Citrix Rebrand 2018

The Most Important Link https://www.citrix.com/about/citrix-product-guide

Warning:Super Long Blog, sorry.

Citrix has just changed the names of about everything which at first, I thought it was a bad idea, but if I step back and look at it I think it should help build better product association with the Citrix name.  This will get a bit wordy, but I think it should help out at some level. There is a conclusion at the bottom, I promise.  They did this pretty smooth from the Day 1 Keynote and releasing more information from there in Day 2.  They never said the words XenServer, ShareFile, NetScaler or XenApp\XenDesktop they referred to them loosely as their new name and some things on their website started to change also so it didn’t still from the show which was great. Citrix is the brand and the name after it is the product\function now.

“Throughout 2018, you will see exciting changes as we unify our product portfolio. As we make it easier to use Citrix products, we’re also making it easier to understand the value of our solutions with new names. We’re devoted to simplifying the way you experience Citrix Workspace, Citrix Networking, and Citrix Analytics solutions to deliver secure and personalized experiences with the choice and flexibility that fit your business needs. See below for more details. – Citrix”

There are two main customer types for any business “New Customers” that don’t know anything about you and those that have been “Existing Customers” that know 50-100% of all your portfolio.  I think every business in this new digital world has to make bold moves to stay relevant and continue to grow and this rename is one of those bold moves.  I wanted to look at this at these two basic customers types and then go deeper into my raw thoughts on each rename of the major products as a former Citrix Partner and as a Citrix Fan.

New Customers

There are always new customers to any business and getting them to know enough about you to take the leap to reach out and maybe purchase whatever your selling is key.  I think in the IT space especially there are so many companies and such a boom it is hard to stand out from the rest because there are probably 100’s of other companies that do the same thing as you.

If I’m a younger IT person and never heard of Citrix where would I see it first?  Would I have heard about it in College in an IT Career?  I would think you would know about Citrix if your Schools used it or you had friends or family that talked about it. When I meet people to this day it is a tough thing to explain “What is Citrix?” I usually default to the path of least resistance of “It allows you to get to your applications and desktops, so you can work anywhere” that usually works for most IT or Non-IT people.  As we think generationally there is a boom of the population that has never not known 3G, Internet, iPhones, Tablets and there is an App for that.  This new generation is coming into the workplace and they know what they can do with their phones from anywhere and if they go to many modern businesses today they are taken back that I have to be at work to work based on how mobile their life is digitally.  Citrix must tailor to this demographic and every business should too, so they will be relevant as the workforce is transitioned more and more to this group of people in the next 10+ years.

Back in the day people only saw Citrix when GoToMeeting commercials came up and I think now after this most people will know what everything is and does by its name vs “just knowing”, is it going to be perfect, nope but nothing is.  New Customers will be able to ingest the Citrix Workspace solution as a whole and be able to understand the pieces of the puzzle that make up this solution.  To me one thing is to know the Citrix Workspace solution in some cases you must be an IT person to understand the major pieces but if you just lead with Secure Remote Application and Desktop Access you may not go wrong either.

Existing Customers

Existing Customers will be hit the hardest in a big transition like this because they know some or all over these products and know have to “relearn” a ll these names and reconnect and associate these names to the correct thing.  What I ask from the existing customers “is how many times has any IT product changed its name?” the answer almost everything 1-3 times. Citrix has already changed the name of many products over its history along with some of the bigger IT names out there.

I see the impact of these name changes at three levels, each will have their own challenges but I think should be able to “keep on keeping on”

