Hogan Consulting Group has been looking for partners to push their enterprise level skills and experience to the smaller tiered market, as they firmly believe that they deliver an operational advantage to their clients as opposed to simple technical implementation and support.
The managed services program is an example of where they were able to specifically leverage their experience in a way which could be consumed by any size organization. Virtualization however, is harder to deliver as our partners who deliver such technology must be engaged in a way that they can be leveraged as well.
Hogan Consulting Group recently sent a few individuals to Citrix Systems to learn more about how they are engaging the small and mid-sized businesses and align our delivery with theirs to enable us to better engage on their behalf. This is very important in terms of Hogan Consulting Group’s ability to deliver increased operational efficiency to smaller clients. In order to understand how Citrix can bring consistency to your end users, it is important to understand a high level view of how their end user product line has evolved. This is not a complete Citrix history and omits some product lines, rather it tells an evolutionary story about their ability to deliver end user computing solutions and the unique way in which they address the problem.
The Core Problem of End User Administration
The end user in a business environment is often thought of as the low hanging fruit in terms of a support plan, this happens because they are an individual in a larger organization. However, the view is misleading. They are an individual component of the overall machine which presents itself as the business entity and as such each has their own significance to the performance of the whole. The system used by the end user is actually much more complex than we tend to let on. PCs can have multiple brands of processors, amounts of RAM, hard drive, operating systems etc… This variation can even occur within (and often does) the same organization. Even with some degree of automation for updates, patches and anti-virus this can be incredibly consumptive of resources.
The Uniquely Citrix Solution
Individual PCs provide a common set of functionality (open files, read/write files, execute programs etc…) and all of these are handled by a core set of components in the OS. Citrix specializes in delivering an OS to a set of users based on a single image. This method of delivery has the following advantages:
Users interact with their “own” desktop but are unable to cause permanent harm to it. Desktops can be securely presented to users on almost any device with network connectivity (including offsite). Support staff has a single base image to perform maintenance on (templates can be used to provide differing apps for different business groups). Maintenance can be performed on the base image while others work without interrupting service, errors can be reverted. Clearly this delivers an increase in the efficiency in which your desktop environment is maintained. Several competitors are still working on desktop delivery solutions that can deliver a subset of those features.
Applying the Citrix solution to application delivery
Citrix saw that focusing on the common tasks related to providing an end user environment was a model that could be taken down to an even closer level to the user. In the above model, there is still either individual maintenance for applications or the need for specialized templates with appropriate applications installed. While this was still more efficient than doing each PC by hand, it could still be refined. Citrix virtualized application delivery (which is still uniquely Citrix) and delivered this set of advantages:
The virtualization of a package (for a target OS) occurs once, eliminating multiple installations. Applications can be delivered to any device with network connectivity just as the desktop images could. Applications would be available for staff (once virtualized) through a unified “store front” type interface and accessed with a single click. Application maintenance has a single instance to focus on which makes the work more scalable. Mobile device management and more with the Citrix solution
Application delivery also allowed Citrix to have a unique perspective on the BYOD (bring your own device) trend. While competitors focused on the security risks associated with this phenomenon, Citrix focused on the fact that people were bringing devices which, if properly used, could greatly increase productivity. Citrix developed a mobile device solution which leveraged application delivery to accomplish the following:
Deliver a suite of native IOS/Android apps for secure productive use (secure email etc…).
Access Citrix virtualized applications.
Manage security policies on the device.
Inventory device penetration in your organization.
The ability to remotely wipe corporate data off of a lost or compromised device.
It is evident that this paradigm will continue to serve Citrix in responding to changes in the end user environment and as such, Citrix customers will continue to enjoy an operational advantage in their markets. Additionally, having any of the solutions above implemented in conjunction with a managed services contract from Hogan Cloud Services can multiply the efficiency gains. If you are interested in learning more about how this might be of benefit within your small or mid-sized business please call us. In Indiana or Illinois call Karl Tatgenhorst at 1-(219) 921-1141 ext. 138.