Citrix widens portfolio

Citrix used its annual iForum global user conference in Orlando, Florida, this week to launch a number of initiatives to widen its client/server and business continuity offering.

Citrix used its annual iForum global user conference in Orlando, Florida, this week to launch a number of initiatives to widen its client/server and business continuity offering.

The 3,000 attendees at the show heard Citrix chief executive officer Mark Templeton outline the company’s future product roadmap and announce a number of partnership initiatives to better deliver in areas such as customer support, business continuity and increased employee productivity.

Templeton said, "IT buying growth is at around 5% but fixed IT costs at firms range from 70% to 80%, showing there is a long way to go before firms fully adopt our model of software as a service, but we have the roadmap for companies to follow to allow them to adopt SaaS."

Templeton said the next version of Citrix’s Presentation Server, codenamed Ohio, will give administrators new system health management features, active application provisioning and 2-D graphics acceleration, as well as efficiently deliver applications to desktops from a server.

Citrix also has a constellation of Presentation Server initiatives on the boil to tie in with the forthcoming arrival of Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn server platform. These include Pictor, Libra, Gemini and Sagitta.

Pictor will eventually deliver 3-D graphics to Presentation Server, with Citrix developing the technology with Boeing, which wants the more powerful graphics to help with its plane design systems.

Libra will deliver better load balancing of applications, and Gemini will enable improved policy-based session readings. Sagitta is designed to deliver improved administration.

Citrix has also launched Project Kent in partnership with IBM, a business continuity offering to help firms cope with workforce disruption as a result of natural disasters, pandemics or other problems.

This initiative will lead to both companies making available USB tokens packed with basic applications, connectivity to services such as corporate instant messaging programs and other communications. This will enable staff to quickly connect to the enterprise from disparate locations.

Templeton explained that experienced road warriors would always have a good chance to contact the office and get up and running if disaster struck, but that firms needed a way to enable less technically savvy staff to remain productive when away from the office, which could include customer service agents for instance.

In another project, Citrix has unveiled its Trinity Dynamic Desktop initiative, designed to allow companies to deliver "truly ready-built, optimised, portable, managed, and fully productive desktops to three different levels of workers". The Trinity Dynamic Desktop product will be based on three different platforms.

Templeton described the Trinity product as "simple and fast" and said it will be designed for repetitive tasks, in call centres for instance. The offering, which is described as "personal and versatile", will be aimed at workers in areas such as marketing, sales and finance.

Templeton said it is a "‘high performance and powerful" product that will be for knowledge-based workers in areas such as engineering, design, and software development.

Trinity will be based on Windows-based PCs and other access devices, a Windows OS, and Citrix delivery software.

Templeton said the first Trinity offerings would be ready for customers next year and would be “always on, used with a single user password, come with on-demand assistance and be collaborative in nature.”

Citrix is working with Intel, AMD, Microsoft, HP, Wyse, VMWare and others on developing Trinity products. The company has also launched its new MyCitrix website to allow users to get help with their applications and upgrade them.

Citrix has also begun its Citrix Ready programme which sees its technology partners outline how their own products are being integrated with those from Citrix.

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