  1. Customers
    1. Customer Citrix Admin
      1. The next time they do their next upgrade they may start seeing the new names fade away in the installers and management consoles and their licenses servers. It could take a couple years before this change is actually seen in their deployment.
      2. Some may go ahead and start using some of the new names even if the name hasn’t changed yet to get ready because the train is rolling.
      3. They will need to for a couple years remember the name of the previous product when they problems with those products to get access to the articles that may still apply to the problem they are having. Example “Citrix ADC cannot ping SNIP” would need to be “NetScaler cannot ping SNIP” until the blogosphere and other sites catch up and the content is refreshed.  I think this is the hardest thing that a lot of other groups will fall into, but I think they are also the most likely to know the other names and know when to use them to find something.
  1. The help desks staff all around the world will have to change the names they use over the next couple of years too.
  1. Customer Management
    1. Management will have to get used to the new names to work with their Citrix Partner and Citrix staff along with accounting and other business units to explain the name has changed so it could be hundreds of meetings before that settles down.It will be a similar experience that the Citrix Admin is dealing with, but they may be interacting more with Non-IT people that don’t deal with it as much which will make it a little tougher.
    2. Updating Budgets and Accounting Entries and possibly changing the name of thing within the business many people brand their deployment around the name of the product.
  2. Customer User
    1. Most users only know Citrix from the client and or shortcut they click on to get access to that application or desktop to do their job. They see it in emails and company messages as news comes out about it.
    2. The Citrix StoreFront page and the Receiver Client are the heart of this change for the users which at the surface do not look too bad. The Receiver client has changed over the years along with the names it flashes as they login, but it will still do the same job, so might not be too bad.  The StoreFront page will change eventually I guess to a new background and names for downloads and other items, but I think this should be pretty benign too.  May take a year or more before the users sees an actual difference based on the upgrade schedule.
    3. Common Phrases heard by Existing Customers that will stay the same.
      1. Citrix is Slow
      2. Citrix is Down
      3. Citrix Cannot Print
  1. Partners
    1. Partner Sales
      1. Will have to adapt the fastest to the new names as they come out.
      2. Most sales of Citrix product are done by a Citrix Partner which is a company that is authorized to resell Citrix products. In most cases the Partner becomes the phase of Citrix to the Customer Management and their Admins along with the Citrix Sales team too.
      3. Trying to change the names and associations with products will take time just like when a car manufacturer comes out with a new name for the same chassis, it takes a bit based on the amount of times they do it. Lots of meetings will have corrections and Story Time with some of these products to speak to bother audiences, New Customers and Existing Customers to bridge the gap for people who know what a NetScaler is and was and now what a Citrix ADC is.
      4. Changing the names and presentations and proposals will take a while along with other supporting items that are part of the sales process.
  1. Partner Nerds
    1. Will have to adapt the fastest to the new names as they come out.
    2. They will face a similar experience of both the Partner Sales person along with the Customer Admin all in one.
    3. In most cases they will be the ones have to explain how Citrix WorkSpace works and all the pieces and what each one does.
    4. Technical documentation will have to be updated with the new names and other supporting information and will have to use Legacy search terms to find things like the Citrix Admin.
  1. Citrix
    1. Developers
      1. They will be updating the product names in hundreds of spots throughout each product set and will have to make decisions to leave the name here and there like most software companies because it could require a lot more effort to change this directory.
      2. Mileage will vary but a lot of the work to make the new show up out in the wild beyond the website.
    2. Citrix Sales
      1. Will have to adapt the fastest to the new names as they come out.
      2. They will have a similar experience as the Partner Sales staff but they will have the inside scoop a bit more of when the names will be implemented at each level and I’m sure will be responsible with updating their world with their Customers and Partners.
    3. Citrix Nerds
      1. Will have to adapt very fast to the new names as they come out.
      2. They will be just like Partner Nerds that will need to explain “Why Citrix” and adjust their documents and speeches based on that.

