Citrix honors enteo. How long will it last?

At Citrix Summit 07 this week, Citrix named enteo Software the Solution Partner of the year for 2006.

At Citrix Summit 07 this week, Citrix named enteo Software the Solution Partner of the year for 2006. enteo makes software for deploying applications to servers and for doing “bare metal” OS installs to servers. Once you create all of your packages, you can point and click to re-image servers or to deploy applications or packages to servers.

Cool stuff.

The problem is that this is kind of competing with products that Citrix is getting into themselves. The whole “bare metal” deployment thing can now be solved with Citrix’s own Ardence solution (which, one could argue, is more slick than enteo’s imaging anyway. Plus it’s cheaper.)

And then of course there’s Citrix’s upcoming Streaming Server (a.k.a. Tarpon) that will be built into Presentation Server 4.5. The business value prop of Tarpon is almost word-for-word identical to enteo’s (very simple package and application deployment, integration with application publishing, etc.). Plus Tarpon uses Application Isolation Environments, so you won’t have to deal with the same potential application conflicts that you would if you were using something like enteo.

So what’s my point? The enteo / Citrix time line will look something like this:

  • 2006: enteo is Citrix Solution Partner of the Year.
  • 2007: Citrix builds enteo’s functionality into its own products.
  • 2008: Citrix does not allow enteo to exhibit at iForum or Summit

There’s the rub. Citrix has this habit of partnering with ISVs (even creating a “Citrix Ready” logo program for them). But as soon as Citrix perceives those companies as a threat, they’re not allowed to come to iForum anymore. What do you think happened to RTO, Lakeside, Expand, and countless others? Did they just suddenly lose interest in iForum? I think not.

So I wonder why Citrix chose to honor enteo with the 2006 partner award, now that Citrix will perceive them as a threat and start dissing them moving forward? Maybe the Citrix folks in Ft. Lauderdale haven't had time to go to Boston yet to learn that Ardence perceives enteo as competition?

Then again, does the partner of the year award actually mean anything, or is it just a press release and logo put together by the marketing department? Does anyone even take press releases seriously anymore? I mean look at the quote in this enteo / Citrix press releease from the Citrix executive. It's so generic and worthless. It could apply to absolutely any product made by any Citrix partner:

“Citrix partners like enteo Software are essential to our ability to provide a holistic and comprehensive range of solutions in the application delivery category,” said David Jones, Corporate Vice President, Business Development, for Citrix Systems. “enteo has demonstrated its commitment to Citrix at all levels through its work with Citrix’s technical, product, sales and marketing groups. Together, we provide our mutual customers with seamless, integrated, end-to-end application delivery solutions that improve IT efficiency, support increased mobility, reduce costs and accelerate business agility.”

At least they’re calling it “Application Delivery” and not “Access Infrastructure” anymore.

Good luck enteo!

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I think you are dead on.  BTW, was there anyone from Packeteer at Summit?  Looks like Enteo is going the way of so many others.
AEP, Paketeer, Softricity now Enteo.
 
Ben
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Some very good points made there. I think the MS and Citrix relationship may well head down the same path eventually. I've posted my 5c around inter-company relationships against the 'Symantec plans to buy Altiris' story. See what you think.
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Same exact case. Provision Networks came from a major Citrix partner/reseller that had all the honors at the time... As soon as Provision Networks started and released a Citrix competitor that relationship simply went down the drain. The same will happen here. You are great as long as you are not a competitor. The day you become one you are doomed.
The thing is, everyone in the ISV market knows that. This has been like that since when? 1975, when Microsoft was founded?
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The difference between someone like Provision and enteo is that Provision started out by making profile and printing software that added value to Citrix. Then, Provision actively chose to compete head-to-head against Citrix. That was Provision's decision.

enteo, RTO, Lakeside, Expand, and others all just kept on doing what they were doing. Citrix invited them to shows, took them into customers, gave them awards, and then Citrix (not the little ISV) decided "Okay, that's enough. We're going to build/buy a product and compete with you now. And by the way, thanks for helping us build our community, but we don't want you to be part of it anymore."

With friends like Citrix, who needs enemies?

Brian
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With friends like Citrix, who needs enemies?
 
