Let’s say you’re in the middle of a batch of marketing calls. You’re smiling and dialing, wheeling and dealing, spinning and grinning. You get a new prospect on the line and they like your MPC. You talk through your candidate’s skills, walk them through the fee agreement, when suddenly… you’re hit with an objection. You’re trying desperately to close the deal, but your mind is drawing a blank. What do you do?
You whip out your iPhone. There IS an app for that.
Earlier this month, Cardone Training Technologies Inc. released its CloseTheSale app on iTunes. CloseTheSale is a complete list of closing lines from Grant Cardone, international sales expert, sales trainer, sales motivational speaker and NY Times best selling Author. According to the app description, “Every situation from, “I need to think about it”, to “price”, “affordability”, “budget”, “third parties”, “terms”, “payments”, “down payment”, “difference”, “the economy”, “never make rash decisions”, and every conceivable stall you will ever hear is covered here.” Check out these screenshots from the app:
In this day and age where nearly everything we need or want is available at the swipe of a finger, I have to think that while convenience is great, is it dumbing us down regarding basic skills? What do you think?
Kevin Rose the founder of Digg made a prediction in a recent post about how the rumored $99 iTV will change everything. He make great points about how this could disrupt the Cable TV market and provide a great interactive TV experience for consumers. This makes me think about whether the iTV could also provide a great platform for business apps as well. Certainly Apple is not targeting businesses with this device, however the same could be said of the iPhone and iPad when they came out. Regardless of the intent, consumers also have day jobs and found ways to put these devices to work.
At $99 the price is right for a low maintenance Thin Client with a great experience. This could be appealing to many companies including small business or even home offices that may have conceptually considered Thin Clients, but the overhead of learning/implementing/managing a thin client platform was not worth the effort for a small number of devices. For larger companies with security concerns, iOS is fairly locked down already and there is a growing ecosystem of Mobile Device Management solutions that can provide higher levels of control. Including the ability to restrict/prevent time waster apps from being installed. This solution could be ideal for guest offices & cubicles, conference rooms with projectors or HDTV’s, or any task based workstation at many Mac centric organizations. Hotel rooms would be a no-brainer.
What about a mouse? Yes currently this is an issue. Consider this, if the Apple Magic Trackpad will support iTV then gestures and mouse functions can be enabled as it does with Macs. Problem solved ! Even without the Magic Trackpad it is also possible for apps like Receiver to pair an iPhone with an iPad and serve as a trackpad, so applying this for iTV is not a stretch. There is also ample opportunity for 3rd party keyboard/mouse vendors to provide some great solutions.
iPhone apps on an iTV ? Even if the hundreds of thousands of iOS apps works with iTV they won’t necessarily look good stretched on a big screen, even the iPhone apps look awkward on the iPad. However if the apps would run as widgets on the “desktop” of a large display this could provide a useful workspace. Apple would need to endorse/allow this but it could be appealing.
Business Apps for the iOS are appearing all the time and many could be appropriate for this scenario, safari web apps and HTML5 apps can work at any size.
Virtual Desktops from an app like Citrix Receiver can provide access to most existing Windows business apps and desktops just as they do today with traditional Thin Clients. Many companies already have the required Infrastructure in place or are considering Desktop Virtualization as an alternative to Windows 7 PC migration/replacements.
So would the rumored “iTV” really displace the existing niche of Thin Clients ? No. However as we have already seen with iPhones breaking into the enterprise and the iPad successfully defining the Tablet as the 3rd screen most people will have, we could see the iTV legitimize the Thin Client form factor and function plus make it pervasive ( and cool ).
IT has a number of options to enable remote access for employees wanting mobile access to email and work applications from their iPads. There are however pros and cons for each option as well as some prerequisite questions to consider.
Company iPads - For company owned iPads a likely scenario is to treat iPads similar to mobile phones. If company apps or email are allowed to run native on the iPad then Mobile Device Management ( MDM ) software may be necessary to assure corporate security policy is enforced. BES servers may be in place already for Blackberry’s, this type of control may be need to be duplicated for company iPads as well. The forth coming improvements in iOS4 will help with email however additional applications will still require management. If however company data is not allowed to reach the iPad as discussed below, then the management costs and administration could be significantly reduced.
