Citrix's Marketing Message: Evolving from 'Access' to 'Application Delivery?'

In the “Thought Leadership” editorial I wrote last week, I raised some concerns that I had with Citrix. I wrote that I wanted them to be more open and that I wanted them to evolve away from their “Access” marketing message.

In the “Thought Leadership” editorial I wrote last week, I raised some concerns that I had with Citrix. I wrote that I wanted them to be more open and that I wanted them to evolve away from their “Access” marketing message.

On the topic of openness, I wrote about several things that they could do to improve (in my opinion, at least). However, I didn’t write about what I hoped to see from a marketing standpoint. Basically that meant that I complained about it without offering any suggestions.

Therefore I’d like to use this editorial to outline the specific reasons of why I think it’s important that Citrix evolves their marketing message, and how I think that evolution can take place.

Background: The road leading up to “Access”

Allow me to provide some background information for context. (If you’re familiar with Citrix’s actions over the past ten years, feel free to skip to the next section.)

In the late 90s and early 2000s, Citrix was a one-product company focused on the server-based computing space. MetaFrame was awesome, but Citrix had to mitigate several risks associated with being a one-product company (market saturation, all eggs in one basket, low barrier of entry for competitors, buggy whip syndrome, etc.)

In 2001, Citrix bought a web portal company called Sequoia. Sequoia made fine products as far as web portals go, but it really wasn’t relevant to the server-based computing and MetaFrame spaces where Citrix was at that time. For the most part, people ignored the products that Citrix got from Sequoia, and Citrix continued to be a one-product company.

In 2003, Citrix launched their “Access” marketing campaign. “It’s all about Access… We are the company to provide ‘Access.’ … Access to applications, data, etc.”

At about the same time, Citrix announced the “Citrix Access Suite.” This suite was a “suite” in name only. It was actually four separate more-or-less and unrelated products: MetaFrame Presentation Server, a web portal based on the Sequoia platform, a conferencing package, and a password management application.

From the beginning I really liked the “Access” message. It made sense to me.

The suite, on the other hand, was not something that I liked. I mean what did a password management application have to do with MetaFrame, and why were they in the same suite? “You can’t ‘access’ your applications if you don’t know your password” was the typical Citrix response. Well duh! But to me, that was like saying “you can’t access your applications if you don’t have electricity, so we’re going to provide that too!”

There was another problem with the “Access” message. By saying that they were going to be the one vendor to provide ‘access’ to applications, Citrix was suddenly encroaching on the territory of a lot of other software and hardware companies. LANs, WANs, security applications, networking hardware, directories, user management solutions--these are all used for 'access.' In fact, the only reason that IT exists is to provide access to applications. Did this mean that Citrix was now competing with every single vendor in the IT space? How would customers feel about that?

In some ways it didn’t matter. People were like, “whatever dude!” and continued use MetaFrame and ignore the other products in the Access Suite. Those “other” suite products just didn’t matter.

In late 2004, Citrix bought Net6, a small SSL-VPN appliance maker. This was the first acquisition that Citrix made that really started to change the game for them and started to show people where they were going strategically. After about a year of integration, Citrix released “Advanced Access Control” (AAC), a software component that integrated MetaFrame Presentation Server and the Citrix Access Gateway (the renamed Net6 SSL-VPN) in a very cool and unique way. The AAC software was what led me to have my epiphany about Citrix and the whole ‘Access’ message. For the first time I saw true value in the “suite” in the way that Presentation Server, the Citrix Access Gateway SSL-VPN appliance, and the AAC software all tied together. Citrix was moving in the right direction!

Then in May 2005 Citrix bought NetScaler, an HTTP optimization appliance vendor. Again we wondered and speculated about how Citrix would integrate NetScaler into their product portfolio. After all, none of Citrix’s products had anything to do with HTTP application delivery. NetScaler’s customers were companies like Yahoo!, Google, MSN, and ESPN—a major difference from Citrix’s existing customers who used Presentation Server to push fat Windows apps over thin pipes.

Mark Templeton ended all the speculation by detailing Citrix's new messaging at iForum that October (five months after the NetScaler acquisition). “We want to be the single company to provide access to all applications, regardless of what type they are.” For Windows client/server applications, you can use Citrix Presentation Server. For web applications, you can optimize them with NetScaler appliances. For full client or offline applications, you can use desktop streaming. (This was referring to technologies that are part of Citrix’s Project Tarpon, a Softricity-like streaming project currently in beta.)

