When does technical “hype” calm to pragmatism? When does an “early adopter” market shift to mainstream?

In the case of cloud-hosted desktops and cloud-hosted applications, 2013 is proving that the direction Citrix took years ago is paying off – and that recent industry activity – proves the market is mainstream.

Far more versatile than a simple desktop…

Using the terms “Desktops-as-a-Service”, “DaaS” and “VDI” vastly under-sell what Citrix technology delivers in this space.  More than just providing a virtual desktop onto a laptop, Citrix and partners allow customers to access individual apps too, in an a la carte manner, onto any device with any size format and input mechanism. It’s the custom’s choice whether to use a desktop metaphor, or simply to access the apps via an “app store”. Or they can both.

Either way, cloud-hosted apps/desktops is an explosive market.  And we’ve been delivering a SSO approach using Citrix Receiver  to access workspaces on any device, anywhere for years now.

Riding the Citrix rocket… Show me the money!

We’ve taken the Citrix dominance at delivering enterprise-grade virtual apps and virtual desktops, and upgraded it for the hosted provider channel, where we now have immense presence… including recently announced cloud-hosted design wins with both telcos and MSPs.

For the past 4 years, Citrix and its partners have been expanding our presence of cloud-hosted desktops and cloud-hosted apps.  Thousands of Citrix service provider partners globally are today hosting hundreds-of-thousands of hosted seats, and earning hundreds of millions of dollars using our technologies. We’re experiencing double-digit growth per quarter.  And we’re doing so via enabling hosted desktops, hosted applications, and hosted mobile device management (MDM) served-up with beautiful user experiences that run on just about every computing device in use today.

What we’ve learned: “It’s All About The Apps

Arguably, many companies can deliver a virtual desktop.

But here’s an ironic punch line: The Citrix success in “DaaS” has really been about excellence in delivering the applications, not just desktops. Most users only really care about accessing and using their preferred line-of-business applications. So we’ve made it easier for partners to host those apps in the cloud – with efficient use of infrastructure and in an elegant approach to delivering high-quality user experiences.

Whether-or-not users want to use a desktop as a “container” for their apps, Citrix has made it easy to do both. And to let the customer decide what they want and what container (or lack thereof) they require.

Just want to use a few frequently accessed apps on a smartphone? Easy. Want to use a full desktop on a laptop? Easy. Want to shift between both? Also easy.

What we’ve learned – Technology

Along the road to lead the enterprise market for virtual desktops/apps as well as the cloud-hosted market for virtual desktops/apps, we’ve learned a few important lessons.

  1. A top-rate user experience trumps everything. Things like HDX: the ability to adapt to network bandwidth and latency; to make use of local and/or server-side GPUs; to intelligently adapt between touch vs. keyboard devices, and between small vs. large format devices; to intelligently refactor the UX controls based on interface elements; and overall, to ensure that the local user experience remains as intuitive as the real end-user expects.
  2. Platform neutrality and cloud-orientation keeps the tech-savvy happy. That’s why our app- and desktop virtualization platforms are VM-neutral and cloud-neutral. Deploy on whatever virtualization platform or cloud you like.  Deploy Citrix on AWS. Deploy Citrix on Azure (for end-users and for Service Providers). But do so without fear that you won’t be able to migrate in the future.  Indeed, all of our products are designed for deploying in a cloud, should you desire.
  3. For Service Providers, ensure resource efficiency, multi-tenancy, and intelligent management. That’s why we make available multiple varieties of hosted desktops (dedicated, shared, etc.), why we offer a battle-tested mult-tenant hosting reference architecture, and why our management tools are based on the business needs of Service Provider who need scale.
  4. Offer everything a service provider would need. That doesn’t just mean XenDesktop and XenApp. It means networking and intelligent load balancing via NetScaler, Mobile Device Management from XenMobile, and an elegant approach to single-sign-on, app aggregation and device compatibility via Citrix Receiver.
  5. Make services easy to add.  For our partners we make available services and tools to simplify the application and new customer on-boarding experience. And we have tools that simplify end-user self-service to buy/provision new services.

What we’ve learned – our partners

Ultimately, Citrix is reliant upon our thousands of Hosted Service Provider partners and white label partners being successful with apps and desktops. When they win, we win.

We’ve learned that helping them define and differentiate their services is critical.  That means focus on vertical markets, differentiating hosted desktop/app services to meet specific customer segment needs, and identifying the right apps for each market.

It also means providing the business help they need to be successful in the market, to help them realize the business value of hosted apps/desktops, and to help their customers (generally small/medium businesses) recognize the breakthrough possibilities of using hosted – rather than local – services.

Ready to go mainstream?

If you think a cloud-hosted approach to apps & desktops is for you, now’s the time to look at the Citrix model.

If you’re a business: Thousands of your peers can’t be wrong.  Consider what you get by shifting to a cloud-hosted model: Device-independence. Access anywhere. Built-in back-up and business continuity. Data security. Happy employees. Happy technical staff.

  • Work with a Citrix Service Provider who will work with you to ensure you have the apps, workspace and features you need to run your business more flexibly: Find a Citrix Service Provider:
  • Email csp@citrix.com
  • Use our partner locator

If you’re a Managed Service Provider: Look at the new business opportunities that are in demand today.

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