Good Morning! While you may just be getting to the office, I've been awake for a few hours, spoke in a session, and attended the Citrix Synergy Barcelona Keynote. This year, there we announcements aplenty. So many, in fact, that not all of them made it into the keynote (and one that did make it in, even though we could've lived without it).
- Right off the bat this morning, Citrix announced the acquisition of AppDNA (you can read my impression of the move here). The short version of my take on this is that it's good, especially in light of the announcement of a partnership with Lakeside Software and the new Virtual Desktop Assessment tool. This means that Citrix has the tools to help assess your applications and your hardware/resources as you move on from traditional desktops.
- After that, Mark T. gave a rundown of XenDesktop usage in the world, proclaiming it the number one solution on the market. One of the interesting notes is that he said there are 75 customers with 10,000 or more licenses! That's a staggering number, and it seems unrealistic until you consider that the vast majority of them probably took advantage of the XenApp to XenDesktop trade-up program. That means that most of them are still simply running the XenApp portion of XenDesktop. Is that number true? Yes. A little misleading? Also yes.
- Citrix now has a firm footing on the Post-PC era message, and it didn't take long for Cloud to come up during the keynote. Consumerization also came up fairly often, with the message being that we cannot fight consumerization, so organizations need to embrace it. Naturally, Citrix is there to help :)
- They continued the same message from Synergy in the US with regards to Total Value of Ownership. The change this time is with me. Back in May, I thought it was too subjective of a term, but the reality is that there is much value in desktop virtualization, regardless of whether or not it saves money. Brian's favorite analogy here is something along the lines of "you don't drive the cheapest car you can buy, do you? You pay more for more features." I'm 100% on board with that now, and with Citrix's message on it. Their cost models leave something to be desired, but the trend is still there.
(It's tough to explain, but it's not a very detailed chart, is it?)
- ShareFile was up next, and there was a brief demo of the Outlook plugin. This plugin integrates their cloud storage solution into Outlook for attachment storage and such, and is one of the more popular features of the ShareFile offering. What's odd to me is that they showed cloud storage integration in the Citrix Receiver later on, but they didn't attribute it to ShareFile, even though it clearly is. Maybe it was just an oversight, but I think it would've been beneficial to show the quick turnaround of ShareFile features into Citrix products. The version of Receiver with the cloud storage/ShareFile integration will be available in Q4 in Tech Preview form.
- GoToMeeting received another update with the "Workspaces" feature. Workspaces allows meeting participants to share a document in the meeting interface, but only in an upload/download kind of way. Collaboration is limited to making side notes a la Microsoft Word, while one person still needs to do the editing. I like the direction this is going, but this version falls a bit short. I want to see something that involves ShareFile sync and Google Docs-like real-time editing.
- So long Web Interface, it's been fun. Citrix Cloud Gateway (specifically the Receiver Storefront portion) has replaced WI as the backend source of Citrix-delivered applications. Web Interface will still be around, but will not be revved beyond the current version 5.4. Same goes for CSG. No word yet on whether or not CSG will work with Citrix Cloud Gateway or if you'll be forced to purchase a CAG or other solution.
- Also on the Cloud Gateway front, there will be two versions: Cloud Gateway Express and Cloud Gateway Enterprise. Cloud Gateway Express is simply the next evolution of Web Interface, with mostly the same feature set. It can be upgraded to Cloud Gateway Enterprise, which adds the ability to plug in more functionality, like SaaS app support. Citrix and VMware are truly in a dogfight here.
- There's been a large focus on HDX, and I even tweeted something to the effect of: Citrix can't be accused of ignoring HDX. Every time we have attend these shows, there are more improvements. Today, the main focus was on a low-cost thin client that was developed through a partnership with Texas Instruments and nComputing. This thin client will use System on Chip (SoC) technology to offload processing of HDX features to hardware, and is aimed to be a low cost (assuming ~$100) solution. Citrix uses this to justify the decreasing device cost in the cost model chart above.
- Last, we have the announcement that I wish we hadn't seen. We were teased with the "One more thing," and talks of social this and social that. In hindsight, we should've seen it coming, but out of nowhere we were shown a Citrix Receiver for Facebook. You could sense the collective eye roll in the audience, or at least in the blogger area. Maybe I'm getting old, but I feel like that's a blending of two worlds that just shouldn't exist. I guess we'll see what the overall reaction is to it before counting it out, but the general sentiment around me was "Are you f-ing kidding me?"
I'm here for the next few days with a video camera, and there is plenty to talk about and see. If I missed something in this rundown, let me know and I'll look into it for you. Otherwise, stay tuned for more from the expo hall floor here at Synergy 2011 Barcelona.