I had a huge smile on my face when I heard this messaging. I tapped my colleague sitting next to me on the leg about fifty times saying, “Brilliant! This is great stuff!” I really liked this messaging.

The "Access" Message

So what’s the problem? The problem is that even though they announced some new positioning, everything was still hidden behind the single marketing word called “Access.” As I wrote last week, I don't think that the "Access" message is the best way to sell Citrix. I mean what is "Access" anyway? Access to what? And how many CIOs have a budget for "access?"

If you walk into the office of almost any CIO, you'll see on the board a list of top priorities. I have never seen a CIO that's looking for an "access strategy" as a top priority. (And I'm sorry to say this, but Citrix will never be able to train little silver partners to be able to convince big CIOs that they need an access strategy.)

Instead, most CIOs have real problems to solve which tend to be application-focused. They need to implement and deploy new applications, an area in which Citrix excels, but unfortunately people don't realize this since Citrix is pushing "Access," whatever that means.

The "Access" marketing message is also vague in Citrix's print advertisements. I came across two “gems” in BusinessWeek over the past month. (Actually these ads are currently running on Citrix.com’s homepage.) One says “Betfair saw the future of betting. Citrix provided Access.” The other says that “Florida Guardian ad Litem saw the future of child advocacy. Citrix Provided Access.”

What in the world does that mean? Do you think any CIO is actually reading these ads and saying, “Yes! I want access! Let me call Citrix!” Of course not. The CIO is left wondering whether Citrix makes software or is a financial underwriter.

Think about this. Try to give a 30-second elevator pitch about “Access.”

Citrix enables businesses to exploit the promise of new technologies by providing access solutions.

What does that mean? The poor sap on the receiving end of the "access" pitch will know less about Citrix after the 30 seconds than he did going in.

“Access” makes a nice bold red sticker on a taxicab ad. It does not make for good corporate messaging.

How can Citrix evolve from the Access marketing message?

To get to the real meat of this editorial, let's look at what Citrix can do to refine their marketing message. Personally I like the term “application delivery.” That’s more concrete and more specific while still giving Citrix wiggle room to cover server-based computing, HTTP optimization, streaming, VDI, or whatever other technologies they buy.

Imagine the elevator pitch about "application delivery."

“Citrix makes products that allow IT departments to deliver applications to end users--securely, cheaply, quickly, and over any connection from any device.”

To me, that is something more tangible that I think a lot of people can understand.

I think this also helps Citrix evolve away from pure server-based computing and into all of these other areas. As I’ve said many times before, I started out my career by focusing on Microsoft SMS. When people ask how I made the jump from SMS to Citrix, I tell them that while these two technologies are very different, they both solve the same business need—delivering applications to users. Presentation Server, NetScaler, Tarpon—all of these products are about delivering applications to users in a secure and cost effective way. Same goes for Appswing and virtual desktop infrastructures and some of the other "evolving" areas that Citrix is investing in.

If you think about it, Citrix has always been about application delivery. Bringing "application delivery" into the prime marketing spotlight will allow Citrix to be true to their roots while letting their products evolve as the definition of an "application" evolves. The term "application delivery" is future-proof, because even twenty years from now people will still be using applications, and IT will still be responsible for delivering them quickly, securely, and to and from anywhere. This means that Citrix can be well positioned to talk about how new types of applications will be delivered when they become real (.NET, Web 2.0, voice, video, P2P, etc.)

Moving Forward

Citrix is perfectly positioned to absolutely dominate the application delivery space. No other company is focused purely on delivering applications, and Citrix needs to make sure that the market knows this. How great would it be if Citrix became THE company that can deliver any type of application to any user, anywhere, in a secure and well-performing way? This would mean that Citrix could do the stuff that matters most to CIOs, and that’s really valuable.

If you look at Citrix's “Access Platform” diagram, you see “application delivery” is one little piece of it. But what’s all this other stuff? What is “access security & control” and “operations system support?” How about just calling these “application security” and “application visibility.”

The bottom line is that Citrix should tweak the "Access" message so that it's more relevant to customers. Since CIOs and IT departments focus on applications, why shouldn't Citrix? I'm not even saying that I think the whole "Access" message should go away. I just think it should be minimzed while something more tangible like "application delivery" is brought into focus.