Personal iPads - Many early adopter employees and specifically executives are now bringing their new iPad to work and asking IT for access to company apps. One problem is most companies have policies against storing company data on anything but company owned equipment. While the iPad does include a great email app including support for Exchange, the decision needs to be made to change the company policy or allow exceptions for iPad users. Beyond email, corporate calendars are also supported by the iPad, however most users complain of conflicts and errors compared to Outlook Calendar. The best solution for most companies dealing with personal iPads is to not allow apps or data to run locally. IT can provide safe remote access to hosted email and apps or virtual desktops.
Applications - Beyond Email, determining what apps are required by users and if they are available on the iPad is a big consideration. Many company web apps require specific browsers and are not compatible with mobile Safari on the iPad. Windows apps will obviously not work locally and although iWork and a few Office clones are available, most users will find these limiting.
Other Tablets - Since the iPad was announced it seems like there is a new Tablet announced or rumored every week. Some like the Dell Streak or Cisco Cius run Android but others will run Windows or WebOS or MeeGo or other yet to be named OS. The iPad has a head start but it will not be the only Tablet that needs access to company apps. So solving the problem only for iPads will be another point solution for a growing challenge.
Native iPad Apps - If every app required is available on the iPad, then this may be the right answer for company iPads provided they can be managed through MDM software and administration. The pros for native apps are user experience and offline operation ( app dependent ) For personal iPads however assuring corporate security compliance is a challenge with native apps. Also future support for non iPad Tablets should be considered.
VPN with Web Apps - The iPad does have limited native VPN capability in the OS and can support some web apps. These apps need to be tested and expect many not to be compatible. Again consideration for data left behind on personal iPads needs to be taken into account.
Hosted Virtual Applications - Applications running on Windows servers such as Windows XenApp ( or Terminal Services/RDS ) can be an ideal solution for secure iPad app delivery. In addition to Windows apps, Web Apps that require IE or specific browser plug-ins can easily be delivered to iPads. With XenApp IT can dictate what user gets what app and can easily turn on or off access to applications without managing the iPad itself. Only a single app, the Citrix Receiver is required on the iPad and the configuration can be done via emailed or clicking a link on an intranet web wage. No MDM software is required or concern about company data on personal iPads. A con of this method is that a WiFi or 3G connection is required and apps will not work offline.
Over 200,000 companies already have Citrix XenApp infrastructure that can support the iPad although some may need to configuration changes to enable access. A Citrix Access Gateway is also recommended for secure access, again already in place at many companies. For companies without Citrix, the implementation can be small as a single Windows server with XenApp Fundamentals which is good for between 5 and 75 users.
Virtual Desktops - Hosted Virtual Desktops or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure ( VDI ) such as XenDesktop provides a full Windows 7 environment for each user running on a server in a company datacenter or service provider. Again only the Citrix Receiver is required on the iPad and IT has complete control to turn on or off access. Applications can be installed in the Windows 7 images or be streamed to the image via Application Virtualization. Citrix XenDesktop is required for this solution along with servers supporting the Virtual Desktop images. A free starter edition is available for up to 10 users called XenDesktop Express .
So now that the iPad has topped 3 million units with no slow down in sight, it’s obvious that the tablet form factor has been legitimized and also has a place in business ( or at least remote access to the business ). If you are in IT and considering how to support the iPad let us know your challenges.
Traditionally Citrix has not been considered to be a key component in an organizations mobile device strategy. Typically mobile solutions include; Exchange integration, BES servers, and more recently Mobile Device Management software. However with increased IT challenges resulting from the explosion of devices and user requirements, Citrix has leveraged its technology into the mobility space, and has made some great progress giving you many reasons to reconsider.
