Citrix Integrates ShareFile Into Follow-Me Data Vision

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Citrix’s acquisition of ShareFile is paying off already, with new real-time collaboration tools

Citrix is integrating the recently acquired ShareFile data cloud into its new “Follow-Me-Data Fabric,” to create a platform for sharing business data across a wide range of apps, devices and services.

ShareFile is a provider of secure cloud-based data storage, and sharing and collaboration software. It is designed to simplify the storage, synchronisation and sharing of business documents, and also allows users to share files across multiple devices and access them from any location.

Citrix customers will be able to use ShareFile as a standalone service in a browser, or via Citrix Receiver, the company’s universal software client. ShareFile capabilities will also be available as a ‘Workspaces’ feature within Citrix’s GoToMeeting product, allowing the creation and management of online files for collaboration.

“Some people talk about ShareFile as a sort of Dropbox for the enterprise, but we don’t think of it that way,” said Citrix president and CEO Mark Templeton, speaking at the company’s Synergy event in Barcelona. “We think of it as an iCloud for business.”

Real-time collaboration

At the event, Citrix gave a demonstration of the latest version of GoToMeeting, which combines high-definition web, audio, video and file-based collaboration in real-time. Users can share, annotate and store files and meeting notes in one secure place, as well as conducting live meetings.

“Today, there are two distinct camps for business collaboration services – file storage and sharing and real-time conferencing,” said Bernardo de Albergaria, vice president and general manager for collaboration at Citrix Online. “Merging the best of both worlds, we are creating one elegantly, easy to use platform that allows customers to think differently about how collaboration can happen, anytime from anywhere.”

The news is part of a wider set of product announcements made at the Synergy conference, designed to give businesses choice and flexibility in the cloud, while ensuring that IT departments maintain control.

This includes updates to the CloudGateway product line, which Citrix describes as ‘the first unified service broker’. End users get self-service access to apps and data from any device, while IT departments get unified controls such as identity, automatic account de-provisioning, and remote wipe for data and apps stored on lost devices.

The company is offering two versions of CloudGateway. The enterprise version enables businesses to aggregate, control and deliver all Windows, web and SaaS apps to any device. Meanwhile, the Express version (which is free for XenDesktop and XenApp customers) focuses specifically on Windows apps.

CloudGateway vs Horizon

CloudGateway competes with VMware’s Horizon Project, designed to help enterprises update their legacy desktop computing environments to what the company calls “a more modern, user-centric application and data delivery model”.

Horizon is predominantly a VDI offering, but VMware last week teamed up with mobile network operators Telefónica and Verizon to develop ‘split personality’ Android smartphones, using the company’s mobile virtualisation technology.

However, Gordon Payne, senior vice president and general manager of Citrix’s desktop division, is not worried about the competition. “We have 100 million users using our stuff on massive scale around the world and they’re VMware is getting its toe in the water,” he said.

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