Join the conversation

32 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

Brian, Brian, Brian.... come on you must realise that application delivery is not the value !!!, what good is an application without data ?, Why do business use applications ?, What creates a competative advantage ?
 
Just three quick questions that tell you why they market 'Access' not application delivery, it is about access , it's about being able to access data and not just any old data, the right data at the right place when you need it, sure you need the application to do that so Citrix becomes the enabler but you have to look at the end result and the business benifit not the technical deliverables.
 
Go into a CIO's office and talk to him about application delivery then, 'So hey Mr CIO I can deliever applications for you bla bla bla'.....'Can you great thanks and why do I want remote access to Corel Draw ! (OK SAP), whats it going to deliver to my business, will it increase the productivity of my staff, will I be able to deliver a competattive advantage to the company and assist the business in revenue growth or GP ? , even CIO's have business issue on their mind not the how rather than the what.
 
It's not about 'delivering an application', it's about 'accessing information'............sorry Brian I think your trying to do a bad recovery from your previous article.
Cancel
I think you have missed the point of Brian's article in the same way he is stating Citrix is with its message. Brian is saying that Citrix can do all these great things, but that they are trying to encapsulate it within one word. This word needs to be the sum of Citrix's parts and 'Access' is not necessarily it.
As you say one of Citrix's core functionalities is that it provides access to data, however concentrating on purely that one message misses out the security/vpn/web optimisation aspects too.
Citrix need a strategy that encompasses all their functionality in a modular basis. They may need to resort to multiple messages for this and allow CIO and techys to pick and mix which ones are directly relevant. As a solution it is easier to sell back to the business when it directly hits the CIO priority list - e.g security, remote access, web hosting, asp etc
There is no shame in having a portfolio of products, just market them correctly.
Mat
Cancel
All right...maybe i left something...
i remember old arcticle from Brian saying :
"want password manager please compare it to the others offers in the industry..."
"Want portal to access application or more please study the opportunity of other stuff like share point portal.and for priceless..."
And so on...
For me ok ,Citrix can do a lot of things but dont forget that other stuff means others concurrence...and for sure Citrix will not take the leadership on all..(ok for exemple CAG leader in VPN but have you really see the failover option and The Bug into the vpn client...!!)
But the core for me (and i think to customer) it's the application, its deployement and its management thrue a server farm..
so if citrix continue we need to get examcram of Cisco, read TCP/IP core architecture, Get Security Manager certificate.......
 
Maybe we have to invent somtehing else for Citrix...
Server base computing => Securly Be Compatible ( cause need to know if my apps will be compatible with password manager, netscaller, biometric citrix, secure accesscontrol, smart access, aei, oups..mean Acess stratégy.!!)
 
 
Cancel
Brian is right here. Access may be a visionary if you really sit down and explain everything, but it's a bit too vague to really move the needle. IT people (CIOs or admins) don't have a budget or strategy for "access". They do, however, have budgets for "applications". And they have tons of problems "delivering" those applications out to users. That's where Citrix should focus its marketing money and messaging.
Cancel
Brilliant!! I couldn't agree more, Brian. You've hit the nail on the head. Every other infrastructure vendor out there is trying to move up to "application" messages... the networking guys, the security guys, etc. These vendors all know that applications are the heartbeat of what CIOs are investing in to achieve their business objectives (which will, of course, vary by app) and they are struggling to reposition themselves around applications.
 
For Citrix, however, it's always been about applications. They have more credibility here than all those other vendors combined. And their value transcends all of the technology-focused infrastructure players that focus narrowly on things like networking or security. If Citrix starts shifting more of the focus of their marketing to "application delivery", it could have a very positive impact on how they are viewed by customers, both at a CIO level as well as a techie level. I've seen them talk about their products in terms of application delivery, and as you mentioned from your reaction at last year's iForum, it works brilliantly.
 
As you noted, "access" is not a bad theme. It served Citrix well in the past and should probably be a part of their messages in the future. But to have so much focus on access is simply too vague to have much of an impact. It also talks about the value of Citrix from the perspective of the end user... the guys who are "accessing" stuff. Unfortunately, the end user is not the one who buys Citrix products, it's the IT guy who does that. The term "application delivery" more accurately articulates the value of Citrix from the view of IT, the one chartered with delivering all these applications with great security, performance, availability, visibility, low cost, etc. Most IT guys I know think more like that. 
 