 

Old New Thoughts
Cedexis Citrix Intelligent Traffic Management It says what is does, don’t mind this that much at all.
Citrix Provisioning Services Citrix Provisioning This isn’t really a big change because it will still be Citrix Provisioning Server, invisible to the Users and many other people around a Citrix deployment.
Citrix Receiver Citrix Workspace App This one makes sense to me because they are rebranding the Citrix experience to use the word Workspace because Citrix is way more than just remote applications and desktops. Users will be the one that will see this first when that new Icon comes out along with any other branding changes to the connection process.  IT Management may have to explain the name change based on this product change because many of the other items are invisible to the users.  I also wonder about the Thin Client manufacturers that will have to update their information to make this new name pop up with their solution.
Citrix Workspace Service Citrix Workspace Same but Simpler. This one makes sense to me because it could be On-Premise or in the Cloud.  Citrix is a Workspace, so I dig it.
Citrix Workspace Suite Citrix Workspace Same but Simpler. This one makes sense to me because it could be Onsite or in the Cloud.  Citrix is a Workspace, so I dig it.
Citrix XenApp Citrix Virtual Apps This one is where it starts getting sticky.  This is a big one, over 10 years old and known in the IT world for sure.  With the new product name being more than one word, it means that it may be years of using “XenApp 1030” to when “Virtual Apps 1030” pulls up the same article.  I think of
Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Same as above.
Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop Service Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Same as above and related to the Citrix Workspace Service being simplified because it could be deployed Onsite or in the Cloud.
Citrix XenDesktop Citrix Virtual Desktops Same as Citrix XenApp above.  I think this is the most common product name out in the wild, most of the clients I work with own XenDesktop even if they are just using it for XenApp based on trade ups back in the day.
Citrix XenMobile Citrix Endpoint Management This makes great sense to me.  They need a name that explains what it can do because it can do way more than secure “mobile” devices today and to grow that product line this makes sense, it says what is does.
ShareFile Citrix Content Collaboration This makes sense to me too because ShareFile has really grown its other features beyond just Sharing Files.  I just wish there were document update meetings or something like that to really use the word “collaboration” to the max instead of it being a more of a single thread.
StoreFront StoreFront Yaaa, Happy Dance.  I think this product also says what it does for sure and will help a lot of people out there obfuscate many of the name changes of some of the other products.
XenServer Citrix Hypervisor This product is the official reason of the “Xen’ing” of most of the Citrix portfolio and it will also get De’Xened.  It may not have as much blow back as XenApp\XenDesktop and NetScaler based on how much it is deployed in the world and in many cases since the product is still great and it is such a backend product many upgrades will happen, and no one will ever know.  The Admins may have to use legacy search terms, not sure what will have the XAPI and all the XE command lines and the thousands of other Xen things within the product this is an example of a huge amount of effort would have to be taken to remove this name from everywhere.  I think packaging and some logos will be replaced and we will move along from there.
NetScaler ADC Citrix ADC This is the one that stings the most to me.  I’m a huge NetScaler fan and as I write this cell how many times will I write the word NetScaler over the next year or two.  This is the oldest\purest product name Citrix has with over 21 years of being out there.  As much as I would like to pout about this name change I think it should not cause a lot of drama to the Admins and Nerds out there but will be an impact to the Sales side I think more than anything.  The Gartner and IDC named the market place ADC (Application Delivery Controller) because they have all started to do way more than just “Load Balance” which makes sense for the name of the market but I’m not sure on the product side.  I think this one change is a little special because if you are new customer and you have never had an ADC this makes it easier to explain the ADC space and now the Citrix ADC and what it can do.  On the side of people who know what a NetScaler was and is may really wonder what the point is with the name change but I think Citrix believes they will gain more traction because the new name associates it with a space instead of new noun that was made up years ago.  Just like XenServer the product was built with that name and will stay the same in so many places within the CLI and directory structure because of the effort it would take to change it all.  Don’t want to change NSCLI!!
NetScaler AppFirewall Citrix Web App Firewall My favorite Citrix ADC feature (first time not using NetScaler, L ). When I first saw this in the early 2000’s I was blown away by the concept of known traffic and unknown traffic and blocking things that are not known and how great that works in so many scenarios.  I think this name says what it does and I think I would have left it Citrix App Firewall because I think the Web in comes cases is dead, Apps and Microservices that happen to be on the Web run the world and the Web is the transport method.  But I know people here Web and there are so many things that are browser bases that this probably a bit of naming super glues to help associate things.
NetScaler Web App Security Citrix Web App Firewall Same as above.
NetScaler Access Gateway Citrix Gateway It says what is does, no biggie.
NetScaler Management and Analytics System Citrix Application Delivery Management This one makes me scratch my head of not just replace NetScaler with Citrix and call it done so that the word MAS that many of us have come to love could live on.  Now we have Citrix ADM for your Citrix ADC to see what is going on within those connections.
NetScaler SD-WAN Citrix SD-WAN It says what is does, no biggie.  To me this matches NetScaler ADC being named after a market space just like SD-WAN was a made-up acronym just a couple years ago but has taken hold.  I love this product as a whole because how it can make such a huge impact in a user’s workflow and it is super nerdy.
NetScaler Secure Web Gateway Citrix Secure Web Gateway It says what is does, no biggie.  Wish they would have done that for MAS too, last time I will say it, promise.
NetScaler Unified Gateway Citrix Gateway It says what is does, no biggie.  This gets to the point because this is the Gateway to your applications, desktops, files and network for your users.

