Citrix looks to make access strategic

Under what CEO Mark Templeton called “a new Citrix,” the company detailed plans and products Tuesday to transform access into a strategic forethought, rather than a mere afterthought.

To that end, Citrix Systems Inc. released MetaFrame Access Suite 3.0 and each of the four software components within: Presentation Server 3.0, Secure Access Manager 2.2, Conferencing Manager 3.0, and Password Manager 2.5.

“This Citrix is no longer based on client/server computing. The new Citrix is focused on access infrastructure,” Templeton said at a press and analyst event in New York. “We’re a very new Citrix.”

Building out its access infrastructure, the company upgraded all of the products in its suite and added the SmoothRoaming feature, which enables companies to provide mobile access that is always on.

Version 3.0 of the MetaFrame Presentation Server enables an on-demand enterprise and increases productivity with reliable mobile access. New to Conferencing Manager 3.0 is the ability to include external users in conferences, while Secure Access Manager 3.0 integrates with portals and portlets as well as applications such as Outlook. Citrix boosted Password Manger 2.5 with support for more applications and additional authentication options.

Charles Redding, CIO of Masco Contractor Services, uses Citrix products at the Fortune 500 company. The provider of home improvement and building products began using Citrix software to help resolve bandwidth issues and client hardware issues and to better manage logistics associated with supporting what Redding called “a huge pool of desktops” among Masco’s 50,00 employees.

“We’re going to (deploy) this technology in 8,000 mobile vehicles to improve time-to-market and internal processes,” Redding said.

Citrix CTO Bob Kruger took to the stage and laid out a road map for future Citrix products. For starters, the company is working to better integrate the products in its suite via a common management infrastructure that will span all the products to offer features including diagnostic faculty, gateway, protocols, licensing, policy engine, and an access client.

Gazing further into the future, Kruger said that throughout 2005 Citrix will focus on identity and delivery flexibility. In 2006, the theme will be a service paradigm shift that includes enterprise-wide application delivery, streaming to desktops to servers and blades, more comprehensive Web services support, and federated identity.

“This is when the service-oriented architecture really takes hold in enterprises,” Kruger said.

IDC estimated that the access infrastructure market will be US$12.7 billion by 2007.

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