If you have ever had to plan this for yourself or someone else, the list can get detailed and long. Besides "space", people, yellow page listings, signage, stationery, web sites, email accounts and all of the other usual suspects, there's a different technology being used to replace VPN's, Servers and PC's with remote desktop enabled being left on all night or all weekend. Enter Citrix: They take the application and wrap a software around it to make it useable on a lot of different devices. They have real cool stuff that sips the bandwidth and makes the screen run as though the program was right on the desktop. We're a big fan of Citrix application delivery. We are consistently moving customers to Citrix hosted applications when it makes sense, which prevents a customer from having to purchase anything at all, except a subscription.
Citrix offers a dizzying array of connectivity software for different platforms: iPad. iPod. iPhone. Blackberry. Windows Mobile. Android. I may have left a couple out.
Over the past six months one of our customers has been working with a vendor to move their critical line of business (LOB) application to a Citrix environment, which is no simple task because a major database conversion would have to be performed, and users trained. Wile it's interesting to see the process, it usually doesn't take that long.
Here's an example: Friday we had a customer move an application datafile from their server to a Citrix server hosted outside. Monday morning we installed the Citrix client on their PC's. There was their application AND data.
We copied their user files from the server to the respective PC's, and turned on "syncplicity" for them, which synchronizes designated folders on their PC's to their Google Apps accounts. So while they automatically share some of the data at Google, other data is not shared.
Guess what happened to their server? <poof!>
I didn't mention that they have remote field offices. Since we installed a voip based phone system for them, the remote offices connect directly to the main office for telephone needs.
The remote offices simply need a basic internet connection, PC and a voip handset (or software on the PC). Instant branch office, with everyone communicating in real-time.
In the next week or so we'll see the official Android app for the Citrix receiver. There is already one for the iPhone, iPod and now the iPad. Before June is out Citrix has promised to ship the Blackberry version.