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Citrix, Google Strengthen Cloud Partnership

The companies are working on making Citrix Cloud able to directly provision Citrix environments on Google Cloud Platform, and already have integrated other application delivery, document collaboration and endpoint offerings.

Citrix Systems and Google expanded their existing partnership Thursday to facilitate delivery of Citrix environments from Google's cloud infrastructure and better integrate document collaboration and endpoint products.

The companies are working on enabling Citrix partners and customers to use Citrix Cloud, an emerging platform for launching hybrid Citrix environments, to deploy virtualized applications and desktops on Google Cloud Platform.

The vendors already have integrated Google Docs with Citrix ShareFile, introduced Citrix Netscaler to Google's application container toolkit, and extended Citrix Receiver client software to Google Chromebooks and Android devices.

[Related: Citrix Synergy Will Shine A Spotlight On Security And The Modern Workplace]

"For a vendor such as Citrix it makes sense to partner with as many public cloud companies as possible to continue to give customers a choice of platform," said Paul Kunze, vice president of sales and marketing at IntraSystems, a Citrix partner based in Braintree, Mass.

The deal also provides more evidence that Google Cloud is gaining traction as an enterprise solution across customer segmentations, Kunze told CRN.

Netscaler and other Citrix solutions will give Google applications an additional measure of security and performance, he said.

Netscaler CPX, a version of Citrix's application delivery and load balancing solution geared for containers, is now available for Google Cloud, and the companies are aiming to bring it to the Google Cloud Launcher marketplace by the end of next quarter, according to a statement from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Citrix.

"Our customers are asking Citrix and Google to work more closely together to deliver innovative solutions from the cloud to help them embrace the future of work," said Steve Blacklock, vice president of global strategic alliances at Citrix, in a statement.

Nan Boden, head of global technology partners for Google Cloud, wrote in a blog post that the deal stems from recognition that combined technologies are necessary for managing and delivering hosted desktop applications.

The Mountain View, Calif., company offers secure and reliable infrastructure, Boden said, but the Citrix portfolio adds application management, backup and redundancy capabilities.


"Customers often tell us they want to be able to use their current desktop applications from any device and any place just as easily and securely as they can use G Suite," Google's Boden said. "This collaboration helps address key challenges faced by enterprises moving to the cloud quickly and securely."

The Google deal is consistent with the strategy Citrix has been executing of late, said Nancy Pautsch, president of Envision IT, a Citrix partner based in Madison, Wis.

"They've always said they don’t want to lock customers into a specific vendor," Pautsch told CRN. "They're supporting customers' freedom of choice."

It's a wise partnership decision on Citrix's part because Google Cloud has earned a track record for reliability and overall quality. And the deal is especially "smart posturing" when considering the strong position Google has carved out in the education sector, a market Citrix also pursues aggressively, she said.

The integration between Google Docs and ShareFile will prove valuable to partners because the Citrix content sharing and syncing solution can add another layer of security to Google's document collaboration solution at a time when customers are increasingly nervous about breaches.

Mike Strohl, CEO of Entisys360, a Citrix partner based in Concord, Calif., told CRN he thinks the strengthened partnership is partly in response to a big deal between respective competitors of both companies.

"This looks like a counterpunch to AWS announcing with VMware a co-development strategy," Strohl told CRN.

The integrations will be valuable to Citrix partners, Strohl said, and he expects to see Citrix strike more deals with cloud providers going forward.

The Google deal comes the week after Citrix surprised its partner community by naming David Henshall, a veteran of the company, to replace Kirill Tatarinov as the company's CEO.

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