Christmas in August? VMWare’s End-User Computing boss Sanjay Poonen may not think so, but IT managers and the end users they serve just may smile when they experience Citrix’s Workspace Cloud.

It puts the same modern digital workspace at users' fingertips, regardless of the access point they want to use: desktop, laptop, iPad, tablet or mobile phone. 

And while end-user experience is almost everything in the age of consumerized IT, there are other issues that managers need to consider, like where data is stored, governance, security. 

On-premises, hybrid, public cloud, private cloud — end users don’t want to know. And they expect IT to deliver experiences that are equivalent, or better than those they encounter when data is stored locally.

Put it all together and that’s the promise of Citrix’s Workspace Cloud, which was released for GA yesterday.

Déjà Vu?

If some of this sounds familiar, it may be reminiscent of GoToMyPC, which Citrix also makes. 

“That was the gateway drug,” said Forrester principal analyst David Johnson. 

But it was never widely adopted in companies. And the reasoning is pretty simple. Enterprises are more complicated and so are their requirements. Different users want and need different applications are given different permissions, data might be stored in different places ….

From IT’s perspective, “It was always too much of a challenge to think through the on-ramp,” said Johnson. Citrix’s Workspace Cloud eliminates that problem and makes it easy and quick for IT to onboard workers and to deliver consistent user experiences across devices.

Virtualization Magic

I sat next to Johnson as he checked out an early copy of the Workplace Cloud in May. He was surprised it was working so well. “This is a first,” he said. He was staring at a complicated engineering design that was stored in a distant location. “This stuff can be very difficult to display. And look at it, you can see the details.” He was actually amazed. We were in a crowded room where bandwidth was likely to have been challenged.

Part of the magic that comes with Citrix’s Workspace Cloud is a built-in functionality that makes it simple for IT to design, deploy, edit and manage application and desktop blueprints. 

This in turn opens up virtualization and Virtual Desktop Imaging (VDI) to a whole new range of customers for whom it was too complex or too expensive for in the past, according to Jesse Lipson, vice president and general manager, Citrix Workflow and Workspace Cloud.

This leaves two big questions that have yet to be answered about Citrix’s near term future. First, is Citrix’s Workspace Cloud more modern and more significant than anything VMWare will unveil at VMWorld later this month, or has it already announced its big mobility play? And second, will it impress activist investor Elliot Management enough to make it lay off?

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License Title image by  Ted Van Pelt