OK, summer is almost over, and being an avid Flyer’s fan, I start thinking about hockey and if the Flyers will ever be great again – you know, winning Stanley Cups. In hockey being great, as the iconic Wayne Gretzky once said, is playing where the puck is going to be, not where it is.  Being great in hockey is a lot like being a leader in technology markets. Leading isn’t easy; it’s hard because like great hockey players, leaders have to anticipate where customers are going to be.   We hear customers tell us they want to mobilize their business, that they need all their apps and data to go mobile.  It’s why we now are able to offer the industry’s most complete solution for workspace delivery infrastructure – for all apps and data – with leading technology in EMM, EFSS, ADC and App & Desktop Virtualization.  And we are still on the move, skating to where the puck is going to be.

New releases extend Citrix’s leadership

Yesterday we announced the latest release of XenDesktop and XenApp, extending our lead in delivering Windows apps and desktops, with our 3rd generation app and desktop virtualization platform.  This also made me think of the Gretzky quote and the difference between Citrix and VMware.  After being prodded by customers and analysts to come up with RDSH and published applications capability, VMware has proudly announced they are “crushing the status quo” by skating headlong towards the puck – delivering capabilities that ironically they have spent the last several years claiming customers don’t even need.  Let’s take a look at a few concrete examples from yesterday’s announcement that drive that point home:

User experience.   Part of being a leader and playing where the puck is going to be is understanding and anticipating how the technology gets used.  Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp work seamlessly with peripherals like headsets and USB devices.  With VMware Horizon published applications, people can’t print to their printers, or use local hard drives, or thumb drives, or scanners.  How efficient would you be at your job without all those peripherals?

Security.  XenDesktop and XenApp are Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) and Common Criteria (CC) certified.  Plus, Citrix NetScaler allows for mobile access with smart cards and granular IT control for individual access by location, device or app.  This is the kind of robust security with flexibility that customers value. With Horizon, it’s all or nothing, by user group only.

App migration.  XenApp and XenDesktop are integrated with Citrix AppDNA, a powerful migration tool that’s been proven in thousands of app migrations.  On the other hand, VMware is talking a lot about how easy migration is (I guess when you haven’t actually done that many migrations it may seem easy).  But with Horizon, there are no built in tools to migrate apps to virtual platforms, making it harder and more time consuming for customers to migrate apps.

Citrix leads with integration

Another area where Citrix demonstrates leadership is integrated technologies.  Take for example, Citrix ShareFile integration with XenApp and XenDesktop.  ShareFile on-demand sync is unique in the industry and it’s specifically designed for pooled and hosted shared virtual desktop environments.  The way it works is seamless for end users.  When they click File…Open in applications like Microsoft Word they see all their data just as they would expect. When they access a document, it is downloaded and cached locally from the ShareFile cloud or from ShareFile on-premises storage.  For IT, this simple functionality is a huge improvement because only a few kilobytes of metadata are synchronized and the file is only pulled into the virtual desktop session when the users are directly accessing the file.  On-demand sync drastically cuts network load, bandwidth requirements and storage costs for a virtual desktop environment.

The examples really do go on and on.  From users getting integrated mobile productivity apps to IT having the flexibility to choose whatever hypervisor and cloud infrastructure they want to use, Citrix leads the way.  In fact, we covered even more examples of Citrix advantages over Horizon in a recent webinar.

The point is that yes, Citrix is the industry standard for app and desktop virtualization.  But it’s not just because we have been doing this a lot longer.  It’s because of how we continue to innovate based on the needs of IT customers.  You can see this as XenApp and XenDesktop have evolved to provide the foundation for a complete mobile workspace delivery infrastructure solution.  After all, true industry leaders – like great hockey players – play where the puck is going to be.  Oh I almost forgot, lets go Flyers!