Today, unified endpoint management (UEM) solutions are expected to manage iOS and Android devices. But what about managing user devices beyond smart phones?

Here’s the good news: Citrix Workspace has UEM built in. Formerly known as XenMobile, Citrix Endpoint Management provides well over 200 mobile device management policies and covers just about every user device platform an enterprise could deploy. That means in addition to iOS and all flavors of Android, including Samsung, KNOX, SAFE and DeX, and Zebra-hardened devices, Citrix Endpoint Management can also configure, manage and maintain Windows 10, Windows 7 and 8.1 using WEM, MacOS, ChromeOS, tvOS, and IoT devices such as the Citrix Ready Workspace Hub, Alexa for Business, and Raspberry Pi-based devices.

Transitioning Windows to Modern Management

In conjunction with this device support, many companies are trying to figure out how they can transition their Windows 10 users to modern management. Modern management involves using an UEM solution to manage Windows 10 endpoints. Citrix has a broad set of modern management features for managing the Windows 10 platform and applications that includes:

  • Endpoint provisioning and configuration
  • Security and compliance
  • OS updates
  • App management
  • App distribution
  • App configuration.

There are two routes to transition endpoints that are managed with traditional lifecycle-management tools.

The first is to designate groups of users who will have new endpoints provisioned with Microsoft Auto Pilot. After users unpack new Windows hardware that’s been shipped to branch or home offices and start the out-of-box experience, their devices may be identified as belonging to an Auto Pilot group that then maps to a Citrix Endpoint Management instance, where the device and apps are thereafter configured using modern management.

The second requires that you identify your current settings and processes and map out how to transition them. For example, group policy objects (GPOs) can be used to control a lot of Windows settings — many are through Windows 10 Configuration Service Provider (CSP) interfaces, which is the modern way to manage Windows 10 polices.

Alternatively, Citrix Endpoint Management offers the flexibility to hold off on migrating to CSPs and reconfiguring those existing GPOs with the Citrix Endpoint Management GPO editor. Citrix Endpoint Management also has other tools to fill in the gaps, such as the ability to launch PowerShell scripts, and Windows Environment Manager (or WEM), which provides the ability to set many user preferences directly through the registry or environmental variables — thus giving an option to do some optimization and management of Windows 7 and 8.1 endpoints.

What About Managing Chromebooks?

Chromebook offers a great option for accessing Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, running Android apps, or accessing SaaS and Web sites using the native browser. Because they’re low cost, you often find them in cost-sensitive markets such as education. Students may try to find the limits of the platform or access a variety of sites that make the devices more susceptible to vulnerabilities or malware. It’s important to implement controls to manage the devices. Citrix Endpoint Management offers several control policies covering restrictions, scheduling, VPN, WiFi, app restrictions, content, control OS updates, managed bookmarks, and power management.

Other recently added Chrome OS restrictions include the ability for IT to:

  • Prevent users from printing from the wrench menu, extensions, JavaScript apps, and other locations
  • Hide or display the bookmarks bar
  • Prevent users from adding, updating, or deleting bookmarks
  • Hide or display the End Process button in Task Manager.

All of this is done through the Citrix Workspace console. In other words, you can manage Chromebooks — or any of the previously mentioned device platforms — from a single place.

What About the Internet of Things?

Citrix introduced the Citrix Ready Workspace Hub earlier this year. It’s a low-cost thin client that goes for around $100 and has great connectivity options over Bluetooth and WiFi. With the Workspace Hub, users can approach a conference room or workstation and have their virtual desktop sessions dynamically appear — with previously opened slide decks or any other content ready for additional work.

Citrix Endpoint Management can fully manage the device — from initial configuration to platform policies and OS updates — and it also can manage Raspberry Pi OS, which is often used with IoT platforms.

Another area in the IoT space is the smart speaker voice assistant market, which continues to grow in enterprises as they find use cases to improve worker productivity, such as rapid setup or joining meetings. Alexa for Business is a leading smart speaker voice assistant from Amazon. Citrix Endpoint Management now supports configuring and managing Alexa for Business. And we’re continually expanding our capabilities in the IoT market.

What Do Industry Analysts Think?

Here’s how industry analysts view our workspace and UEM capabilities.

From IDC 1:

“Citrix is a Leader in the 2018 IDC MarketScape for UEM software.”

“Citrix has several adjacent technologies and products that can help customers move toward UEM and workspace management convergence.”

“Organizations should consider Citrix for UEM/PC management scenarios if the company’s strategy is to move aggressively with both non-virtualized and virtualized Windows 10 PC management via modern management controls, while managing legacy PC endpoints with virtual app and desktop delivery via Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp solutions.”

Click here to see the full IDC MarketScape UEM report.

Click here to see the full IDC MarketScape EMM report.

From Forrester Research 2

“Citrix is a Leader in The Forrester WaveTM: Unified Endpoint Management, Q4 2018 report”

“Citrix System’s Endpoint Management (formerly XenMobile) is well integrated with the company’s recently released Workspace App, which combines device management with application access and identity management”

“The solution has one of the best app store experiences in this evaluation, with comprehensive app support, self-service features, and access to all content repositories, whether on-premises or in the cloud.”

“Citrix Systems offers strong identity management and file level encryption capabilities and now supports risk-based authentication based on user behavior through integration with Citrix Analytics.”

Click here to see the full Forrester Wave report.

Learn more about Citrix Workspace and Citrix Endpoint Management.

Industry Analyst Report Sources:

1 IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Unified Endpoint Management Software 2018 Vendor Assessment (doc #US43294318, July 2018)

About IDC MarketScape: IDC MarketScape vendor analysis model is designed to provide an overview of the competitive fitness of ICT (information and communications technology) suppliers in a given market. The research methodology utilizes a rigorous scoring methodology based on both qualitative and quantitative criteria that results in a single graphical illustration of each vendor’s position within a given market. IDC MarketScape provides a clear framework in which the product and service offerings, capabilities and strategies, and current and future market success factors of IT and telecommunications vendors can be meaningfully compared. The framework also provides technology buyers with a 360 degree assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and prospective vendors.

2 The Forrester Wave™: Unified Endpoint Management, Q4 2018, Forrester Research, Inc., November 2018

About the Forrester Wave: The Forrester Wave™ is copyrighted by Forrester Research, Inc. Forrester and Forrester Wave are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. The Forrester Wave is a graphical representation of Forrester’s call on a market and is plotted using a detailed spreadsheet with exposed scores, weightings, and comments. Forrester does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in the Forrester Wave. Information is based on best available resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change.