Citrix Summit – in review

Citrix Summit – in review

Citrix Summit, the company’s annual showcase event for its partner community, took place in Las Vegas. So what did we learn at Summit this year?

This is an important year for Citrix, after the retirement of its hugely influential and charismatic leader of 21 years Mark Templeton. Citrix made some dramatic announcements on its most recent earnings call, so this Summit was its opportunity to reassure us that all is still well.

Focusing on focus
The opening keynote was delivered by Carlos Sartorius, senior VP, Worldwide Sales & Services, with high energy and lots of enthusiasm.

With no radical new technologies, the keynote instead emphasised the need for focus on Citrix’s core capabilities: application delivery, networking and secure data. There was plenty of talk about perseverance, commitment, and continuing along an established path.

As most apps are now web-based, Citrix went out of its way to remind us why XenApp scores: because the applications and therefore the data stay secure in the datacentre. Data security is the big selling point here, and NetScaler is the core product that ensures the data remains where it should.

Best application delivery company
Moving on to the next day’s Tech Talks keynote, we heard similar pep talks from each of the product division VPs– ‘we are focused on being the best at what we do, so let’s ensure we all do this together’.

The messaging was all about stripping back Citrix to where it excels, and getting back to its roots as the best application delivery company in the world. This was reinforced by the visual design in the hall: orange building blocks reminiscent of Citrix’s original branding for WinFrame and MetaFrame.

We did get reminders about the recent updates to XenApp and XenDesktop to version 7.7, with new capabilities in cloud provisioning and collaboration, improved flexibility of FMA and simplified application management. Citrix also talked us through what to expect in XenApp and XenDesktop 7.8 when they’re released later in Q1, such as better application management and delivery – all the gen is here.

Easier app deployment
The one big piece of news was the universal web app portal called Browser Web Service. Built on existing XenApp technology, it allows companies to simplify their deployment of in-house web and SaaS apps to users through a standard interface.

Simplifying the steps to deploy some of the most awkward – yet business critical – apps is a great idea, and the demo looked like this will be an excellent addition to the XenApp toolset. We also got to see tech previews of some interesting new products coming up, including AppDisk, PVS, WorxForms and WorxChat.

But overall, the focus was very much on, well, focus. Citrix did also emphasise the importance of its partner network in delivering and supporting Citrix solutions to end customers.