Citrix positions its products as core strategic software


6 Oct 2004

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ORLANDO – Access infrastructure software is now a strategic investment and not just a cost-saving cure for complexity, according to Citrix CEO Mark Templeton (pictured). Speaking at its iForum event in Florida he argued that his company’s solutions reduce the cost of running a business while enabling organisations to anticipate the future.

His proposition was that Citrix software, tools for centralised access to applications from multiple locations and devices, addressed fundamental problems of IT investment: “Because of the complexities they face, companies have over allocated expenses to just running the business,” he said, citing a statistic that says 80pc of IT investment goes on existing processes.

“They look at projects they have to do now and projects they’d like to do to grow the business. One investment with Citrix lets you spend less on running the business and more on growing it. That’s our total cost of ownership model.”

Templeton acknowledged that there were challenges in pursuing this path for many organisations: “The complexity that customers face didn’t happen over night. It was incremental. Working their way out of the complexity requires change management over time,” he said. “They have to work out how best to untangle it. We try to position ourselves to show our vision and how our solutions can be successfully implemented.”

Some 15 years after its inception Citrix has stuck to its core access infrastructure business though it has evolved from server-based computing to leveraging more flexibility from the centralisation, consolidation and virtualisation of applications. Products like the MetaFrame Access Suite enable companies to manage their IT as a corporate computing utility, provisioning software as an on-demand service.

More recent modules such as Smooth Roaming and Password Manager reflect the growing trend to greater ubiquity of access and more security. Another new tool, SmartAcess, offers organisations more sophisticated rules for detecting and authenticating users and devices.

The conference also highlighted the diverse partnerships that are core to Citrix’s all area access capabilities. Microsoft and SAP came in for a special mention but it was IBM’s general manager Susan Whitney that joined Templeton on the stage to officially launch an on-demand computing solution built around IBM systems and the MetaFrame Access Suite.

By Ian Campbell