Micro apps, AI to power new version of Citrix Workspace

Citrix is adding AI, automation and micro app capabilities to its Workspace product.

The new version of Citrix Workspace will be unveiled during the main keynote at Citrix Synergy, which takes place next week in Atlanta.

Citrix Workspace gives IT admins virtual access to an organization’s desktop and applications. Using data Citrix has gathered from interacting with an organization’s business applications, it will now apply AI and automation to create a streamlined action for the user and surface all of an end user’s business applications in one interface.

“Citrix sits in a position where it can catch a lot of information,” said Mark Bowker, analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Mass. “The company gains a lot of information from the users and the applications and the networks and data, and there’s value in that. Citrix is taking that information and allowing users to make more intelligent decisions from that information.”

The new version of Citrix Workspace will also include micro apps — small, task-based applications — to complete processes that previously took users multiple steps and application toggling to complete.

Sapho acquisition is lynchpin

The micro app capability and the foundation for the rendition of Citrix Workspace are primarily thanks to the company’s acquisition of Sapho, a micro app provider and development platform.

A screenshot of Citrix Workspace shows how a manager can act on a process like approving an expense report with a single click, without toggling between applications. Citrix is expected to unveil more at Citrix Synergy.
A screenshot of Citrix Workspace shows how a manager can act on a process like approving an expense report with a single click, without toggling between applications. Citrix is expected to unveil more at Citrix Synergy.

The $200 million acquisition was seen as a clear opportunity to improve a user’s workflow within Workspace. In February, three months after Citrix acquired Sapho, David Le Strat, vice president of product management for Citrix, penned a blog post that outlined the same sentiment and called the acquisition part of the company’s future-of-work strategy.

“We are helping customers take the next steps in that journey by evolving Citrix Workspace to guide and automate work and minimize busy work,” he wrote. “With the Sapho acquisition, Citrix accelerates its vision for productivity in the workspace.”

The new version of Citrix Workspace has been described by Citrix employees as a Facebook-like timeline for the end user. It allows a user to act on all of their business applications within one feed. The end result is a single interface where admins can click through their daily responsibilities. For example, a manager can approve expense reports with one click or dig deeper if the report is suspect and requires further inspection.

This is an attempt by Citrix to take the business applications and business processes and be able to put them in consumable, bite-size pieces for the end users.
Mark BowkerAnalyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

“Integration of the Sapho technology augments existing Citrix Workspace capabilities by making line-of-business transactions available and actionable as a simple, unified and intelligent work feed,” Le Strat wrote. “Actions, tasks and data are aggregated across applications to provide a consolidated place for initiating new micro workflows.”

Bowker echoed Le Strat’s statement, adding that, due to the Sapho acquisition, Citrix could act on all of the information it gathers by sitting in the middle of users’ applications and IT’s infrastructure.

“This is an attempt by Citrix to take the business applications and business processes and be able to put them in consumable, bite-size pieces for the end users,” Bowker said.

He added that Citrix is in a unique situation to capitalize on this information compared to competitors, namely VMware.

“VMware’s approach from an overall intelligence and analytics perspective is comparable [to Citrix]. But, from a micro app approach, this is something VMware isn’t doing from a customer perspective.”

Citrix is expected to unveil more product news at Synergy, as well as provide more details surrounding the new version of Citrix Workspace.

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