Centering the message more on "application delivery" would also be a great way to help Citrix be viewed as more of a strategic infrastructure partner that must be one of every company's top 6-7 vendors. And it would help them get into more major IT projects earlier when companies are first thinking about how they can roll these multi-million dollar application projects out with the lowest cost, best security, best performance, highest availability, best visibility, etc. The more their message centers on "applications", the more likely they are to be thought of as the key infrastructure partner to make every application a success. No one is ever going to think "I need access... hmm, let's call Citrix." The IT people I know just don't think that way. Every day, however, they think about applications and worry about some aspect of getting that application from point A (the datacenter) to point B (the users). They worry about how to do it with the budget they've been given. They worry about how to do it securely. They worry about how to make sure it performs well so that users don't call the help desk to complain. They worry about how to do it in a way that keeps the ongoing applicatoin aintenance to a minimum, even if things change on the backend (the app), in the middle (the network) or at the endpoint (device, user). And they worry about how they can have constant visibility into what's happening along the way so that they can report back to the business folks who invested so much in those apps in the first place. If Citrix really gets behind this "application delivery" idea and starts emphasizing and articulating what it means, and why it's important to have a single partner who can solve the app delivery problem for ALL applications, I think they'll have far more success and really strike a chord that resonates with customers at multiple levels.
 
Citrix is a truly great company with more potential now than they have ever had before. I for one am excited to see where they go next. Thanks for all the great insights and for pushing Citrix to talk more openly, and more clearly, about what that vision for the future looks like.
Cancel
You know, I think this comment sums up the issue nicely. IT is about applications. Cisco & others realize this, and they're trying to move "up" to applications. Citrix is there right now, it's just that no one knows it!

I seriously think Citrix could explode into a $2-4B company very quickly if people can really understand what they do and why.

Brian
Cancel
Using the term "Application Delivery" is nothing new to me as I have used it to describe "what I do" to people when they ask.  I like the term.

I would like to mention that neither Application Delivery or Access Strategy is going to be a CIO's white board cause I find that most CIO's I have worked with don't really care.

For example:  CIO and Sr. Staff decide they need application X deployed globally.  CIO to staff:  "Staff, come up with the best solution for our situation."

Good CIO's follow a few simple rules:

1.  Hire Competent People
2.  Give them a clear mission
3.  Get out of their way

J.

Cancel
I have been silent following the discussion going on but now would like to add a note to this. Citrix has been improving their "Access thing" all the time over the last 2-3 years:

At launch it was only words
Then they started to fill up with poor 1st version products
Then the words became technical reality - cause the product now actually works
At this point they improves the message again and even add more products to the "message"
The "New Citrix" needed a learning process. Imagine how simple it was to positioning ONE product; Citrix MetaFrame. Citrix now have over 10 products that solve different IT-business problems. I must say they really get things going - also with marketing/positioning.
 
How many of you have listened to Citrix positioning lately?
 
New words are: "Best Access Experience. Anytime. Anywhere."
 
'Application Delivery' is already in there and is being used by Citrix!! (sorry Brian, Citrix is one step ahead of you )
"Only Citrix has the best Application Delivery solution for all app types"
 
If anyone of you didn't pay attention to the latest Citrix presentation, or not been listening to them since iForum 2005 I urge you to check out James McNab's presentation given at Commaxx ThinPower 2006 in May. http://www.thinpower.no/presentations/Dag1/plenum/D1P-0945.ppt.
 
See you at iForum 2006 in October!
 
Regards,
7/13, Norway
Cancel
"Application Delivery" may not be on the CIO's white board, but "application" projects definitely are. Associating Citrix more closely with the value they bring to "applications" gives them a message for IT administrators that is far more tangible and easy to explain than "access", while giving them a value proposition for VPs and CIOs that more directly supports what the business folks care about.
Cancel
completely agree that citrix is getting much, much better here. they have been using the application delivery messaging since iforum last year (as brian mentioned in his article) and have even used terms like "application visibility" and "application security" more recently too. i think what everyone is pushing for is more of this direction and a little less emphasis on access. the tagline "best access experience. anytime. anywhere" works well and supports the "anytime, anywhere" application delivery message nicely. it's the more vague "access" stuff that causes all the confusion.
 
citrix fan in germany
Cancel
 
We need to add a little more meat to the message! How is this for a tripple grade AAA solution.
 
