Just like many of you reading this, Citrix has been a part of my career for a very long time. My first real IT job was managing a Citrix solution, my first certification was a CCA, and the first company I started was focused on Citrix consulting. In fact, just about every job I’ve had in my career had Citrix as a part of it, and yet it appears my journey has only begun. Today I have the privilege, and pleasure, to announce that I have accepted the role of CTO for the Desktops and Applications group at Citrix.

As an analyst I have constantly pushed this industry at the behest of my clients. Publicly I pushed for better licensing terms for VDI, I put pressure on storage vendors to make better and more cost effective solutions, and I criticized MDM vendors for building products that hindered the user experience instead of enhancing it. I did this because I believe in these technologies and I am passionate about seeing this industry change the way we work. Yet, no matter how hard I worked as an analyst, in the end all I could really do was influence the market. Citrix offered me a chance to take responsibility for it.

The Citrix story is one of creating products that change the way we live. When you look at the products Citrix is developing this becomes apparent:

  • XenApp/XenDesktop enable people to work on any device they choose while still having access to the applications that make the business run.
  • ShareFile is about enabling consumer-like file sync and sharing solutions but doing it in such a way where corporate IT still maintains control, allowing on or off-premises storage of the data.
  • XenMobile and Worx Apps offers enterprise mobility management with mobile apps that secure company data while providing outstanding native user experience on mobile devices.

Even smaller acquisitions from Citrix show how much it cares about user experience. Framehawk was a startup founded by NASA engineers that focused on building a protocol designed for high latency and loss scenarios. Citrix acquired Framehawk even though they already had the leading remote protocol in the market (I know… I wrote the paper on it) because they saw an area they could improve on and refused to have ICA/HDX deliver anything but the best user experience possible. In my opinion, the Framehawk acquisition will enable Citrix to maintain its competitive edge in the remote protocol market for the next several years.

Citrix is also building innovative new offerings. Citrix Workspace Services – announced at Synergy –  is quite possibly the best forward-thinking technology I’ve seen come out of this industry for an extremely long time. When I consider what Citrix Workspace Services can do I am reminded of a conversation I had with Brad Anderson, Corporate VP at Microsoft, where he spoke extremely highly of the Microsoft/Citrix relationship and wanted to “repeat the magic of the past.” It is my belief that CWS can do to Azure what MetaFrame did to Terminal Services.

So today starts a new journey for me. There is a lot of work to be done yet and I cannot express in a blog how excited I am to be joining Citrix and to take part in a company that will once again reshape the way we all work.

Gunnar Berger – @gunnarwb