Citrix XenMobile fills the gap on true Enterprise Mobility Management – Update

In the Enterprise Mobility Management playing field Citrix is betting big on Citrix XenMobile with new products, new editions and great integration. It’s clear that the EMM playing field is growing rapidly and according to Gartner it’s already on the nr 1 and 2 position of Strategic Technology trends for this year.

Gartner strategic technology trends

To understand the true value of the Citrix XenMobile Enterprise Mobility Management suite it’s important to know the definitions for the different kinds of Enterprise mobile solutions.

  • Mobile Device Management (MDM)
  • Mobile Application Management (MAM)
  • Mobile Information Management (MIM aka Follow-Me-Data)
  • Secure mail and web (Update September 2013)

Mobile Device Management

Mobile Device Management clearly is mainly about managing the complete device or at least creating a securely managed separate layer for business purpose. Citrix bought itself into this space by acquiring a company called ZenPrise. ZenPrise at that time already on the leaders quadrant of Gartner’s magic quadrant for Enterprise Mobility.

Gartner Magic Quadrant Enterprise Mobility Management 2013

Mobile Application Management

Mobile Application Management (MAM) manages applications and configuration on a mobile device without managing the complete device. It creates a separate secure layer on the device without changing anything on the personal layer.

In my opinion MAM is the way to go for most customer cases around Enterprise Mobility Management. The reason is that end users are not interested in having two devices for the same usages, like one smartphone for work and one for personal usage. This is the same for tablets. When we are able to create a highly secured work layer on a personal device the end user is able to use this device for both work and personal purposes. When the user leaves the company or the device is lost company information can be blocked or even wiped without touching the personal layer on the mobile device.

About two years ago Citrix launched a suite called Citrix CloudGateway Enterprise (XenMobile App edition) which was based on the Citrix AppController product. Citrix AppController manages the mobile experience on the MAM layer. When all the naming schemes start to dazzle you a little bit here is a link to one of my earlier articles to help you get back on track.

Mobile Information Management

Mobile Information Mangement (MIM) is about managing company data on mobile devices. On one side its about securing data but evenly as important it’s about managing data. When we use data on a mobile device we want to ensure our end users that they are looking at recent data and when they alter data this is synchronized to their centrale data location on the network so it’s available on their desktop device and for usage by other end users.

About two years ago Citrix acquired a company called ShareFile. At that time ShareFile offered a “DropBox” like solution for enterprises for secure file synchronization of files. The product, at that time, was completely cloud based so files were stored in the cloud.

Over the last year Citrix expanded ShareFile (included in XenMobile Enterprise edition) with on premise based storage for synchronized files. This is an important step because of Enterprises not willing to store company data on cloud servers, yet! Citrix also developed a way of connecting to Windows file shares and Sharepoint, when launched read-only but in the near future also as a read-write solution. When using SharePoint it’s possible to use native check-in check-out functionality of SharePoint.

Secure mail and web

An important use case for Enterprise Mobility Management is securing e-mail and web applications by using a separate secured email and web browser application. This way we can secure business e-mail and business web applications without compromising functionality the user needs for personal usage.

The Citrix XenMobile suite offer Citrix Worx mobile applications like Worx Mail and Worx Web.

Worx mail is not only about e-mail, it will securely deliver your calendar items and contacts as well.

Work web is about securely browsing the web, not only external websites but also intranet websites by creating a dedicated secure VPN tunnel.

Concluding on Citrix XenMobile

Now that we understand all Enterprise Mobility Management flavors like MDM,MAM and MIM it’s time to focus on how the Citrix XenMobile suite fills the gap in this space.

Without any vendor bashing, Citrix XenMobile is the only suite available to manage all the flavors of Enterprise Mobility Management discussed in this article.

Like any major Citrix product line the XenMobile suite comes in a variety of editions to, marketing alert, make sure customers only have to buy wat they actually need. When they need more features there is an upgrade path available.

  • XenMobile MDM edition; the product formerly known as ZenPrise
  • XenMobile App edition; formerly known as AppController
  • XenMobile Enterprise edition; all the products including Citrix ShareFile!!

At the moment Citrix has not integrated the XenMobile MDM and App edition into a single product yet. My expectation are that this will eventually be consolidated to a single appliance based product and most importantly one single console. This would fit the whole “making IT simple to use” vision Citrix is using these days for products like Citrix XenDesktop 7.

Citrix is also working on integrating XenMobile with other Citrix products like Citrix NetScaler and StoreFront to make sure we can deliver a single portal to our end users.

My advice for every customer, especially those who are already working with other Citrix products, is to make sure you take a good look at Citrix XenMobile because this might just be the most innovative suite around!

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About Barry Schiffer

Barry is an IT Architect with 15 years of IT experience. He has gained both a broad and deep knowledge in the sphere of IT. Throughout the years, Barry has developed into a specialist in the field of Microsoft Windows, Server Based Computing, desktop and server virtualisation.Barry is co-founder and member of the Board of the Dutch Citrix User Group.Barry is awarded with the Citrix Technology Professional award in 2015 and received the RES Software Valued Professional award in 2012.

3 Responses to Citrix XenMobile fills the gap on true Enterprise Mobility Management – Update

  1. Hi Barry,
    Nice one, I totally agree on the MAM part, excellent solution! Although I’m not too sure about the consolidation part where you mention MDM and App Edition ending up as one appliance. Both XenMobile MDM and App Controller (App Edition) have valid use cases separate from each other. I guess you could offer one appliance (perhaps virtual) and then separate functionality through licensing / editions, as with NetScaler or something alike which would make the solution more flexible. Oh… and again, totally agree on the single console part 🙂

    What do you mean when you say “Citrix is also working on integrating XenMobile with other Citrix products like Citrix NetScaler and StoreFront to make sure we can deliver a single portal to our end users”

    That’s what the whole Enterprise Edition is all about right? Or ‘The Mobile Solutions Bundle’ as it was called just a few weeks back. NetScaler (SmartAccess, Endpoint analysis, Mirco VPN’s etc…) + StoreFront + XenMobile MDM and the App Controller completing the ‘Bundle’ with StoreFront being the single portal including single sign on (and the Worx apps of-course). Basically XenMobile MDM + the CloudGateway suite as it was introduced not too long ago. Or do you mean something else? Just wondering.



    • Just remember I’m only sharing my expectations on the consolidation of MDM and MAM part. I have no information other then this would fit the whole making things simpler stuff.

      What we are already seeing with AppController is the integration of StoreFront where we can create one portal for Saas and Windows applications. My expectations are that we’ll see more integration with Citrix NetScaler as this is the primary ADC device.

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