 
Access. Application Deployment. Administration.
 
Hands down, these three things combined are what sells Citrix to CIO's. Why not unify all three items into one consolidated message. After all, the folks at Citrix should know a thing or two about consolidation right?
Cancel
Marketing advice from a geek! When it comes to marketing, Citrix is on their game. They have reached one billion in sales last year on their Access messaging, selling a suite consisting of one great real product that’s been around for over a decade and a couple other widgets that might add value to CPS. If you have had a chance to see an experienced Citrix sales rep give their CIO whiteboard presentation, perhaps we could have been spared marketing advice from a geek!  
 
Cancel
I agree that Citrix is good at marketing. As Brian said, access was a nice message that allowed Citrix to get to $1 billion on the strength of "one great product". But there's no way it will take them into the $2-4 billion company they can be. I agree with Brian that Citrix can dominate this much larger space and be THE strategic partner for application delivery.
 
I'm sure the experienced Citrix sales reps are great at what they do, but I don't think that's the point. That's sales, not marketing. The battle is half over by the time they get the meeting with the customer and have the opportunity to go through their whiteboard pitch.
 
I think what Brian's talking about is recognizing that the world has changed and evolving more crisp, clear, tangible marketing messages that attract a broader audience than Citrix is reaching today. If the marketing messages don't resonate broadly enough, their sales reps won't get enough chances to tell their whiteboard story. To grow to the next level, Citrix needs more customers thinking about them and calling them. That's what marketing is all about.
 
They also need messages that all their channel partners can easily tell. I really like the elevator pitch example Brian used. The app delivery message is a pretty clear, simple one that's easy for anyone to talk about at a high level.
Cancel
I totally agree with the Access message. Maybe it needs to be tuned but really it is all about access. When you say application delivery most CIO's think SMS, Altiris, Sneaker.net. Citrix really has something with the Access Infrastructure message, most companies have Network Infrastructure, Server Infrastructure, Storage Infrastructure, and Database Infrastructure, but how many companies have Access Infrastructure? And why not? If Access was looked at as a Strategy or Infrastructure then the whole reason IT is in a company would be worlds easier; to get Users to the Right Data. Bill Gates even talked about how this is the next big thing, Getting Users to the Right Data. And every day this gets harder and harder to do, SOX, HIPPA, and what’s Next? Protect all Personal Information at all cost? What would happen to these companies that keep losing people’s Personal Data if heavy fines for losing this data, like those levied against Choicepoint, were a Law? The great thing about Citrix is while they have Products that range a gambit of technologies (Netscaler - Network? CPM - IAM? AG - Network?) their focus on these products is to provide access. A 30 second "Elevator Pitch" on Citrix and Access? "One Way to Access Your Data". One Question I have always had for you Brian is how many CIO's of Large companies do you talk to in a week? I don't mean this as an attack just always wondered from reading posts on here. Keep up the Good Discussions.
Cancel
Just a couple of thoughts....
 
1. You HAVE to be amazed at the number of replies on this specific topic.
 
2. Personally I don't think one day Mark T was sitting on his porcelain throne, reading "IT CEOs for Dummys", when suddenly he had an epiphany and thought "That's it! Let's make it all about Access!". Seriously people, this thing has been well thought...
 
3. I didn't get the Sequoia acquisition at first. I didn't get the Access idea at first. I didn't get the Expercity acquisition at first. I didn't get the NetScaler acquisition at first. I didn't get the Teros acquisition at first. Are you seeing a pattern?.
 
4. Application Delivery is a part of the Access Strategy. While reading Brian's article I kept wondering if he had seen the Access Platform diagram... but there it was! Right at the end he mentions it! He says he doesn't get the "Access Security & Control" stuff. Action Control (a feature within AAC) is a perfect example of Access Security & Control. It doesn't deliver any app, it just let's you control what a user can actually DO with a document. Application Firewall is another nice example. It doesn't deliver any apps, it secures them. THAT'S ACCESS!
 
5. When people don't understand the hollistic view of Access and the whole idea behind building and access platform, I usually bring up this comparison (and it tends to work): "How many networks does your company have to deliver information? One. It may be built upon different LANs, and WAN links, VSATs and what not, but it's just ONE network. (usually people nod at this point). That's the idea behind building an access platform. It's all about building a layer above the network layer that will support on any business or technical iniciative. You don't build a network for every iniciative. So stop building an access solution for each iniciative!"
 
