If you’re reading this, you’re surely hyper-aware of Citrix’s acquisition by a private equity firm and merger with Tibco. The acquisition has led to major organizational changes, with many key players leaving the company and – unfortunately for the many talented people at Citrix – layoffs.
If your organization utilizes Citrix products and services (like Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops/Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop) for desktop virtualization or remote desktops, you may be concerned about the future of the organization and what this will mean for its ongoing support and development of the digital workspace and remote access technologies you rely on. And there’s little doubt that Citrix will continue to undergo significant organizational changes as its acquisition shakes out.
So what does this mean for you?
In times like these, organizations are presented with a significant opportunity to evaluate their existing strategies and contracts. And the good news is, if you’re looking to make a change due to the current market uncertainty, you have opportunities to significantly reduce costs, all while improving your end users’ experience and increasing your organization’s overall security posture.
But how do you determine whether or not now is the right time to make the switch from Citrix? We spoke with over a dozen organizations that have already made the switch from Citrix to Cameyo, and also spoke with former Citrix employees, to develop a list of questions your organization can ask itself to help you evaluate.
6 Questions to Help Determine if it’s Time to Switch from Citrix
#1 – Do you want to simplify your VDI environment?
Citrix’s three decades of VDI solutions also means that those products have three decades’ worth of accumulated legacy technology, engineering pivots, and integrations of acquired technologies that increase the overall attack surface and complexity. You can see the weight of all this history in the many components that are involved in a typical Citrix deployment – Citrix Delivery Controller, Citrix Workspace (formerly Citrix Receiver, Citrix HDX, Citrix StoreFront, Provisioning Services, Citrix ADC (formerly Citrix NetScaler) and more.
All of these components add significantly not only to the complexity of the upfront implementation, but it continues to make them expensive and complex to operate on an ongoing basis. Furthermore, in an age of increasing ransomware threats, the large attack surface created by all of these components requires even more vigilance and oversight.
Which is why the industry is undergoing a shift from legacy virtual desktops (both VDI and DaaS) to cloud-native Cloud Desktops. It’s time to stop thinking that the primary function of virtual desktops is simply to replicate the classic operating-system-based PC desktop experience, because when you do so (as Citrix does), you deliver all of the complexity and security issues of that model in a virtual format.
Virtual App Delivery (VAD) rethinks and radically simplifies the virtual desktop environment for the cloud era. After all, unlike VDI (whether it’s Citrix or one of its alternatives), Virtual App Delivery isn’t a legacy virtualization approach that has had to be re-engineered to take advantage of the public cloud. VAD was born in the cloud and designed from the very beginning for the Cloud Desktop needs of today’s organizations.
As the pioneer in Virtual App Delivery, Cameyo’s approach to Cloud Desktops is better suited to most use cases than VDI. Instead of trying to furnish end users with Windows OS-based digital workspaces, Cameyo gives users secure, Windows OS-independent cloud desktops that deliver all of the apps they need to be productive. Because Cameyo is cloud-native, users can access those apps on any device either through any HTML5 browser or as Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). And better yet, Cameyo’s zero trust security model enables you to eliminate VPNs.
Ur&Penn offers a perfect case in point. After disappointing results with Citrix, this leading Swedish retailer discovered Cameyo. Within a few hours of deploying Cameyo’s VAD platform, Ur&Penn’s employees were working with business-critical apps on their Chromebooks.
“Unlike Citrix, there is no complicated infrastructure to deploy and manage. Not only were we up and running with Cameyo in less than three hours, but we can also deploy new apps almost instantly. We never have to re-image or deal with a Golden Image. Cameyo could not be easier,” said Emir Saffar, CIO at retailer Ur&Penn.
Or take a look at what Klarahill had to say:
“People pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to build this themselves on-prem, and with Cameyo you get this for a few dollars per month per user – all without any of the complexity of deploying and managing VDI or DaaS environments. And you don’t have to give anything up in exchange for that simplicity and cost savings. Cameyo has everything – incredible security, great user experience, backup, power saving, clustering, elasticity – it’s really amazing,” said Adam Nerell, Head of IT for Klarahill.
