Citrix Synergy promotes three-screen enterprise

Future architecture access will be via desktops, smartphones and tablets.

Citrix Synergy logo

Citrix's chief executive Mark Templeton opened the company's European Synergy conference with a keynote that addressed all three areas of the company's operations: virtual meetings; virtual desktops and mobile device interfaces; and virtual data centres.

Before addressing these areas, Templeton took time out to award the Citrix Innovation Award to UK retailer The Co-operative Group.

The concept that Citrix has been working towards is the Bring Your Own Computing (BYOC) environment. This would mean that the user accesses exactly the same business functionality with whatever computing device they have to hand, wherever they may be.

Templeton said, "In future three screens and a cloud will power the way we work."

He explained that a big screen (desktops, notebooks and so on) would be used for content creation, a small screen (smartphones) for email plus a degree of application access what he described as "snacking on the go" and the medium screen (tablet) for viewing and digesting information.

"Organisations can't standardise on an endpoint. Instead, we have to work with all of them Android for small, Apple for medium, HP for large, for example," he said.

The main announcement was the forthcoming release of XenDesktop 5 before the end of this year. It addresses some of the issues users have found with last year's release of version 4.

Echoing an overarching concept to this year's conference, the principal additions are features to ease the move to a fully virtualised state.

Citrix claimed that XenDesktop can be installed by an IT department in 10 minutes and offers a simple user interface to take the "geekiness" out of virtualisation. It also provide a one stage log-in to all linked applications and services. These include the Citrix application self service, no longer separated out as the Dazzle catalogue, and access to on-demand sites such as Salesforce.com.

"The user experience is strategic for us," said Wes Wasson, chief strategy officer at Citrix. "XenDesktop is not a server virtualisation tool masquerading as desktop virtualisation."

Citrix also announced the Desktop Transformation Model, a collection of information and tools from that provide a transformation path from a device-centric infrastructure to the more user-centric, virtualised model that Citrix evangelises. The company claimed that the new model combines the collective experience of thousands of customers and partners across every industry segment.

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