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IT industry trends: Six major vendors chart new courses

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Citrix: Cloud platform, analytics among key vendor trends

Citrix is pursing cloud, analytics and hyper-converged infrastructure as the virtualization and networking company continues its transition under new leadership.

The rapid-fire changes at Citrix have a blink-and-you'll-miss-it quality. From product launches, such as the Citrix cloud platform, to executive changes, it's been quite a ride for the virtualization and networking company.

In 2015 alone, Citrix went through two separate rounds of layoffs amid declining profitability and product lineup changes. Mark Templeton, Citrix's CEO, also stepped down that year and the company embarked on a regimen of focusing on its mainstay XenDesktop and XenApp products and other offerings, including XenMobile and NetScaler, a web application delivery controller.

The brief Kirill Tatarinov era began in January 2016 with the former Microsoft executive named to the Citrix CEO post. Under Tatarinov, Citrix completed the sale of its GoTo collaboration business to LogMeIn and purchased Unidesk in the application layering space. But in July 2017, Tatarinov abruptly departed the CEO slot and Citrix CFO and COO David Henshall was named to take his place.

The executive change re-ignited rumors pointing to a transition of another sort: the possible sale of Citrix.

David Henshall, CFO and COO, Citrix David Henshall

Citrix, meanwhile, continues its product transition, pursuing cloud technologies. The new CEO appointment, according to Citrix, intends to spur faster growth in Citrix Cloud and the subscription-based revenue it generates. The Citrix Cloud platform takes the Citrix control plane and makes it available as a service. The cloud offering delivers, manages and monitors applications and desktops in virtual desktop infrastructure settings and also hosts Citrix StoreFront, an enterprise application store.

Read this collection of articles, which includes a timeline chronicling Citrix's recent moves, for more detail on the vendor's on-going transformation:

Moves, adds and changes

You can't tell the players without a program, so the saying goes. This SearchVirtualDesktop timeline served that purpose, providing an overview of Citrix executive shakeups and product line maneuvering. There have been quite a few lineup changes over the course of two years and four CEOs -- including an interim boss in 2015.

Back on track?

Along with cloud computing, analytics has emerged as a key theme at Citrix.

Citrix, at least with regard to product direction, is on the right track, according to company channel partners quoted in this SearchITChannel article. Partners cited Citrix's greater focus and emphasis on core areas such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), mobility, cloud and security. They viewed the Unidesk deal as supporting the company's VDI efforts and were also on board with Citrix's moves in hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI). In that market, partners believe the Citrix Ready HCI Workspace Appliance Program will open desktop virtualization opportunities among midmarket customers.

Citrix Cloud platform takes on management

Citrix seems to be a taking a cue from alliance partner Microsoft as it makes cloud an important element of its go-to-market strategy. This SearchVirtualDesktop article took a look at the Citrix Cloud platform, which offered the ability to centrally manage Citrix virtual desktops and applications and automatically update services such as XenApp and XenDesktop. Industry watchers contend the Citrix cloud approach lets organizations more readily scale, while reducing the management burden of running products on premises. But some IT administrators hesitate to eliminate in-house infrastructure, citing cost, security and control.

Emerging analytics

Along with cloud computing, analytics has emerged as a key theme at Citrix. Citrix Analytics Service, which debuted at the vendor's annual Synergy conference, provides one example. The technology employs artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to keep tabs on application, data and network usage and respond to anomalous activity. This security approach is a departure for Citrix and other virtual desktop infrastructure vendors, according to this SearchEnterpriseDesktop piece.

Meet the new boss

Citrix leadership changed once again with the appointment of Citrix veteran Henshall to the top job. SearchVirtualDesktop provided an overview and analysis of what this move might portend for the Citrix technology roadmap, cloud strategy and relationship with Microsoft.

Next Steps

Read about the Citrix-VMware rivalry

Learn how the Citrix Cloud platform helped one accounting company adopt technology

Gain insight into Citrix's Bromium acquisition

Dig Deeper on Server virtualization technology and services

360 Guide: IT industry trends: Six major vendors chart new courses

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