Citrix To Outline Product Plans


Citrix Systems Tuesday plans to unveil a new product strategy that focuses on providing secure access to enterprise applications.

Mark Templeton, president and CEO of the Fort Lauderdale-based vendor, is scheduled to debut the strategy at an event in New York and outline how the transformation will help Citrix double its sales to become a billion-dollar company.

Some partners said the changes will open opportunities for them to sell Citrix into the robust security market.

 
 CITRIX/MICROSOFT MILESTONES
>> 1989: Citrix founded; Microsoft licenses OS/2 to Citrix.
>> 1991: Microsoft invests in Citrix.
>> 1996: Citrix licenses ICA client to Microsoft for Internet Explorer.
>> 1997: Citrix and Microsoft unveil five-year joint marketing/development and licensing agreement.
>> 2002: Citrix named Microsoft Global Gold Certified Partner; companies ink three-year deal that will provide Citrix with continued access to Microsoft Windows Server code.

 

Sources said Citrix will provide details about Feature Release 3 of MetaFrame XP, which is scheduled to coincide with Microsoft's planned April launch of Windows Server 2003.

While details of the product strategy are still being finalized, sources familiar with Citrix's plans also expect the company to change the name of its Nfuse Elite portal server, launched last June, to MetaFrame Secure Access Manager 2.0, a bundled offering that includes Citrix Secure Gateway, the vendor's SSL proxy server.

Citrix plans to market the combined products as a means of providing secure Web-based access to Internet applications, legacy applications and corporate information without putting holes in a company's firewall, sources said. MetaFrame Secure Access Manager will be part of MetaFrame Access Suite, a comprehensive solution for providing anytime, anywhere access to applications, sources said.

The suite is built on Citrix's MetaFrame server-based computing platform for Windows and Unix servers, sources said.

Citrix declined to comment.

Sales of Nfuse Elite have not built as quickly as Citrix expected. In January, Citrix said it would stop marketing Nfuse Elite as a portal.

"People's uptake on knowledge of portals, how they are valuable and what they do has been very slow," said a source.

Also included in the MetaFrame Access Suite will be two forthcoming products: Project Pearl, a collaboration tool, and Project Bimini, a password management product, sources said.

The upcoming MetaFrame Feature Release 3 will extend support to Windows Server 2003 and includes simplified license activation; Speed Screen browser acceleration for improved image viewing; and Universal Print Driver II, which adds support for color and high-resolution printing, Citrix has said.

While Citrix beefs up the MetaFrame platform, Microsoft too is adding enhancements to the Terminal Services components of Windows, making it more difficult for smaller customers to justify the added expense of MetaFrame on top of their terminal server environments, solution providers said.

"It's definitely starting to blur the lines," said Pete Busam, vice president and COO of Decisive Business Systems, a Citrix solution provider in Pennsauken, N.J.

Today, Terminal Services alone satisfies the requirements of 10 percent to 15 percent of server-based computing customers, said David Friedlander, industry analyst at Forrester Research. With the next Windows release, that increases to 20 percent to 25 percent of users, eating into Citrix's low-end customer base, he said.