Recently, we’ve seen other EMM vendors announce many of the same concepts Citrix introduced back in 2013. Before we talk about how Citrix delivers a world-class secure workspace of the future (look for it in this blog series), let’s take a look back on our journey.

Back in 2013, the mobile landscape for business was similar to the Wild West: tremendous opportunity, but completely undiscovered. And yes, everyone wanted a piece of the action and tried to lay claim to mobility management by supporting MDM in some form or fashion.

In 2013, Citrix sought to pioneer an effort that would redefine mobility as more than just a remote outpost, but as an integrated part of the enterprise infrastructure.

It became clear–even back then–that the future included more than just securing a device and its data. The vision and resulting broader definition included delivering a secure workspace that removed any of the barriers commonly associated with device choice, application choice, data storage choice and the user’s physical location.

The Unified Workspace became the new frontier.

Following are the key tenets that we identified back in 2013 for this new Unified Workspace and over past 3 years have diligently delivered solutions which make this concept a reality:

Unified corporate app store – A single place on any mobile device where the user can access and/or download all application types including mobile, virtualized Windows, web and SaaS.  The Worx Store, introduced in 2013, provides the functionality of a single published catalog and also serves as an integrated interface point for Citrix XenMobile (mobile apps) and Citrix XenApp (Web and Windows apps) environments.

Single Sign On – Enter the PIN once and access multiple apps seamlessly. This one-time PIN number or passcode gives the user broad access to all their applications and services from the mobile device. This is the inflexible point where access meets identity.

Citrix was the first to offer this capability and that too goes back to 2013! The tight out-of-the-box integration of Citrix NetScaler with XenMobile and XenApp technology to offer SSO services to the end-user provides an unmatched user experience. It eliminates the interruption of entering a user name and password midway through a mobile workflow and disrupting user productivity.

Mobile Productivity Apps Optimized for the Business – The idea of using your mobile device for business doesn’t really work if it actually slows you down and makes you less efficient.

In 2013, the XenMobile team identified this as a concern, which prompted the decision to invest in building a suite of power-user rich productivity apps specifically designed for the business which seamlessly worked together as a single system. These included mail, web, notes and recently tasks and chat.The objective was (and continues to be today) to boost user productivity using intelligently designed and integrated mobile workflows.

Content management in my opinion also comes under this mobile productivity category.  Citrix ShareFile, with its tight XenMobile integration, is the ONLY file storage and sync solution offered by an EMM vendor that also shows up in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant as a leader!

Defining, designing and delivering a complete Workspace – A true measure of one’s ability to offer complete solutions is the productization of synergistic technology. This is the point where marketing meets reality. In 2014, Citrix announced Citrix Workspace Suite and in 2015, we rolled out Citrix Workspace Cloud. Both offerings provide EMM, virtualized apps/desktops, enterprise file sync/share and more … all from a single SKU with a single per user price. Other EMM vendors have started to emulate this complete workspace strategy.

Enhanced Windows experience – Windows apps and office apps aren’t going away anytime soon and are an important component of a Unified Workspace. With the explosion of tablets and BYO, Citrix was looking for ways to enhance the windows experience on mobile devices.  More specifically how we interact with a virtualized Windows app on a mobile device.

Let’s be honest, ‘a finger on a screen’ is a poor replacement for a mouse. Developed in-house and launched in 2015, Citrix is the ONLY vendor that offers a traditional mouse for iOS, allowing a desktop/laptop-like experience for non-touch optimized applications. For example, you can use the Citrix mouse on Excel or Power Point on an iOS tablet.  How cool is that!

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As mentioned earlier, using the Unified Corporate App Store, IT can enables users to browse and download a corporate library of virtualized Windows apps from the common Worx Store.

The recent addition of unified end-point management (UEM) enhances the Windows deployment complexities for IT by eliminating the need for multiple systems to manage corporate device programs.

What’s in store next for EMM and the Unified Workspace? One thing is for certain.  Citrix has been a thought leader in introducing the concept of Mobile Workspace leveraging mobile work styles. We expect other EMM vendors to emulate our offerings and also our messaging.

Our story is thoughtful and meaningful to our fast moving market. However, the BIG question remains. Will it take other EMM vendors another 3 years to catch up and execute or deliver what customers really need today? Stay tuned for more in the next few posts in this series.