktop virtualization and cloud computing, and I look forward to the great innovations the next five years will bring.