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Citrix Shows Off ‘Micro-App’ Capabilities For Simplified, Unified Worker Experience

At its Synergy conference, the company also introduced a turnkey VDI solution and advanced its partnerships with Microsoft and Google

Citrix Systems on Tuesday showcased its ability to break up bulky enterprise apps, both from popular vendors and custom built, into simplified tasks mobile workers can perform from any device or location.

The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based virtualization vendor introduced into the Citrix Workspace solution the concept of micro-apps—common workplace functions that employees can access through a single sign-on portal, Tim Minahan, Citrix’s chief marketing officer, told CRN.

That new capability is part of Citrix’s move away from its virtualization roots toward a broader focus on delivering digital workspaces, where employees engage specific content and functions across mobile, web and thin-client endpoints.

[Related: Citrix Channel Chief To Partners: It’s Time To Expand Practices Beyond Virtualization]  

"You can get insights and tasks done without needing to navigate multiple environments," Minahan told CRN. "You'll never need to log into enterprise applications again."

The latest innovation for Workspace, a portal for ingesting all Citrix back-end services and apps from popular Software-as-a-Service vendors, was presented by CEO David Henshall at the Citrix Synergy conference in Atlanta, Ga.

Citrix also upgraded the product with an infusion of machine learning capabilities to further automate and secure the experience of engaging with multiple business applications. Access to micro-apps is enforced by contextual security features that know where the users are, devices they typically log in from, and the apps they use.

Also at Synergy, Citrix introduced its first turnkey VDI solution, Citrix Managed Desktops, that will be delivered from Microsoft Azure infrastructure. The managed desktop service offloads work standing up a Citrix environment, licensing the OS, configuring and ongoing management.

Citrix also expanded longstanding partnerships with Microsoft and Google.

"More and more enterprises are bringing Google entirely or in parts into their environments,

whether that's Chrome books, or Chrome Enterprise, or a mobile strategy with Android. And they're increasingly adopting Google Cloud," Minahan told CRN.

While Citrix and Google have partnered for more than eight years, last month Citrix introduced networking, application delivery control, and SD-WAN cloud services on Google Cloud Platform.

Now the back-end of Citrix Workspace will be available on Google Cloud and designed for the Google environment, with integrations with Google G Suite that deliver features like calendaring and messaging as micro-apps on Workspace, and support for Google ID.

Citrix is also building off a longstanding partnership with Microsoft to enhance its Citrix Analytics package with a deep integration with Microsoft Security Graph.

"Citrix is making a big play with its intelligent workspace, adding the ability to create micro-apps you can integrate into a single desktop experience," said Carl Gersh, to vice president of sales and marketing for Forthright Technology Partners, a Citrix partner based in Miramar, Fla.

The new capabilities are easy for business leaders to understand the value of, Gersh said. That translates to opportunities for partners to help enterprises identify the experiences they want to deliver their employees and get them there.

Workers will not need to log-in separately to bulky apps to put in a request for time off, do expenses, or send messages. Their entire environments will be integrated, secured, and easily accessible from wherever they are.

"It's going to be a big deal. It does change the way people work more so than incremental improvements," he said.

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