Mobile workstyles help channel empower a bring your own whatever world

ANAHEIM, CALIF. – Workers want to go mobile, and Citrix Systems wants to help them – and keep IT happy too. The virtualization and cloud service infrastructure vendor made a series of cloud-related product announcements at its annual Synergy user conference on Wednesday while describing

Under the umbrella of mobile workstyles, Citrix’s moniker for the new style of working anywhere, from any device, the vendor discussed how its portfolio of cloud services and IT infrastructure solutions allows the enterprise to deliver any application or desktop seamlessly and securely to any device, allowing workers to work how they want while IT still maintains corporate standards for compliance and security, and isn’t handed a device management headache.

Citrix CEO Mark Templeton told attendees that businesses want to go mobile, and it’s being driven by three key factors: consumerization, a new digital generation that needs to be recruited and retained, and the possibility of business disruptions such as natural disasters or even terrorist attacks.

“Even if you think the person you’re going to serve is going to sit in that desk for years, the truth is you don’t know,” said Templeton.

Citrix used Synergy to make several product announcements, including the launch of XenDesktop 7, which helps a business deploy a Windows desktop or apps to any mobile device. It has been rebuilt on a cloud-style architecture with new tools for automation and configuration, and HDX Mobile technologies that allow Windows apps to function intuitively on any mobile device.

The launch of XenMobile Enterprise combines mobile device, app and data management and a unified corporate app store with Citrix’s own WorxMobile productivity apps, including secure e-mail and web browsing. In addition to a growing stable of secure enterprise apps, the offering allows an enterprise to wrap enterprise-grade security around existing apps with little to no additional coding.

Also new is support for Microsoft SharePoint and network drives in Citrix ShareFile, which provides a common, and secure IT-managed platform for cross-enterprise file sharing and content management.

“Cloud services is really the next generation IT infrastructure you need to have to make mobile workstyles come to life,” said Joe Keller, vice-president of solutions marketing with Citrix. “Mobile workstyle is about empowering people to work when, where and how they choose.”

That’s the vision, but Citrix admits it will take some time for the market to catch up. Particularly in Canada, where adoption of new technologies tends to lag the U.S. by about 12 months according to Michael Murphy, Canada country manager for Citrix.

“We continue to be out ahead of our customers, and even more so in Canada,” said Murphy, noting that a survey of Canadian customers last year showed concerns about data security and privacy remained a barrier to wider bring your own device adoption. “Having said that, when customers have seen the WorxMail and the WorxWeb, they agree it shows tremendous promise and they want to have it. They’re just not set up to deploy it yet.”

Citrix's Canada country manager, Michael Murphy.
Citrix’s Canada country manager, Michael Murphy.

Brampton, Ont.-based IT Weapons, a Citrix Platinum partner and CDN Channel Elite Awards winner, has a strong presence at Synergy. IT Weapons CEO Ted Garner said he brought 13 employees and representatives from eight clients down for the conference, which he said is an important milestone in the five-year IT vision that the solution provider has worked to develop with each of its clients.

“They get to see a very clean and concise vision of what their IT ship could look like,” said Garner. “We’ve been talking about this stuff with them so we’re not shocking them with something new here; this is just reinforcing and hearing from Citrix directly, meeting people and building trust and confidence in the solution.”

On the mobility and technology front, Garner said he’s encouraged by both the vision of Citrix and the completeness of it from a technology perspective.

“You have comfort that Citrix has the bases covered to execute their strategy,” said Garner, who said he’s been coming to Synergy since 1998. “It’s been rare that I’d fine something incomplete; it’s a very well thought-out plan. I don’t have that experience with any other vendor. Templeton is a solid visionary.”

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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