Citrix puts Synergy emphasis on user experience and security

Keumars Afifi-Sabet

9 May, 2018

Citrix CEO David Henshall wants his company to focus on three key areas; unifying the portfolio, accelerating to the cloud, and expanding into new technologies.

In his opening keynote address at Synergy 2018 in California, Henshall outlined his future plans for the virtualisation firm, centred around the theme of “people-centric computing” where technology delivers everything users need in a simple and accessible way.

Key to Henshall’s vision is the ‘universal workspace’ – embodied in the Workplace App, Citrix’s latest innovation – which aims to reduce complexity, and raise productivity by enabling universal access to apps.

Also integral to delivering its wider vision is the rollout of Citrix Analytics, a security platform initially announced last year, with chief product officer PJ Hough walking the audience through its potential.

“This is not another dashboard, this is not another alerting system; this is an autonomous closed-loop security platform that will deliver more productivity and security to your organisations,” Hough claimed.

Using a mass of data points, Citrix Analytics builds profiles for individual users, allowing an autonomous machine learning-powered system to analyse potential security risks in real-time, without causing any disruption to day-to-day workflows or productivity.

“We’ve essentially distributed risk out of the enterprise; we’re pushing it to the user, we’re pushing to the device, we’re pushing it the network and beyond,” Henshall said, adding that traditional cybersecurity defences are struggling to keep pace with the range of modern threats.

“[Old tactics are] too cumbersome. They’re too expensive. Cyber threats as we know it are only going to get more complex as we move forward, and only going to get more sophisticated, so that’s why we’re very much focused on a security model that’s we think is future-proof. The challenge is of course balancing these competing needs – the need for security with the potential impact on productivity,” he continued.

Announcing the “broad availability” of the Citrix Analytics platform, Hough said everything announced during the keynote is available either now, or will be within 90 days.

Speaking at a press Q&A following the keynote address, Hough went into more detail around building a better user experience for Citrix customers.

“Having spent a lot of time working on productivity software before I joined Citrix, I understand the value of reducing clicks, of reducing confusion for users, and really having people have a consistent and seamless experience across all their devices and platforms,” said Hough.

The keynote address also saw the firm make a slew of additional announcements tying into the idea of taking a holistic approach toward transforming the digital workspace.

These included an SD-WAN service for MSPs, an Intelligent Traffic Management tool based on its recent Cedexis acquisition, and, although the address was generally light on the Internet of Things (IoT), Amazon Alexa for business.