Right back from Citrix Synergy 2019 in Atlanta I was thinking about a personal conclusion of the great event and the days with a lot of insights into the strategy and Citrix‘ ideas for the future of work.
First of all, I try to list the great announcements and product upgrades Citrix gave at the keynote. David Hanshall (CEO) and PJ Hough presented a very good overview and gave a lot positive insights to “new Citrix Story” – This is how Future Works.
The Citrix Workspace goes intelligent
“There’s a lot of noise in the workplace today that keeps us from doing what we want and are paid to do,” said PJ Hough. This noise is caused by to many apps, too different user interfaces and too many unused functionalities. All users waste a lot of time in switching between apps and need a lot of time to navigate to place where they find the needed information.
So the new workspace will get an enhanced user interface, which includes a feed to show these dedicated tasks or information tailored for the individual user, including short workflows to approve requests or send information standardized by forms. All this is done by the integration of micro apps delivered by the Sapho engine, an acquisition Citrix made last year.
To approach this Citrix will deliver a micro app builder interface to integrate the different apps and services into the new workspace experience.
Today we already see integrations with many enterprise applications and this list will grow over the next months as mentioned in many discussions at the expo and breakout sessions.
There are also plans to integrate the big identity providers, Okta, Ping, Radius, and GoogleID to give a seamless SSO integration into apps like Salesforce, Workday, SAP Ariba and SAP Concur, ServiceNow, Microsoft Outlook and G Suite.
Analytics for performance
After a long time in analyzing security related processes, the workspace is now able to monitor the application performance and responsibility as well. This will enable an administrator to find and identify issues regardless if they occur in the data center, network or on the end users device.
Local app support & App protection
A new hybrid configuration that enables organizations to keep their Citrix StoreFront on-premises with no updates yet leverage the Access Control service for only the SaaS and Web applications.
Citrix has enabled new capabilities that protect applications and content delivered within its digital workspace solutions against a host of malware threats, including:
- Screen capture/session videoing
A big promise at the partnership with Microsoft
Significantly more time in the keynote took the part with Microsoft. Here we got a confirmation that both sides, Citrix and Microsoft want to live and expand the partnership. This was announced by Brad Anderson and Satya Nadella.
- Citrix Managed Desktops on Azure (DaaS): Fully managed Citrix Desktop with a one bill strategy, where Citrix will deliver the complete Infrastructure based on Azure
- Windows Virtual Desktops on Azure Citrix-Support: As we already know from the other Windows 10 releases, Citrix will provide a day-zero support for WvD on Azure. And as promised by the Microsoft CEO Sataya Nadella there will be the strongest partnership ever in developing and providing the future workplace solutions.
- HDX Optimizations for Microsoft Teams (Full Client): With the upcoming release of HDX optimization for Microsoft Teams, customers will get a fully native, fully featured Microsoft Teams experience within Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. With a single point of authentication, this essentially also improves reliability and ease of use. The Citrix Workspace app has a built-in multi-platform HDX Media Engine that ensures optimized device and media handling, with audio, video, and screen sharing offloaded to the users device.
- Office-365 Optimization with Citrix SD-WAN Citrix
- Support for Microsofts Intune Device Compliance APIs
- Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops on Google Cloud
- VMware Cloud support
- Netscaler ADC BLX (=bare metal): Citrix ADC BLX is a bare metal extension of Citrix ADC. Now you can deploy Citrix ADC on Linux on the hardware of your choice without any hypervisor overhead. Today Citrix is the only vendor that supports all ADC form-factors — Virtual Machine (VPX), Container (CPX), Bare Metal (BLX), Physical (MPX), multi-tenant (SDX) and public cloud images.
In addition to the highlighted announcements were a lot of “small” things that gave me in personal a good feeling for the upcoming projects and challenges. I am feeling confident the cloud strategy and believe new features will enable the user start or speed up their journey to the cloud. Though the three Citrix key factors, Experience – Security – Choice, Citrix covers all areas that customers and IT folks must consider in their cloud concepts. Nevertheless there will be a lot of work to put the pieces together and there are still enhancements in the pipe. But I believe we have a good base to start the journey with Citrix and the strong partners like Microsoft to bring the future to our users – now.
Marco Klose works as a Technical Consultant, Architect and CTO focused on Application & Desktop virtualization as well as application delivery with the Citrix product portfolio. He is specialized in Citrix virtualization, Citrix networking and Microsoft products. He has +10 years experience and holds the latest Citrix certifications and is member of the Citrix Partner Expert Council EMEA (PTEC). Since 2021 he is also a Citrix Technology Advocate (CTA).