Great discussion! Keep up the GREAT work!
 
Carlos Sanabria, MCSE, CCEA
Cancel
Your comparison at the end is great. But it's also why Citrix should put more focus on "applications". What is it that rides on top of that ONE network you have... it's APPLICATIONS. Do you know what Cisco calls that multi-billion dollar part of its business that sells basic, low-level, tactical routers? They call it "Access Networking". Access is a fine term, but all too often it doesn't mean something high level and strategic.  
 
I think it's easy to see things like App Firewall and features like Action Rights as part of "application delivery". Think about what happens when you send something physical (like a letter or package) through a trucking company. Your goal is for them to deliver it to the destination point fast, in good shape and at a reasonable cost. In order to do that, they'll need to ensure that it is secure (can't have anyone opening it's contents). They may also have to get it through customs at a foreign port. Those things may be security and access-related, but they are equally part of the overall delivery process.
 
Both of these terms work fine to me. It's just that ACCESS talks about the solution from the point of view of the end user, while APPLICATION DELIVERY talks about the solution from the point of view of the IT person.
 
I personally agree with Brian that the later is far more tangible and speaks more clearly to those of us in IT actually using and buying Citrix products.
Cancel
OK - Forget the marketing strategy change.
Citrix name changes drive everyone crazy.
I think we are committed to the Access message.
I think "Access" and "Application Delivery" are weak names for strategic marketing but we have to admit that Citrix is being successful in marketing even though they are anal.
 
Part of "Access" is "Application Delivery."
 
When I think of "Access" I think of butterflies, daffodils, and faries or the MS Office application. It is to general and has no authority.
 
Compromise:
"Application Access Authority" would be a strong name that would also define their positioning and strategy.
It says Application Delivery.
It says Access.
It says Security.
It is a powerful and authoritative message which Citrix does not currently have.
 
I am perplexed when I think that Citrix could have owned VMWare and Softricity.
Could you imagine the position Citrix would be in?
They would own the application delivery access and virtualization categories!
Cancel
All of us tech geeks can come up with clever marketing phrases all we want, but at the end of the day, it's pretty simple to me.
 
APPLICATIONS are king. That's where the budget and business decision makers live. Brian's "Application Delivery" elevator pitch is so easy even a VP can get it.
 
ACCESS is vague and amorphous. All of us long-time Citrix dead heads may get it and think it's brilliant, but it's simply too vague for the unconverted to grasp. And remember, it's increasingly about all kinds of apps... web, voice, video, XML, AJAX, etc.
 
Citrix has always been about products that make it easy for companies to DELIVER APPLICATIONS from the datacenter to any user... fast, simple, efficient, secure. Why try and create a bunch of vague or clever terms to describe that. Just say it.
Cancel
The key is that applications are concrete; access is vague.  It becomes even more vague when you consider its mutliple parts of speech.  Therefore, when you mention something about "access" to IT guys, they first have to first figure out what the heck access is before they can process what you're trying to say about it. 

On the other hand, "application" resonates with people.  When you mention something about applications to IT guys, they immediately and subconsciously think, "I have applications."  You've established a common ground.  Plus, there's no learning curve: the IT guy knows immediately what your'e talking about and then can focus on the message.

But let's face it: from a high-level messaging standpoint, "application delivery" isn't very sexy.  Maybe IT guys think it's sexy, but I doubt you'll draw a crowd at a party if you start throwing around words phrases like "application virtualization."  Like someone else said, application delivery doesn't make for cool signs on cabs or pretty brochures for investors.  Access, though, evokes a world of rapid information exchange and constant connectivity.  Cool. 

The bottom line?  Who knows.  Maybe two audiences, two messages.
Cancel
Love the line "Application Delivery is so easy even a VP can understand it"
 
Says it all. I already get what Citrix does, and frankly, I don't give a rip personally what they call it. Just make the stuff work and support it.
 
But I do want my VP to get it, because if he does, we won't have to fight so hard each year to justify why we're doing this bizarre citrix thing. Right now, they think of Citrix as almost this weird religious cult. Trying to explain "access" to them hasn't exactly helped my cause on that front.
 
