Citrix SaaS offerings designed for SMBs without an IT shop

ANAHEIM, CALIF. – While larger enterprises may get most of the glory, Citrix Systems says smaller businesses are actually the earlier adopters of many emerging technologies. Don’t expect SMBs to get jazzed about new technology though – they just want to get their work done.

In an interview at Citrix Synergy, the virtualization and remote access vendor’s annual user conference, Mike Musson, vice-president of strategy and business development with the vendor, told that a key competitive differentiator for Citrix’s software as a service (SaaS) offerings is that they’re designed to be simple both to manage and to use, as those doing the acquiring often aren’t sophisticated IT professionals or end users.

“The sweet spot for our SaaS products is the SMB,” said Musson. “If I’m running a law firm, I’m not expected to be an IT professional, but I want a service like GoToMyPC that lets me access a deposition that’s only on my work server from my home office.”

GoToMyPC is Citrix’s solution for remotely accessing a desktop from another computer, or even a mobile device. Musson said many of Citrix’s GoTo offerings are popular with SMBs and entrepreneurs, such as GoToMeeting, a meeting collaboration service he said is a particularly good fit with sales organizations.

“SMBs need to put a good face forward to a potential investor or customer, and GoToMeeting lets them demo their product or service professionally when they don’t have a travel budget,” said Musson. “It lets them punch above their weight.”

Citrix recently added video conferencing to Podio, a social collaboration and project management similar to’s Chatter. And a recent addition to GoToMyPC proving popular with SMBs is support for mobile devices.

Noting that many small business people now have iPads or other tablet devices for both personal and business use, GoToMyPC now allows them to access their desktop from their tablet, wherever they may be. For the SMB that wants a little more management, GoToMyPCCorporate gives them a variety of administration and access tools, including which users can access what from which devices.

“People in architecture and engineering have sophisticated applications with high security requirements,” said Musson. “They’re attracted to this paradigm because they don’t have to download files, and the encryption is built in.”

Enabling business mobility and a bring your own everything paradigm is a key technology direction for Citrix, and Musson said it’s a popular one with SMBs, who have both embraced the SaaS model and tend to be early adopters of mobile technology. He said Citrix’s offerings are priced not based on usage, but on monthly fees, providing budget predictability that SMBs appreciate. They’ve also focused on making the buying motion quick and simple, with some offerings able to be purchased and up and running online within 10 minutes.

“You’re not thinking about technology, you’re just having your meeting or doing your work,” said Musson. “SMBs don’t tend to get jazzed that they’re in the middle of DropBox; they just want to get their work done.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.

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