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Issue of September 2003 

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Citrix transforms for enterprise level services

After catering to medium-sized businesses, Citrix is undergoing a transformation in India and repositioning itself for enterprise level services. According to Phil Osborne, Senior Consultant, Alliance Business Unit, Citrix, "India is undergoing a change and there has been a phenomenal growth in the business especially in the big enterprise segment. According to IDC, 96 percent growth has been registered in the server-based computing/thinclient market in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan.

Phil Osborne, Senior Consultant, Alliance Business Unit, Citrix

Citrix has a new product strategy—all its products will be integrated into the Citrix MetaFrame Access Suite, described as the access infrastructure, a suite of software solutions that enable the on-demand enterprise. This will enable workers from anywhere, at anytime, using nearly any device over any connection, to easily, instantly and securely access whatever application and information resources they need."

Built on the widely deployed presentation server, Citrix solutions, Citrix MetaFrame XP and MetaFrame Access Suite is an enterprise access infrastructure software that centralizes access to applications and information. MetaFrame Access Suite enables IT staff to centrally provision, manage and support secure access to Windows, Web and Unix applications and information across the Internet, intranets, extranets, wide-area networks, local area networks and wireless networks.

Indian market

Phil said that the Indian market is maturing and has a good business case. "As cost is always a priority, for every dollar spent there should be a business case." He also mentioned that Citrix products are highly dependent on connectivity, and bandwidth in India has been recently been more available.

Discussing Citirx's repositioning Phil said, "Citirix is moving from providing pain point solutions to providing a platform for all the applications. Earlier there were too many bandwidth related issues like cost, connectivity; desktops were not upgraded etc. But now enterprises are increasingly adopting Citrix as infrastructure has improved and bandwidth is more affordable."

Citirix derives value from its 'Access infrastructure' that enables access to the on-demand enterprise. It provides tools that build the infrastructure around the access that also ties in with other tools that manage the rest of the network. Thus it can be easily integrated with the likes of Microsoft, Tivoli, OpenView, and Unicenter. The access is matured and developed from being just an access from the PC to being access from the Web.

Phil discussed the challenges being faced by the Indian enterprise. He said, "Infrastructure challenge is a very important issue. Even with better and affordable bandwidth, there are still problems as lot of Indian companies use VSAT for connectivity, and have latency problems. And it is not easy to cope well with latency technically, especially when all of it gets very large over a period."

According to Phil another typical issue is re-engineering of the business. Applications in India are still on PCs and there is still some way to consolidation around data storage. Companies are starting to embrace SAP, Oracle, JD Edwards in a big way to consolidate the earlier division or branch structure. But companies still have data centers that are not connected. Thus consolidation is another big challenge.

Phil said, "It is more of a business re-engineering issue for Indian companies than just a technical re-engineering issue." He added, "Companies are being pushed to adopt new technologies and migrate to new versions. The real concern is, are companies ready for the change from the business perspective? An enterprise needs to make this decision based on the business and its needs, and not because a vendor has stopped support or is trying to get everybody to migrate to its product’s new version. Business reasons are very valid and need to be really considered before any migrations."

Citrix has focussed plans for India and is working very closely with the large systems integrators like Wipro, TCS and traditional players like HP and IBM to offer services to big enterprises. It is also working with software application vendors, SAP being one of their strongest partners. Though its primary business continues to come from the small and medium-sized companies in India, Citrix is also looking at offering large enterprises a complete platform for all the applications. As a part of this initiative Citrix will be launching MetaFrame Secure Access Manager (to be available in India in September), as a key component within the Citrix MetaFrame Access Suite. MetaFrame Secure Access Manager, will offer secure access to any application or information over the Internet; single-point access to enterprise resources; personalized, role-based user experience; easy deployment and management.

— Minu Sirsalewala

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