But Brian's elevator pitch on "application delivery" is something I know they would get. And maybe, just maybe, they'd start looking at Citrix as a strategic partner for ALL applications, not just something they're stuck with for these old problem apps.
Cancel
The problem is that Citrix is NOT a good solution for "ALL" apps.  They are a great solution for a small piece of the enterprise.  They have a great story for users needing access to applications from remote locations.  They have a semi-good story when talking about application delivery on the WAN except for the fact that Citrix scales poorly.  Tarpon excited me because it should eliminate all of the problem we have in our Citrix environments today so time will tell.  I thought Citrix was on track to do something good until Microsoft bought Softricity.  Now Microsoft may be the way to go in the not to distant future. 

Reading what I just said above you'll see why they use "ACCESS" not "APPLICATION DELIVERY".  They do a great job at providing "ACCESS".  APplication delivery is where they fall flat on their face in a large enterprise.
Cancel
 
BINGO! I suspect that's one major reason why Citrix went down the more vague "access" path in the past...they knew they only had one product and were hesitant to put a stake in the ground and tell the world they were going to build an infrastructure to deliver ANY app, not just Windows apps with a c/s model.
 
But I would argue that your statement is increasingly no longer the case. Sure, there are some apps that Citrix doesn't yet have a full solution for, but they clearly have a FAR better story and chance of getting there than anyone else.
 
Presentation Server is killer for C/S type Windows applications. From everything I hear, NetScaler is a great solution for delivering web apps, which make up the vast majority of new apps being developed in every enterprise. And if you look at the NetScaler architecture (which I discussed in some detail with a technician in the Tech Lab at the last iForum), it's the ideal platform for many other future app types, including XML web services, Web 2.0, etc.
 
And if you listened to Mark T's comments from the last earnings call, he basically came right out and said that they were going to launch some kind of WAN optimization product soon (which should also help improve CPS scalability if they do it right).
 
You can point out that they don't do ALL apps yet, but it's pretty close. And who else is going to do it... Cisco? F5? EMC? Forget it... Citrix is far ahead here.
 
Besides, that's what a marketing vision is all about anyway, right? Giving us customers a simple, clear, easy to grok vision of the main problem they want to solve for ALL apps. If they had been more clear on that strategy earlier, we might have all been less surprised when they did acquisitions like NetScaler in the first place as it would have seemed so obvious.
Cancel
Access is a fuzzy marketing term. Delivering access to business applications means more. Delivering access to business applications, regardless of the user's location, bandwidth or client device - thats a better message (and elevator pitch).
 
I usually explain CAG as an application VPN: it's focussed on delivering remote access to applications and business systems, rather than just Layer 3 network access.
I also describe CAG as less of a traditional remote Web portal, and more of a "desk-like" experience: the user access applications remotely in the same way that they access them in the corporate network.
 
I see Password Manager and the NetScaler products as being pointless diversions. RSA did a much better job of OEMing Passlogix's product than Citrix did.
 
Cancel
 
Completely agree, King. I also like the application delivery term. And I also describe Access Gateway as an "application" VPN. That's exactly what it is when you compare it to ipsec network VPNs. Only point of disagreement is with netscaler. That "pointless diversion" happens to be something like a $100 million business according to our sales rep and growing 5x faster than the presentation server business. And if my company is any indication, our app guys are rolling out virtually every new app via the web, in many cases to users outside the firewall who couldn't use presentation server if they wanted to.
 
I'm not a networking guy (presume you're not either), but that doesn't mean it's pointless. I, for one, would be far more concerned if Citrix tried to bury its head in the sand and pretend that PS was the best way to deliver every type of app. Within 3-4 years, they would have been an irrelevant niche player, bought up by someone else who would probably kill everything we love about the company. You may not personally care about netscaler, but we should all be glad that Citrix had the foresight to see that one coming. Who knows -- in 5 years, the netscaler business may be bigger than presentation server.
Cancel
I think its funny NERDS talking about marketing. Guys and Girls lets stick to what we do best been nerds not Marketing Pro's. Who cares what words Citrix use as long as there products do what it says on the thin. Although there future plans are vague from a marketing prospective who cares.
Cancel
ORIGINAL: Guest

I think its funny NERDS talking about marketing. Guys and Girls lets stick to what we do best been nerds not Marketing Pro's. Who cares what words Citrix use as long as there products do what it says on the thin. Although there future plans are vague from a marketing prospective who cares.

