Since Citrix Synergy last May, we’ve been talking quite a bit about access to secure files and data. It’s an important subject considering our legacy in delivering enterprise applications to any device, anywhere. If you can’t get access to your files and data then what good is the application access? We’ve been busy since last May, not building vaporware as some of our competitors, but actually building products and solutions, and secure data access has been top of mind.

As you undoubtedly know by now Citrix recently purchased ShareFile. ShareFile provides a secure and managed enterprise data and file sharing solution. This morning we announced how this solution will be integrated into Citrix products and further developed to create a seamless, centrally managed and accessible solution for any company to manage employee’s data.

While there will be a number of data solutions available from Citrix based on the ShareFile technology there is one that’s near and dear to my heart: follow me data on Citrix Receiver. Receiver already provides the secure single sign on access to all Citrix application and desktop infrastructure from any device, anywhere. So it’s natural that this is extended to include end user access to their work files and data from Receiver as well. More importantly, while viewing files is one factor, creating and editing work files is another thing. With the new follow me data enabled Receivers end users will be able to use either virtual applications or local applications to access and edit as well as synchronize and save work files and data.

In the short term our plan is to deliver the follow me data capabilities in Citrix Receiver in the next few months – with access to existing ShareFile infrastructure. This will dramatically enhance the end user experience and integrate files and data beyond simple Windows Explorer access. Using the existing ShareFile solution will mean that end users can get access to their local drive, network drive and Sharepoint files while on the road seamlessly as part of Receiver. As with all things Citrix Receiver this new capability will be freely provided to end users via their app store or as a download from the Citrix website. For more information or to be included in the upcoming technology preview of follow me data for Citrix Receiver check out our new Follow-Me Data solutions page under development at http://fmd.citrix.com

Longer term Citrix will enable a rich set of features and capabilities to enable fine grain controls IT administrators demand to better manage security and compliance. At the end of the day no matter what cool features we provide it will always be up to IT to decide which features to deploy. In this way even the most conservative and security conscious IT organizations can decide how much, where and if they want end users to have access to internal documents. By integrating control as part of Citrix CloudGateway – which will happen in the first half of next year – IT administrators can decide how much access to give an end user based on platform type, location and role of the end user. For example, if the end user is inside the secure network or working from a PC at home they may get full access to their files. Conversely if they are outside the work network, on the road or accessing files from a tablet device they may get tighter restrictions. Taken even further an end user may be allowed full access to their files with locally editing rights from a tablet inside the network but only access via a virtualized application from outside the corporate network. All of these controls will be delivered as an integrated component of the CloudGateway Unified App Controller solution.

As I mentioned the follow me data updates to Citrix Receiver will happen in the next few months. The update to Citrix CloudGateway will happen in the first half of next year. In order to be included in the technology preview or simply to find out what’s new in Follow Me Data make sure you bookmark http://fmd.citrix.com and keep coming back in the next few months to learn more!