Citrix is offering support for what it identifies as the new workshifting business environment with the release of GoToAssist Service Desk. The company is introducing the cloud-based support tool at its Citrix Synergy 2012 conference in Barcelona, Spain.

Shifts in Workplace, Marketplace Require New IT Support Approach

“There is a shift in IT support as a result of workshifting,” said Brian deHaaff, Senior Product Line Director for Citrix GoToAssist, during a briefing with CMSWire. “There is a distribution of employees across more apps and devices. There is a consumerization of IT in the workplace.”

And in terms of offering external IT support to consumers through the GoToAssist solution, deHaaff said “service is now the product” in the new service economy.

He points out that support is now marketing in the age of social media. “Previously, a customer would write a letter to complain about poor service," he said. "Now customers have networks where their voices become amplified. We’re moving from offering a technical fix to creating ongoing engagement for a deeper relationship with customers.”


DeHaaff said GoToAssist Service Desk includes functionality from Beetil, an IT service management provider that Citrix acquired last month. The added functionality includes ticket and incident management as well as problem management.

“Multiple tickets with the same issue become a problem,” deHaaff said. GoToAssist Service Desk helps users identify problem trends before they escalate into major crises. 

Got a Problem? GoToAssist Service Desk Will Solve It

GoToAssist Service Desk can be deployed as a standalone module or in conjunction with the existing GoToAssist Remote Support and IT Monitoring modules. It offers an interface for intelligently routing incidents and assigning priorities. In addition, users can create customized, branded self-service portals for internal employees and external customers, and manage IT infrastructure changes. The solution complies with Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) standards.

Citrix Floats to Success

Citrix is attempting to “float to success” by offering cloud-based solutions -- such as GoToAssist Service Desk -- which leverage the flexibility and robustness of the cloud to extend functionality and allow in-depth data collection and analysis. In July 2011, Citrix purchased, a provider of private and hybrid cloud computing services. At the time, Citrix said the purchase would allow it to offer a portfolio of virtualization, orchestration and networking solutions, of which GoToAssist Service Desk appears to be one.

Citrix – Doing It All?

In a June 2012 blog post, "Have Citrix and VMWare Lost Their Focus by Trying to Provide Complete Solutions?" IT blogger Brian Madden said that the two virtualization competitors were in the process of trying to “do it all” by providing a “total solution” to end users. According to Madden, since launching the “Access” marketing campaign in 2003 “which centered on them providing access to all the data and apps that users need,”

Citrix has steadily evolved from a Windows delivery company to a full provider of cloud-based enterprise solutions. The addition of an integratable, cloud-based IT service desk application would fit nicely into this strategy. However, Madden cautions that a “complete solution” can turn into a “painful” experience due to issues such as vendor focus, product quality, licensing and core competency.