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Citrix’s Access Dreams

Citrix Systems released MetaFrame Access Suite, bundling MetaFrame Presentation Server with three products for managing access to enterprise applications.

Citrix Systems has released its MetaFrame Access Suite, which bundles its flagship MetaFrame Presentation Server with three other products for managing access to enterprise applications. Citrix bills MetaFrame Access Suite as "software for providing a single, secure and well-managed point of access to enterprise applications and information on demand."

The anchor of the suite is the Citrix MetaFrame Presentation Server, the 3.0 version, which became generally available at the same time the suite was announced. MetaFrame Presentation Server is the foundation of Citrix's traditional server-based computing model, where multiple users log on to a server to access their applications. In that model, all processing occurs on the server, with Citrix limiting the desktop's involvement to presenting the user interface and taking keyboard and mouse input.

The suite, which also carries the 3.0 version number of the Presentation Server, includes three additional MetaFrame products. Secure Access Manager 2.2 is for secure mobile and roaming access, Conferencing Manager 3.0 is for collaboration, and Password Manager 2.5 is for single sign-on and password security.

At an event to announce Presentation Server, Citrix officials emphasized to financial analysts, industry analysts and journalists that the suite was part of a move by the company to become an "access" company. "We are no longer focused on server-based computing," said president and chief executive officer Mark Templeton. For those inclined to think of Citrix as a server-based computing company, a Windows-based ISV or a remote-computing player, Templeton urged, "Think again."

While Citrix revenues in 2003 approached $600 million, company officials contend Citrix is well positioned to play a strong role in an access market that market analysts at IDC size at nearly $22 billion by 2007. That market includes segments such as virtual user interfaces, remote control, enterprise information portals, conferencing applications, firewalls and VPNs, team collaboration applications and intrusion detection.

While Citrix engineered technical integration of the products into its new suite, company officials also positioned the suite as part of a sales and marketing effort to leverage existing Presentation Server customers or to reach new customers by aiming higher in an IT organization to target individuals with more strategic than tactical concerns.

Most of Citrix's large deals are built on sales of Presentation Server. For example, in Citrix's first quarter earnings report in April, all of the major customer wins the company cited involved multi-thousand-seat deployments of Presentation Server.

Tony Marzulli, Citrix's senior vice president of product and demand marketing, portrayed many of the Presentation Server deals as solving tactical problems in the enterprise. He said Citrix sales people and channel partners are being trained on ways to sell the company's broader solution set at a strategic level. "We're trying to go up the stack to the CIO," Marzulli said.

The new suite is priced at $599 per concurrent user. Citrix is offering a Step-up Edition and a Migration Edition for customers who currently have MetaFrame Presentation Server. The Step-up Edition costs $299 per concurrent user, and the Migration Edition costs $399 per concurrent user.

The stand-alone version of MetaFrame Presentation Server 3.0 starts at $5,800 with a 20-user concurrent license. New features of Presentation Server 3.0 include integration with Windows through the use of the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), SpeedScreen Acceleration technology to improve performance of multi-media applications, SmoothRoaming technology for mobile professionals moving sessions from one device to another, and support for larger server farms.

[This news originally appeared on ENTmag.com on April 27, 2004.—Editor]

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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