Citrix has made a slew of product announcements, designed to make enterprise applications more accessible via mobile devices.
Speaking at the company's Synergy conference in Los Angeles today, Citrix CEO Mark Templeton said that CIOs around the world are increasingly looking for ways to mobilise their businesses.
“Consumerisation is affecting absolutely everything – the devices, the apps, the data, where people work and how they think about computing as a service. It's bring your own everything now; it's bring your own device, network, personal cloud services, your own data, your own identity,” said Templeton.
“There is also workforce that need to be recruited, retained and engaged that was born digital. The web was built for this generation, but IT infrastructure has not been built for this generation, so mobilising business is about addressing the mobile and work style requirements to get the best of the best into organisations and retain them.”
In order to meet these demands, Citrix has launched XenDesktop 7 – the first release of Citrix's 'Project Avalon', a multi-phased initiative to deliver Windows as a cloud service. Templeton said that most businesses use Windows apps that were never meant to be mobile, but this enables any Windows app to function intuitively and transparently on mobile devices.
XenDesktop 7 includes compression and redirection technologies, (such as H.264, which cuts the bandwidth required for a remote client in half), that automatically adjust to accommodate 3G mobile broadband networks, as well as touchscreen capabilities and native menu controls.
It also includes simplified workflows and automated configuration checking, meaning that IT managers can simultaneously publish “dozens of apps”, eliminating as much as 80 percent of the time and effort needed to deploy new services, according to Citrix.
XenDesktop 7 integrates XenApp and VDI desktop virtualisation technologies into a unified FlexCast Management Architecture (FMA), so that users can deliver Windows Server or VDI desktops from a single console.
Because it is built as an open platform, it can be deployed on any hypervisor or cloud management solution, including Citrix CloudPlatform, powered by Apache CloudStack, or Amazon Web Services.
“This is app and desktop virtualisation re-imagined for simplicity and mobility,” said Templeton.
Citrix has also launched XenMobile Enterprise, which combines mobile device, app and data management (from its acquisition of MDM vendor Zenprise) and a mobile app store for business users known as the Worx App Gallery.
Worx App Gallery combines Citrix Worx mobile applications – such as WorxMail for secure email, calendar and contacts, WorxWeb for secure web browsing and Citrix ShareFile – with more than 80 third party apps from the likes of Antenna, Appcelerator, Box, Catch, Concur, Expensify and Xora.
The integration of Citrix's ShareFile data sharing solution with XenMobile allows users to view, edit and share data within a secure container on their mobile device. XenMobile is also integrated with Citrix GoToAssist, enabling users to initiate service-desk tickets and chat sessions instantly from their mobile devices.
Finally, Citrix announced new StorageZone connectors for ShareFile. This includes added support for Microsoft SharePoint and network drives, helping enterprises provide secure mobile access to data behind the corporate firewall.
ShareFile also includes a built-in mobile content editor, which supports standard SharePoint functions like check-out, edit and check-in from mobile devices.
“Navigating existing firewalls and integrating with legacy systems and applications remain huge hurdles for true enterprise mobility,” said Alan Pelz-Sharpe, Research Director, 451 Research.
“Solutions like ShareFile StorageZone Connectors that integrate seamlessly with existing systems and applications are the way to go.”
StorageZone now supports Windows Azure as cloud storage option, allowing IT managers to store data in Microsoft hosted data centres, in addition to Citrix-managed clouds or on-premise within their own data centres.
XenDesktop 7, XenMobile Enterprise and ShareFile StorageZone Connectors will all be available from June 2013.