In a recent article by Tim Anderson of The Register, the author describes the “friction” associated with a small business going through an upgrade/migration of Office 365. The firm’s old version of Office 365 was discontinued and they had to choose a new version which was slightly different in packaging to what the users already had installed on their end point devices. The “upgrade” required users to uninstall Office from their PC control centers and then go to the Office 365 portal and install the new version.
This resulted in confusion, downtime, and users having multiple or corrupt versions of Office on their PCs; in short – friction!
Office 365 has been more popular for Microsoft of late as the flexible licensing terms and multiple package options fit the needs of many organizations from small to medium sized businesses and beyond. The initial hype was around the promise that this would be a “cloud” based Office which would eliminate many of the issues associated with locally installed apps (like the ones described above).
However, this was only true for the Office 365 Web apps version and that version proved to have limitations for some users. If you need things like Track Changes, Visio or Project (and who doesn’t?) then you need to install the Office 365 app suite on your end point device and what was a promising “cloud” solution turns back into management friction as IT (or users who don’t know as much) has to deal with patches, upgrades and migrations on dozens, hundreds or even thousands of end points.
What if there was a way to get the benefits of Office 365 licensing terms and pricing models while at the same time reaping all the rewards of a truly cloud-based and centrally managed solution? Well there is!
The superconducting layer that solves these nagging app lifecycle issues is Citrix XenApp!
XenApp allows IT Pros servicing organizations of all sizes to have the best of both worlds. They can reap the benefits of Office 365’s cloud-like consumption model while at the same time delivering the apps to their users like a cloud service. Rather than installing Office apps on dozens or thousands of endpoints and then dealing with the friction, they can deploy the apps on a centrally hosted XenApp server (or more than one depending on number of users) and deliver Office to end users who don’t have to uninstall old software or install anything new.
They can simply point Citrix Receiver to the corporate app store and gain access to all the rich features of the Office suite including Skype for Business which runs better than ever on XenApp now that we have an Optimization Pack designed to make it sing. Businesses can setup their private Office 365 clouds or choose from dozens of Citrix Service Provider partners who can deliver Office as a complete cloud service using Citrix technologies to get the job done right without all that friction. You can find the Office 365 superconducting recipe in this handy implementation guide written up by our very own Dan Feller.