1) Security - This is the top issue for enterprise mobility. With Citrix, apps and data remain under IT control with data stored on company network or XenApp/XenDesktop servers As a result devices do not necessarily need to be managed in the traditional sense and there is no data to remotely wipe.
2) Employee owned devices - The iPhone started a trend that is extending to iPads, Androids and predictably more to come. More employees – including execs and revenue generating users require access to corporate apps to be more productive. Citrix provides IT a safe way to allow access while not letting the data to be stored on the device.
3) Compliance - Most enterprises today have policies against allowing company data to be stored on anything except company owned and managed devices. If you are supporting employee owned devices and your not using Citrix you probably need to change the policy or make an exception with a risk assessment.
4) Email - Every smartphone has a capable email client, however they also have deficiencies for corporate use. iPhone and iPad still have problems with Exchange syncing for Calendars. Androids have security deficiencies. They all have issues with employee ownership. A good alternative is to run a full Outlook ( or Notes ) client on XenApp with columns and reading panes adjusted to fit the real estate of the device. In addition Citrix is developing an Email client for Exchange that looks and feels just like a mobile email app but runs securely under IT control on XenApp. This was demonstrated recently at Synergy from both iPhone and Android, stay tuned for updates.
5) Corporate Apps - Beyond email most employees also want access to the companies apps they may need while mobile. The question is not how many apps are in the Apple or Android app store , it’s how many company apps are accessible on the target device. With Citrix virtually every company app could be available on a mobile device. These will work unmodified, however we also suggest configuring the apps to be Mobile-Friendly when possible. Also many existing tools like Xcelcius or Hyperion can be used to build Dashboards that target the mobile. A new product called PowerGadgets for XenApp can be used by non developers to create great looking mobile apps that run on XenApp and access standard company databases or web services.
6) Build Once, Run Anywhere - It is clear that there will not be a single mobile platform for the foreseeable future. For enterprises that build internal apps with Visual Studio, or other standard platforms, many are now faced with the dilemma of selecting a platform(s) and gaining the skills to build mobile apps. With Citrix, in-house developers can use existing development platforms and skills to create custom apps by following simple guidelines on real estate and usability. The apps can then be hosted on XenApp servers and delivered to any device.
7) User experience - Apple has set a high bar on usability and the touch interface. Citrix leverages the native touch interface for iOS and Android so gestures like pinch, zoom and pan work like native apps. We also have added gestures like vertical swipe for scrolling and horizontal swipe for paging through powerpoint slides or other apps that use right/left key. Even though most apps will run unmodified on XenApp we recommend targeting apps and mobile use cases and following the best practices in 5 or 6 above to provide users the best experience.
8) Tablets - The iPad has legitimized the tablet form factor and there are new ones announced or rumored every month. In most cases Citrix virtual apps or desktops can be deployed without modifications and minimal effort. Tablets are good first candidates to evaluate Citrix before extending to smartphones.
9) ROI - Most enterprises already have Citrix infrastructure and skills somewhere in the company. If mobile adoption grows significantly then additional licenses/servers may be required but need to be balanced with the alternative costs such as:
A) Cost of a security breach due to a lost device - At a minimum this means impacted IT resources needed to react, contain, and explain the incident. Worse case it could be $ millions in fines, government audits, damaged brands and ruined careers.
B) Employees will buy their own device. Instead of company purchased devices many employees will gladly buy their own device and only get an expense reimbursement for the service.
C) Cost of new Mobile Device Management infrastructure and skills. Also keep in mind continuing to invest in a single platform that only supports one device will satisfy a shrinking percentage of users.
D) Premium data plans cost $40-45 per user/month. Yet with Citrix only a standard $30 data plan is required. This alone can save $180 year per employee.
E) Redundant resources required to develop and maintain apps for multiple devices.
F) Redundant infrastructure to deploy apps to users with different devices.