One would think that this would be an object lesson to all the other ISV's out there who are working in the Citrix comminity.  But I kind of doubt it.  I am sure that we will be seeing the exact scenario play out again and again.  Will they ever learn?
 
Ben


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Sure. The only difference is exactly what you pointed out Brian. Provision decided to compete against Citrix. In this case, Citrix is the one turning the guns towards Enteo.
But as I said on my initial comment, all of us, ISVs, know that may happen sooner or later. It will be no surprise at all for Enteo, I am 100% sure, if down the road Citrix dumps them and politely invites them not to come again to iForum.
 
If tomorrow Microsoft decides to add CPU Control, DLL rebasing, Application streaming, two-way RDP audio, RDP session recording, EMF printing, profile management and session control/lockdown to the core Windows Terminal Services platform, all of us (TSFactory, Provision, triCerat, etc) will have a VERY hard time to stay alive. Do we know that may happen? Yes, all of us, since day one when we founded these companies.
 
When the small company from Ft. Laudardale started to grow it was natural they would start adding features to their product line that would impact the ISVs that helped them to get where they are today. Again, Microsoft is another typical example in the market that grew and swallowed a bunch of ISVs during the process.
 
That is the way it is. I guess now more people understand why ISVs CEOs/Founders do not sleep well at night. :-) 
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Hi all,
 
regarding the ongoing discussion, I want to add two topics:
I agree with Claudio: as an ISV you can never be sure, that any other ISV copy your ideas, or buy another company, doing the same like you and start competing against you. enteo have also a history in driving on this road: first partnering, than copying, than fighting. I know a lot of examples, where the partnership ends in front of the lawyers.
 
Citrix has awarded enteo as the "Partner of the year 2006". It´s not the "Product of the year". That´s a big difference! enteo have invested a lot of money and effort in posing as good as possible in front of Citrix and also in front of the community in sponsoring a lot of web sites (question: can you be independend, if you receive a sponsorship from a vendor...?). What they now have received, are the earnings for that engagement. I think, that´s not unfair. As long, as they don´t loose their soul, it´s opportune to do that. Citrix offers this option and so every 3rd-party vendor try to get the best value for himself (that the MD can sleep better and the marketing money is invested as good as possible!) The only risk I see, in awarding companies as "Partner of the year" is, that this could blind end-customers in looking for (better) products and solutions, which are indeed available on the market. I hope, the end-customer open their eyes, before they follow the marketing slogans ...  
 
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Well I guess Provision Networks read the tea leaves correctly.  Instead of waiting to be pushed out and marginalized, they decided to take control.  Sure it was their decision to compete but they certainly have innovated and beat Citrix to the punch with VDI.
 
Like you said Brian, with friends like Citrix who needs enemies.  Let's go back and remember the tombstones: Lakeside (they got the original resource mgr from them), Neoteris, Aurema (OEM'd from them and started badmouthing them), Passlogix (same as Aurema), Softricity (Citrix lost the $$bid to M$FT), Expand, F5, Collabrix (remember them b4 Citrix built conf mgr), etc...
 
I wonder what will happen to the little Citrix partners that provide just printing or profile management when Citrix finally gets it right.  Succeed or not, at least Provision said FU we're not going to wait for you to F us...  good for them!  ... and as for being a "pest" they're probably pissing the *** out of Citrix by making money off of Citri'x shortcomings: http://news.morningstar.com/news/ViewNews.asp?article=/PR/20070130AQTU022_univ.xml&pgid=qtqnPress4
 
 
 
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Brian, perhaps you should consider the value-add that enteo could provide for a combined CPS plus Ardence scenario, they already do farm management and automation very well ( in fact the white paper you wrote provides some good ideas on the topic ). This is the type of discussion we are having with enteo and other partners who will continue to innovate and add value to the Citrix Platform. Citrix must continue to expand in order to grow revenue and add value for our customers. This expansion will provide new and perhaps different opportunities for our partner ecosystem. The partners that innovate and grow with us will enjoy the benefits of a stronger Citrix brand, a broader reseller channel, a larger customer installed base, and the increased credibility being associated with the leader in application delivery.
 
