Published: January 9th, 2017

Day one of the Citrix Summit 2017 in Anaheim, Calif., could have been rebranded Citrix’ Cloud Day. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based software vendor made several announcements with a cloud focus starting with the acquisition of Boston-based Unidesk, a developer of Windows-based application packaging and management technology known as layering.

According to Citrix, application layering has emerged as the best way to separate apps from the underlying operating system, so they can be managed once and delivered from any end user computing solution to any device. The privately-held Unidesk enables customers to manage applications once across virtual desktops, and shared hosted desktops. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Jeroen van Rotterdam, senior vice president of Engineering at Citrix, said Unidesk will be incorporated into XenApp and XenDesktop and will help Citrix advance application layering deployment for the cloud, on-premises and in hybrid deployment environments.

But, maybe Citrix’ most strategic move for channel partners came with new cloud transition offering along with trade-up areas for solution providers to exploit with customers interested in transitioning to Citrix Cloud as-a-service.

Forrester Global Business Technographics Infrastructure Survey found that 38 per cent of enterprises have not adopted any cloud infrastructure, while 23 per cent of respondents have adopted one cloud, and 38 per cent are using two or more clouds.

The new cloud transition packages will include Microsoft specifically Windows 10 and Azure. Citrix is aiming the channel to make it easier for customers to deploy apps and services right on the Azure platform.

The new transition package come with channel programs targeted at mid-market customers. The first one is called the Citrix Ready program and it combines the Citrix Cloud with hyper-converged infrastructure from partners for VDI environments. The second, Citrix Ready HCI Workspace Appliance Program, enables hyper-converged appliances from hardware and storage partners to connect to Citrix Cloud to automate the setup and maintenance of XenApp and XenDesktop.

To support this effort, Citrix introduced the Citrix Ready partner initiative targeting the mid-market along with mobility and network management products and services that complement Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) and provide comprehensive security and value for Citrix and Microsoft customers.

P. J. Hough, senior vice president, Product and Technology at Citrix, said these new product packages can be introduced by a partner in any place of the customer’s journey to the cloud.

“Whether they are ready to go all-in on the cloud, or they want to deploy a single app in the cloud,” Hough said.

For customers who own existing XenApp or XenDesktop licenses, and want to move to the Citrix Cloud as-a-service, Citrix will be offering a set of transition and trade-up offers that enable simultaneous use and support of traditional Citrix offerings and new Citrix Cloud managed services. These solutions enable existing Citrix customers with active subscription advantage or software maintenance to get Citrix Cloud for not much more than the cost of renewing traditional software maintenance.

Citrix also rolled out a new pilot program for Citrix Service Providers who want to deploy workspaces leveraging Citrix Cloud. Later this year, Citrix Service Providers will be offered pilot access to Citrix Cloud services with a monthly licensing model similar to their current licensing model for Citrix technologies. This will enable both new and existing providers of Desktops-as-a-Service and other workspace services a new approach to deploying hosted Citrix technologies.

Also released at Citrix Summit 2017 was XenDesktop Essentials for Windows 10 Desktops on Microsoft Azure cloud. The Smart Tools line was also updated with Smart Check, Smart Scale and other pre-configured packages for cloud deployments.

Lastly, Citrix NetScaler Unified Gateway has been integrated with Microsoft Intune.