10) Future Proof - The only thing you can count on in the mobility space is change and growth. Blackberry, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Symbian, WebOS, Meego (and the list goes on) all may find there their way into the enterprise. Investment in a single platform will be an incomplete strategy, and investments in multiple platforms will be prohibitively expensive. Citrix will provide Receivers for popular mobile devices now and into the future making any current investment last beyond the hype cycle. Citrix will also be leading the enablement of Workshifting and delivering apps and virtual desktops with new visionary mobile features such as the Citrix Receiver for iPhone 4.0 with Nirvana Phone capability.
If you have not previously considered Citrix for mobility it’s easy to get started. Go to the Apple App Store, Android Marketplace, or Citrix download page and install the free Citrix Receiver. There are cloud demos available to experience a number of apps to try first hand and to share with your peers.
As Apple raises the bar once again in mobility with the release of iPhone 4.0, Citrix is keeping pace with our own Receiver update. Citrix Receiver for iPhone 4.00 is now available on the AppStore with a bunch of cool new features:
Multitasking – We’ll be extending the new iOS functionality from Apple so you can run both virtual apps alongside native apps and toggle back and forth between them.
Shared Clipboard and Documents – You can share clipboard content between native and virtual apps and tranfer files between your virtual environment and device via iTunes.
External Display – We’re taking advantage of the video out to display virtual apps on an external monitor or projector so that road warriors can give presentations via their iPhone. Very cool.
Performance enhancements – Perhaps the first thing you’ll notice with Receiver 4.0 is the performance. Across the board, it’s 40% faster than previous versions.
Auto-fit Screen – When you rotate the phone, the Receiver screen automatically re-sizes to make the most of the screen real estate.
Improved Gestures – We’ve improved the responsiveness of Receiver by optimizing how gestures work with Apple’s native iOS so that users get instantaneous feedback. It feels very natural.
4.0 is a quantum leap over previous releases and fundamentally changes the mobile computing user experience. Now that I’ve been running it for awhile, I don’t know how I survived without it. I can’t wait for Apple to extend this to iPad later this Fall. You can bet we’ll be updating Receiver for iPad to match.
It has not been a pretty few weeks for Apple. Almost immediately following its release of the iPhone 4, reception problems began popping up, with complaints quickly spreading online through traditional and social media. Then, came Consumer Reports’ review of the phone — which it did not recommend due to its antenna problems. The issue reached a crescendo as talk of a recall made the rounds, with estimates of its cost to Apple ranging from $100 million to $1.5 billion. Throughout it all, Apple’s acknowledgment of the problem has been grudging, with the company minimizing it at every turn.
Progress on the Citrix Receiver for iPhone 4.0 is very going well. The Receiver will continue to work on older iPhone 3 and 3G iPhones, however the new iPhone 4 features may have you waiting on store lines or going online now to get on the Apple waiting list. As seen in the video, we have been able to exploit the best new capabilities of the iPhone 4, Multi-tasking and Video-out. Multi-tasking really works allowing you to start a Citrix session, double click, start another native app like youtube or even some 3rd party apps, then double click and go back to your Citrix session and its still alive and running, no re-launch required. You can even take or make a phone call and display & work on the XenDesktop session while talking on the speakerphone.
As seen a standard Bluetooth keyboard also works and the iPhone allows you to navigate and click to launch apps etc. This release will have some limitations in keyboard operation and there is no mouse support. So the full Nirvana Phone experience replacing a thin client or Netbook is not quite there yet, but its close enough to see it. The use case for using the iPhone to make powerpoint presentations via conference room projectors absolutely will work well with this 4.0 release, expect Apple to sell a lot more $29 VGA adapters .
Aside from the iPhone 4, other mobile vendors also have a Nirvana Phone capable device in the works. The HTC EVO has HDMI out as does the Motorola Driod X that was just announced, plus the Nokia N8 coming in September. It will be interesting to see who can achieve and deliver the real Nirvana Phone experience first, we will be doing our part with Citrix Receiver and XenDesktop.
