Citrix launches new platform product suite

28 Apr 2005

NEW YORK: Citrix moved a step closer to shedding its image as the thin-client company when it announced a new suite of products that it says provide a “complete-access platform” at its annual strategy day for press, analysts and major customers in New York City on Tuesday.

Although the event was held on Broadway there was nothing showy about the presentation despite CEO and President Mark Templeton claiming that the launch of Citrix Access Server 4.0 marked the biggest day in the history of the 16-year-old company.

Access Server 4.0 includes a new version of its flagship product, Presentation Server, which accounted for 41pc of its revenues last quarter, as well as updates to Citrix Access Gateway and Citrix Password Manager. Presentation Server can now support 25pc more users per server, supports more applications to be run in a server environment through the use of virtualisation and has an improved print driver.

Access Gateway is a virtual private network appliance that uses the secure socket layer protocol rather than the traditional IPsec, which is more difficult to manage. The product was previously sold by start-up Net 6 that was acquired by Citrix at the end of last year and has become its new secure gateways division.

Password Manager is optimised to work with Citrix Presentation Server but can also plug into other environments; Hewlett-Packard has already licensed it to provide single sign on capabilities for its OpenView customers.

Despite selling the story of a complete-access platform, Templeton admitted that it will have it’s work cut out for it trying to sell the entire suite to customers.

“There are not a tremendous number of customers using all of the products but that is our goal,” said Templeton. “The concept of a complete-access platform will have different meanings for different markets. For SMEs they will want an end-to-end solution. In the enterprise they want to see we have a full vision but they will not want to use some components they already have in place and are strategic to their business.”

It requires a change in mindset for customers that Citrix will be well rewarded for inspiring — research it commissioned from analysts IDC says the market for access infrastructure products will be worth US$22bn by 2007.

Citrix also stressed the ongoing importance of Europe to its operations. Revenue grew by 26pc in 2004 to US$294m and the company has just had a record quarter in the UK and Ireland. In fact Europe is one of the key markets for the Florida-headquartered company — it added 8,000 new customers here last year, a figure which it intends to grow again next year.

The Irish Prison Service has been involved in an early-adopter programme for Access Suite 4.0 attracted by the ability to have granular access security. This will mean users will have different levels of access to applications depending on their device, network and even geographical location. The later factor is particular pertinent for the prison service as it ensures that staff will not be able to access sensitive information while working in what are deemed to be vulnerable areas of the prison.

By John Collins