 
I don't  mean to be impolite, but that is a fairly standard 'nerd' (and I quote) response. If all there was to do was implement and manage Citrix products, that'd be great, because the nerds cut out the BS and get on with the job.
Unfortunately messaging is very important if you work in a Consulting\Pre-Sales\Reseller arena and have to WIN business from business users and people who make financial decisions as well as informed Techs. This is the process that enable the nerds to do their part when it comes to it.  Most often you're competing against other companies for the work, and if you can't make it clear what Citrix PS or Access Suite does (and often what it does over and above Terminal Services and a VPN) and the competitor can, then you don't get the business and the nerds don't get a whiff.
 
Most people we talk to are aware of Citrix because they work in a Technical environment. The rest we make aware because they come to us with Application Delivery or Access problems. There needs to be a simple and consistent business message for the CFO's and CIO's, but this can be delivered by a good sales person or consultant. Citrix, however can confuse things by their vaugueness - IF you take every marketing release literally. My Advice? Always have your own clear understanding of what Citrix products will and won't do, make sure you and your Sales people are able to explain it in nice, pragmatic plain language and stay away from the 'We're Selling Dreams' type marketing language we hear from the Vendors. Then when the business is won let the nerds do their thing!  
 
Mike.
Cancel
Talk to any person in management and ask them what is the one most valuable thing you could provide to them when it comes to applications.
The response is always..make them load faster, run faster, faster to get to.  It is all about TIME.  I have a big red sign in my office with black
letters that says, "Start Counting"  it reminds me that every time someone walks into my office to interrupt what I am doing to say to them
I can give you 2 or 5 or 10 minutes and thats it.  We get interrupted so many times throughout the day it leaves us little time to do anything.
Managers are responsible for paying people by time worked and they want the most out of that time.  Anyone see where I am going here?
 
That is what sells product. Show me how it saves me and my employees time. Access from anyplace, anytime, anywhere certainly saves time
but that isn't assumed. I'd be drawn to words like "Applications in a Flash", A picture of a guy standing in a hotel, "They can't  quickly get to their database from here but you can because you have Citrix Access",  "Citrix, the office is only moments away".  "Carry your office with you".
Get the idea?  This would be a much more powerful message than what Brian is suggesting.
 
Regards,
Jim Kenzig
http://thinhelp.com
Microsoft MVP
Cancel
I agree app delivery is a nicer line than access, but i don't understand why Citrix would / should feel compelled to have one single marketing message for their whole company rather than a specific and meaningful one per product. Isn't the whole idea of not having all eggs in one basket to have diverse solutions for diverse problems?
 
Not that it's a comparison to take seriously, but i don't exactly see Microsoft hitting the CIO whiteboard list with 'Your potential, our passion'...
Cancel
I think this argument about which is the better message, Access or App Delivery, is something of a red herring. There are three basic kinds of entity in any system - process, data, and comms - and generally speaking you need all them to do anything worthwhile. Process equates to applications; data is obvious (and, strangely, largely absent from this debate); comms provide the access. The argument should not be so much about whether Access or App Delivery makes for the best marketing, but how to get decision makers to understand that you need both to be right for things to work properly - and your data had better be accessible too, with the right protection, persistence and other attributes.
 
In today's distributed computing environments, the data and the apps can, independently, be just about anywhere, except that they have to be in the same place at the same time for processing of that data to take place; and it's access (networks) that make it possible to move one or both so this can happen. The challenge is surely to control all three in a way that presents appropriate paradigms to users and administrators, paradigms that make it obvious what business problem is being solved, and which make it easy for solutions to be monitored and managed.
Cancel
...and continuing the "access" message, Citrix announced today they are acquiring Orbital Data, a company that makes WAN optimization and accelleration hardware.  More info can be found here:

http://www.citrix.com/English/NE/news/news.asp?newsID=31991

Info on Orbital Data can be found here: 

http://www.orbitaldata.com

The products will be rebranded as "WANScaler" and incorporated into the product lineup.  This is but one more piece of the "Access" puzzle, and an obvious one.
Cancel
What's the bet that Citrix now stop inviting Packeteer to Iforum....as happened to Expand when Citrix decided they were a competition.
 
Cancel
Calling it WanScaler maybe see Jay Tomlins Blog  [link=http: JK
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchVirtualDesktop

SearchEnterpriseDesktop

SearchServerVirtualization

SearchVMware

Close