For users of Citrix Receiver for iPhone with a 3G or 3GS iPhone we recommend waiting for our forth coming 4.0 release which is designed to support iOS 4. This release will include RSA sync, optional client drive mapping and multi-tasking support for 3GS. I have been using the multi-tasking for weeks and can attest to the improved usability. Fortunately Citrix Receiver 4.0 can even support keeping the session alive even while making a phone call or browsing safari, then switching back with no launch or logon. If you update to iOS 4 right now however you may have issues with authentication that requires 3 inputs ( Password, RSA, Domain ). Also icon colors may be off due to a change in iOS 4. Early buyers of iPhone 4 may be impacted as well.
The enhancements in 4.0 work very well on 3GS iPhone’s however before releasing to the App Store we needed to test it with real iPhone 4 hardware. This includes testing with the new Retina display and support for the video out . As soon as the testing is complete we will be making the release available in the App Store.
For users with 2G and 3G these devices will work with release 4.0 on iOS 4, however multi-tasking will not be supported by Apple.
Apple on Wednesday issued an apology for the debacle that greeted would-be iPhone 4 buyers the previous day due to ordering-system overloads at Apple and AT&T. “Yesterday Apple and its carrier partners took pre-orders for more than 600,000 of Apple’s new iPhone 4,” reads a statement issued by the company. “It was the largest number of pre-orders Apple has ever taken in a single day and was far higher than we anticipated, resulting in many order and approval system malfunctions. Many customers were turned away or abandoned the process in frustration.
Sometimes more, sometimes less. Over the last 284 days, that is the average number of times I have been asked about Citrix Receiver for Blackberry.
I know what your thinking…. “Marcus, why didn’t you Blog on this topic 283 days ago?“
It’s a story of intrigue, suspense, broken promises and big money. More on that latter…
For those of you who have followed Citrix for any length of time, you might have heard that Mobility is the Next Big Thing. Almost yearly; usually around mobility industry events.
So what makes this year different? – Devices and network speeds.
Citrix Receiver unlocks the power in these fast and eloquent devices, allowing us to create a terrific user experience.
Before you start screaming that the iPhone is not an Enterprise solution, hear me out. When the iPhone was introduced, it provided an ideal form factor to deliver applications. Fits in your pocket and it has a big, beautiful screen with lots of real-estate for users to interact on. Citrix users agree. We are quickly trending towards the 500,000-download milestone. Meter readers, land surveyors and even motorcycle cops are getting their principle applications delivered to their iPhones daily.
Recently I had the chance to meet with Samsung, HTC and other key manufacturers in the “Smartphone” business. There are devices being introduced this year that dwarf the 3-year old iPhone technology. The first on my list was announced today.
The HTC EVO 4G delivers. It has a 4.3-inch touch screen that just looks beautiful when Citrix Receiver is delivering applications to it. Many similar devices are coming soon for all of the Mobility Operating Systems.
Currently we offer a Citrix Receiver for Android, Windows Mobile and iPhone. We also have a Symbian client.
We understand how important the Blackberry is in the Enterprise. In fact, through a Company called Rove, the Blackberry was one of the first mobile devices to have a Citrix client. At Citrix, almost 35% of our Smartphone users have a Blackberry.
Our intent was to come out with Citrix Receiver for Blackberry about the same time as the iPhone. Each platform has it’s own teams, so this goal was very realistic. In an effort to further accelerate this development, we took some time and acquired outside technology, believing it would provide us with a solid platform that we could quickly iterate on in the future. We were not happy with the result.
We decide to start again from scratch, armed with the knowledge gained from delivering Citrix Receiver on the other platforms.
I am pleased with the internal build I am using and feel comfortable sharing that with you today.
We hope to announce registration for the beta program shortly. Those who have already signed-up, your names have been retained and you will be contacted. If you haven’t registered, please send me your name, device, OS version and memory size. We want to test against as many configurations as possible. When you come to Synergy, be sure to bring your Blackberry to the opening Keynote.
On a separate note, look for Citrix Receiver for Android 1.0, with full CAG support, to be available on the Android Marketplace within a few weeks.
I’ll have a special post for you on April 3rd that you won’t want to miss.
In closing, I sincerely thank you for you patience and suggestions as we look forward to getting Citrix Receiver onto your Blackberry.