Citrix is more committed than ever to our alliance partner ecosystem. You might notice the front page of Citrix.com. Citrix has just launched the Citrix Ready program ( www.citrix.com/citrixready ) which highlights and promotes Citrix ecosystem partners who have invested in the Citrix platform and tested their products along with various Citrix products and solutions. This "Citrix Ready" designation will significantly improve the partner’s visibility and credibility with our growing customer base. We will continue to invest in this program to let our customers know of the Citrix ecosystem partners and what value they can bring.  
 
Citrix can not stand still and thrive in this growing but challenging industry, we have lots of opportunity for our partners to grow and thrive with us.

Chris Fleck
Citrix Systems Inc.
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I'm not quite ready to say "With friends like Citrix who needs enemies"  However, I can see that many may in fact think that way.  I just think that it is a bit harsh on the part of Citrix not to invite people who had helped them in the past. 
 
This thread has made me think a little about Citrix and some of their new products.  Now that Citrix is becoming a big company, are they going to have to put up a class wall between their applications and PS developers at some point?  I am refering what OS software vendors like IBM and MS have to do. Microsoft and IBM have to keep their OS knowledge and trade secrets away from their applications developers in such a way that they do not give any advantage to their application developers and an outside ISV would not have.  That is how it is supposed to work in theory.  At what point does this apply to Citrix as well?  Can Citrix market applications that use PS specific features that other companies do not have access to?  My guess is that they probably are not there yet, but there could be a day when they are.
 
 
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Chris,
 
I agree in many things with you. The key message here, to be learned by all ISVs is simple: companies like Citrix (and many other examples, Microsoft being "the one") are always trying to deliver what their customers are asking for. If Citrix printing was perfect (PS4 is a nice try, way better than anything else Citrix tried in the past - but far from great) how many customers now using ThinPrint, Screwdrivers, UniPrint, etc would not dump all of them and use Citrix only? First, there is the extra cost that everyone tries to avoid/eliminate. Secondly if no third party vendor involved, there is only one to blame in case something goes wrong (no more vendor 1 saying the issue is vendor 2 and vice-versa).
 
The hard (and touchy) thing is where to draw this line, between what customers need that can be implemented in-house and what 3rd party ISVs (and partners) are already delivering.
When Citrix brings a new feature to PS, there is a big chance that feature will impact a vendor that was previously marketing/selling a solution to address that.
 
As a customer, I see this as a great thing. The more Citrix/Microsoft can add to their products so we all get all the bells and whistles at no extra cost, the better.
 
As someone heading an ISV, do I see this as a bad thing? Not really. I think the key point is to keep an eye on the market and on the big players. See what they are doing. Try to understand when and where your company many clash with them and try to avoid that. There will always be opportunities in the Citrix ecosystem. It is up to the ISV to find them. A good ISV will always find its way in this jungle. And will get to the other side alive.
 
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Claudio,
 
I wanted to add some color around some very good points that you make in your post.
 
Your comments were:  "Try to understand when and where your company may clash with them and try to avoid that. There will always be opportunities in the Citrix ecosystem. It is up to the ISV to find them. A good ISV will always find its way in this jungle."
 
Your comments are very true but there is also the other side of this coin where Citrix (or any other vendor) must also meet eco-system partners half way, to discover and exploit the areas where value is added, and understand the customer use cases where one, or both, company products make sense for customer satisfaction.   This is a two way street, and with the launch of Citrix Ready, we at Citrix, are partnering with our eco-system, to allow for growth opportunities for all of us that play in the Application Delivery space.   Citrix Ready will be the vehicle in which Citrix sales teams, Citrix reselling partners, and customers will be able to recognize the eco-system products/solutions that will deliver the best customer experience.
 
It is my hope that Citrix Ready will help to educate those who read only the marketing messages without validating the true value at the field and customer level.  There is business for everyone, even competitive solutions.   Working together, Citrix and our eco-system of Citrix Ready partners will win our fair share!  Heres to seeing increased incremental revenue growth!
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any views on endeavors sucessfully bringing msft to account for patent violations which were settled out of court and duly entered into licensing agreements with them and also CIRTIX , more suits to follow no doubt with extent and others.
 
it seems endeavors have a very robust and valuable streaming patent portfolio and applications , could they hold the key to the future of streaming ?
 
 
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