The Citrix Synergy 2012 Barcelona keynote was yesterday morning, and I went away feeling like Citrix did a good job of explaining how all of their enterprise mobility management products work together. To add to the mobile app management (MDX) and mobile file syncing (ShareFile) features we already knew about, Citrix formally unveiled their mobile email client and announced a managed mobile browser product as well. ShareFile and the mail client and browser—called @WorkMail and @WorkWeb—are collectively referred to as Me@Work, and all of the mobility products (except for the Citrix Online stuff like GoToMeeting) fall under the label MDX. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a closer look at what we found out today.
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We had a tease of @WorkMail back in May, which was later confirmed at the CloudGateway 2 release event in July. @WorkMail serves as the sandboxed email, calendar, and contact client for the Citrix mobile environment, keeping personal apps from accessing email, contacts, and attachments. IT can manage the app without having to manage the entire device, and @WorkMail can also communicate with other MDX apps like ShareFile and Receiver. There were a lot of good comments about its appearance, but the most impressive feature was integration with GoToMeeting. We all know how annoying it is to set up conference calls or extract dial-in information when we’re mobile, but this app can take care of all of that.
The other new app, @WorkWeb, is a sandboxed secure mobile browser. It can use app-level VPNs instead of having to use MDM to implement a device-level VPN, and IT can manage the app through CloudGateway and MDX. We’ll post videos and articles about both of these new apps next week. (Here's the video.)
The final mobile announcement was actually more general: ShareFile will now allow connections to on-premise storage. The distribution mechanism is still in the cloud, but this new feature, called the StorageZone Connector, should enable a lot more use cases.
Overall, I was impressed with how well Citrix explained how all of the MDX and Me@Work apps fit together. This is that whole “managed, interconnected corporate ecosystem on an unmanaged device” thing that I’ve been writing about for most of this year—I end up explaining this thing to people all the time, and I’m glad Citrix is on the same page. (How does all this work? Essentially, it’s the whole mobile app management story: protect corporate apps, keep IT out of personal apps, and leave the devices unmanaged. The essential components are a file syncing app, a mail client (or at least a way to protect attachments), maybe a browser, and an SDK and app wrapping to incorporate other apps. The apps can talk to each other using open-in and cut and paste (and other methods too on Android), and IT can manage and secure the whole ecosystem.)
After the Synergy Barcelona keynote, we can be sure that Citrix is 100% committed to this model of enterprise mobility management.
For more on the desktop-related parts of the keynote, check out Gabe's summary.