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Citrix's acquistion of Sapho aims to provide its workspace app with a modern user experience.

Jeffrey Schwartz

November 30, 2018

3 Min Read
Mergers and Acquisitions

Citrix is pushing forward its strategy of growing the company’s new SaaS-based digital Workspace app with the acquisition of Sapho and the rollout of its new Citrix Ready Workspace Endpoint partner program.

The Citrix Workspace app, released in May, brings a modern digital user experience to mobile devices and desktops. Growth of its workspace app is critical to Citrix over the long haul. This month’s $200 million acquisition of Sapho aims to enhance the capabilities and appeal of the Citrix Workspace app by allowing organizations to create modern intranets.

Sapho offers a platform designed to provide an enterprise portal experience as micro apps that can access on-premises and SaaS apps. The platform now hosts 50 micro-apps that provide access to applications such as Workday, SAP Concur, Google Drive, Microsoft Outlook and ServiceNow.

The Sapho endpoint app is designed to render information to employees in personalized feeds, aggregating information from different apps, prioritizing tasks and allowing users to customize their views of information. In addition to its focus on productivity, it’s designed to improve employee satisfaction, which Citrix officials believe could prove critical in retaining workers in a tight labor market.

Citrix said it will integrate the Sapho platform into Its Workspace app by the second half of 2019.

“It really adds to the overall value-add story for Citrix because it highlights how they’re really tying together applications in a much more interesting way than just providing a virtual desktop,” said Bob O’Donnell, president and chief analyst of TECHanalysis Research.

Workspace app is Citrix’s effort to broaden the reach of its technology beyond core virtual desktop users, often a small percentage of a customer’s overall employee base. Building a large ecosystem of apps is a key part of that initiative.

At the annual Citrix Synergy conference in May, when the company officially released the Workspace app, channel chief Craig Stillwell said the new Citrix Ready compatibility testing and validation program includes an ISV marketplace had 1,200 solutions. The company, which created a new portal for the marketplace, claims it now has 30,000.

The company last week said it is replacing its HDX verification program with the new Citrix Ready Workspace Endpoint Program. The change is aimed at partners that offer thin client and other endpoint solutions, letting them validate compatibility and performance with the Citrix Workspace Apps and related Citrix Cloud services.

In addition to Workspace app, the program will cover the existing Citrix virtual desktop and app portfolio; hence, the company’s decision to eliminate the existing program to verify HDX, the protocol for adding high-definition user experiences to the company’s virtual desktop and app portfolio. In that program, partners tagged thin-client solutions based on their HDX levels (HDX Ready, HDX HD Premium and HDX 3d Pro).

The new Citrix Ready Workspace Endpoint levels will replace the existing HDX levels, which the company will ultimately deprecate.

“Customers now can confidently select endpoints that deliver the best possible user experience powered by Citrix Workspace services,” said Nitin Sharma, Citrix product marketing manager, in a blog announcing the new program. “That means instant access to SaaS and web apps, files, mobile apps, and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops.” 

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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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