 

Citrix Memory Lane:

The is the time each name has been out and or was used.  NetScaler is the oldest name before it was acquired by Citrix and even after and to me it is the one that is the toughest to transition to ADC.  I wanted to also make something from Microsoft, Oracle, VMware and Cisco but it would have taken weeks to collect all their name changes for the same products and rebrands so this isn’t out of the ordinary for the Tech Giants along with other businesses in the world (Coke Zero\Coke No Sugar).

  • Name History
    • WinFrame 95-98                                 3 Years
    • MetaFrame 98-2002                          4 Years
    • Presentation Server 2003-2008       5 Years
    • XenApp 2008-2018                          10 Years
    • NetScaler 1997-2005-2018             21 Years
    • ShareFile Name 2005-2018             13 Years
    • XenMobile 2013-2018                        5 Years

 

Linky Links

Citrix Workspace app Learn more
New mobile, web, and desktop experience bringing together all the apps and files you need to work 

Citrix Content Collaboration
transitioning from ShareFile

Citrix Endpoint Management
transitioning from XenMobile

Citrix Secure Browser
transitioning from XenApp secure browser

Citrix Hypervisor
transitioning from XenServer

Citrix App Layering
Learn more

Citrix Virtual Apps
transitioning from XenApp

Citrix Virtual Desktops
transitioning from XenDesktop

Citrix ADC
transitioning from NetScaler ADC

Citrix SD-WAN
transitioning from NetScaler SD-WAN

Citrix Web App Firewall
transitioning from NetScaler App Security, NetScaler App Firewall, and NetScaler Web App Security

Citrix Gateway
transitioning from NetScaler Unified Gateway and NetScaler Access Gateway

Citrix Application Delivery Management
transitioning from NetScaler Management and Analytics System

Citrix Secure Web Gateway
transitioning from NetScaler Secure Web Gateway 

Citrix Intelligent Traffic Management
transitioning from Cedexis Platform

 

Conclusion

 

Wow, I’m 3301 words before I made it to this, longest blog to date.  I think overall this rebranding will do some great things for Citrix as a company and in the many market places they are in.  I do believe there will be some bumps in the road and some legacy naming artifacts in the products for years to come but they will ultimately keep doing what they are doing.  These are names that have been with me for a while like. My logical Rebrand transformation: Citrix XenApp now Citrix Virtual Apps\Workspace delivered the EMR that both my children were entered into when they were born, it was behind a now Citrix ADC using Citrix Provisioning Servers and executed WorkSpace App which got its ICA file from Citrix StoreFront.

I’m more excited about the new technologies that Citrix keeps coming up with because they have an amazing set of software solutions that have changed the world and will continue to.  I think the Competition will also jump on this name change as a “What is Citrix doing?” and I think a lot of people all over the world will have to explain the name changes, but most will end with “It still will do the same thing it does today just renew the Citrix Product X”.  Wow this was a word tsunami if you really read all of that and said “yeah” and or shook your head with acceptance of some of my ideas I do thank you, this was huge collection of those thoughts.

Happy Citrix Synergy as Always