What does Citrix do?

It might sound like a strange question, but it’s one we get asked a lot and, frankly, it’s not always an easy thing to explain, especially to our friends and families (and, of course, to you).

Without delving too much into the technological details of what Citrix does, it’s sometimes easier to talk about how what we do helps our customers and, just as importantly, their customers.

With that in mind, we’ve enlisted the help of some of our customers to paint a picture of how the things Citrix does makes companies and people’s lives better.

Who is Citrix & What Do We Do?

When I talk to people about what we do, I usually start with a high-level description of our company, what our technology does and how it’s personally impacted my day-to-day work life. It’s usually some version of this:

  • Citrix is a $3.3B software company with over 400,000 customers.
  • Personally, I love the freedom to simply and securely access my favorite apps and important data on my virtual desktop – whether or not I’m in the office.
  • My family has a hard time understanding why I have so much flexibility with my work hours here at Citrix when they worked 9-5 desk jobs their whole lives. I tell them that it’s Citrix virtualization technology that makes this possible.
  • These days, work isn’t a place. It’s wherever you are: at a coffee shop during the work day, after hours sitting on the bleachers during my son’s baseball practice, or at 3 a.m. in the living room when I can’t sleep! Location doesn’t matter and I can work whenever and wherever it’s convenient for me.

Most of the time, that’s enough of an intro. But every once in a while, someone raises an eyebrow and asks, “Hmmmm…exactly how’s a virtual desktop different from when I’m logged in at home, working on my laptop?”

Here’s one way to describe our technology – tested with my 10-year-old son just recently!

Imagine for a moment that the desktop you see on your personal computer screen can fly around to any other desktop, laptop, notebook or mobile device, attached with a long string to your user name and password. At a basic level, virtualization technology separates the desktop image that appears on your PC screen from the computer itself, creating a virtual desktop that can “travel” from one device to the next whenever – or wherever – you log in next with your user name and password. This means your personal desktop fires up exactly where you left it, every time.

Once Upon a Time…

Here are three of my favorite recent customer stories that I’ve been sharing with friends and family to give people something tangible to help them understand all that Citrix does. As I’ve learned, it’s not all that easy to talk simply about what we do. But here’s my stab at it!

The Watershed is a drug and alcohol rehab facility in Delray Beach, Florida that has five inpatient and partial hospitalization sites in Florida and Texas. They’re using Citrix technology to give healthcare staff greater mobility and faster access to crucial patient data, so that they can more efficiently care for patients.

Of all the things Citrix virtual computing technology does for The Watershed – and there are many! – the one thing employees are raving about most is log-in times that have been reduced from 2 minutes to just 15 seconds for the initial login – and only 5 seconds for every login thereafter!

This is such a big deal because clinical staff at The Watershed share a single desktop workstation when admitting and caring for patients, logging in and out of their individual desktops one after another.

For example, at the Admissions Suite in the Florida facility, there are many employees involved in the process of quickly and calmly admitting a new patient during the first hour of arrival – using the same desktop:

  • A paramedic walks in with the patient, enters patient basic stats into the system
  • A nurse takes the patient’s vital signs and basic health information
  • The patient advocate reviews financial counseling guidelines and patient rights

By addressing something as simple as login efficiency, The Watershed has made life easier for its staff, freeing up valuable time to care for patients during what is a very difficult time for individuals and their loved ones.

Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority in Toledo, Ohio is an 83-year-old state government organization that manages affordable housing. Lucas Metropolitan hadn’t updated their IT technology in decades, and was still using paper for everything, not to mention outdated hardware and software programs from ages ago.

With a change in agency leadership came the opportunity to finally update antiquated IT infrastructure, some of which hadn’t been updated since the 1990s. The new CEO chose to modernize the agency by moving everything to the cloud, using a combination of Citrix and Microsoft products.

“Cloud” is a buzzword for being able to access files from anywhere. But the reality is that the cloud isn’t as abstract as it sounds. Practically speaking, it refers a networks of computers housed in massive warehouses all over the world that store and process information. It means sharing resources rather than depending upon a single machine.

By migrating to the cloud, Lucas Metropolitan has dramatically improved the workplace experience for employees and the agency experience for the 7,000-plus households it serves.

Here are just a few examples from a very long list:

  • With Citrix technology in place, Lucas Metropolitan gets paid in 15 days instead of the 60 it took under the paper-based invoice system.
  • They’ve slashed the amount of paper needed to run the business by 75 percent, cutting administrative and expense costs.
  • And, they’ve simplified the application process for clients by going with an online process that doesn’t require mailing or submitting paperwork in person at the office. For an organization that serves disabled and elderly clients, this simple change has made a world of difference.
  • Lastly, the extra time and budget available, as a result, is being put to use with creative programs Lucas had long wanted to implement for clients, such as onsite education classes in some of the housing locations.

For the President & CEO of Lucas Metropolitan, Martin LaMar, the organization has been “totally revitalized by Citrix” in less time than they imagined possible.

Montefiore Health System in New York is an academic medical center, and the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

When I go to the doctor, I’m amazed when they still use hard-copy paperwork and store my records in a file folder on a shelf. The federal government is trying to change this by slowly enacting mandates that require all healthcare practitioners to adopt the use of electronic medical records over the next few years.

Most healthcare organizations are adopting an electronic medical record software program made by either EPIC or Cerner. Citrix has really been focusing on the healthcare industry and has developed one of the best solutions to integrate with the EPIC and Cerner software.

Montefiore chose to use the EPIC software along with Citrix software and, as a result, were able to digitize 10,000 manual records in less than 12 months.  This is 50 percent faster than the average time it takes for this transition.

Altogether, using Citrix technology for electronic health records has saved Montefiore over $5 million.

Citrix makes a lot of highly technical, complex software and platforms. But to say that’s what Citrix does doesn’t quite hit the mark. What Citrix does—what Citrix really does—is make people’s lives better. And that’s easy to understand.