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What Citrix Should Do Next With Its Latest Cloud Tool Acquisition

Mark Templeton's shopping spree continues. The latest company to pop up in the Citrix shopping cart is Dropbox-like company ShareFile. From a strategic standpoint, this acquisition is a great move for Citrix. If integrated correctly, Citrix can turn ShareFile (I hope they don't call it XenFile or XenShare or XenSomething) into an enterprise cloud storage play. Every company I am talking to likes the Dropbox approach for storage for its users. The caveat, however, is that companies want to offer a Dropbox-like service on premise, not on someone else's cloud. So, if Citrix gets it right, the acquisition can be a home run for the company.

The acquisition would serve multiple purposes. First, it would allow Citrix to offer its customers yet another service that is in demand these days at the enterprise level. It also empowers XenApp and XenDesktop to have a better solution and approach to user data. Apple's iCloud can sync all your settings and make it available on any device. Citrix should be able to take the same approach as Apple as far as ShareFile is concerned and make your settings and files available on any device without hassle. It should just work.

I just hope that Citrix does not just acquire ShareFile, and make it a standalone product. I also hope that Citrix offers an on-premise version of ShareFile. While the cloud-based, SaaS model is good, I think many enterprises will be more enticed to use the product if they can deploy it locally.

That being said, and while I applaud the acquisition, at some point Citrix has to give the credit card a breather and focus significant effort on integrating all these different toys it keeps buying. The road to successful products start with tighter integration.

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 10/20/2011 at 12:49 PM


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