#2 – Do you wish you had better support from Citrix?
A consistent theme we see from Cameyo customers who made the switch from Citrix to Cameyo is a deep dissatisfaction with Citrix’s support, especially in the age of remote work. Not only the quality of the support, but the ongoing increases in support & maintenance costs (more on that later).
Now with the acquisition, merger with Tibco, and layoffs – support is an elevated concern. If you are not one of Citrix’s top customers globally, then the level of support you experience today will likely degrade even more in the coming year. So if you’re already unhappy with Citrix support, then it may be time to switch.
Here at Cameyo, we take enormous pride in the following:
- Having a product that was purposefully engineered to be simpler and more secure, which requires significantly less support overall.
- When customers do need support, Cameyo provides extremely quick (usually within hours) and comprehensive support, which our customers consistently rave about (see below).
- Unlike our competitors, Cameyo support is and always has been completely FREE.
Now, in case you’re thinking that “you get what you pay for” and are concerned about the quality of Cameyo’s free support, it’s worth noting that the quality of our support in one of the most frequently noted items in our case studies and in our customer reviews on G2. For example:
“The level of support we’ve received from Cameyo has been phenomenal. We get extremely quick responses and engagement from top-notch engineers who really know this technology. They will spend as much time with me as I want to make sure that I have the information I need, but they’ve also let me know that at any time I can pass things over to them and they’ll take care of it if I prefer. I’m simply not going to get that from Citrix. I’d have to hire additional consultants to handle all of that,” said Brian Stopinski, Corporate IT Operations Director, Community Hospital Corp. (CHC).
“It’s worth noting that Cameyo’s support team is top notch. Every step of the way, with any questions we had, the support team was right there to walk us through it. And they didn’t just try to quickly fix things so that they could close the ticket – they really took the time to make sure we were fully trained and understood how to configure everything ourselves. Our experience has been phenomenal,” said Jim Froio, LAN Support Technician at Baldwinsville Central School District.
#3 – Do you wish you could solve user profile bloat?
“For organizations that are looking to migrate to the cloud, roaming user profile bloat is holding them back. Microsoft Active Directory and roaming user profiles are not a fit for the cloud – they are complex, and negatively impact the user experience,” said Eyal Dotan, Founder and CTO of Cameyo. “Virtualization solutions that rely on roaming user profiles fall into the trap of constantly trying to sync modern technology with the past instead of clearing the path for cloud-native technologies by eliminating the dependence on Active Directory and on-premise components.”
With legacy VDI and DaaS solutions, everything the user has ever done is pulled into each session. This causes user profiles to swell to dozens if not hundreds of gigabytes in size, resulting in significant performance issues for the end user. Cameyo’s Temporary User Profiles technology eliminates this user profile bloat associated with Active Directory, enabling Cameyo to deliver a seamless, secure Cloud Desktop experience for end users. Cameyo’s Temporary User Profiles technology was recently patented (Cameyo’s second issued patent in 5 years with more pending), but it has been in use by hundreds of enterprise customers – including Fortune 500 organizations – for years.
So How Do Cameyo’s Temporary User Profiles Work?
Here’s an outline of how Cameyo’s Temporary User Profiles technology works:
- Cameyo creates Temporary User Profiles that are not tied to Active Directory.
- When a user is ready to start a session, Cameyo generates an ultra-secure, one-time password.
- Cameyo then allows the user to connect with a Temporary User Profile.
- To make sure each temporary session is familiar to the user and where they left off, Cameyo brings back the data from a user’s previous session with its unique Session Sync technology.
- For example – a hybrid worker who splits time between home and the office can access all of their apps from anywhere, and their data from previous sessions always follows them so that they can continue to work when they log back in.
- Whenever they log off, Cameyo wipes that session, but sync the user’s session data with Session Sync.
- When the user logs back on, Cameyo could be serving them from a totally different server with a brand new, temporary Windows user profile just for that session – while still preserving their data from one session to the next.
If you’re looking to eliminate roaming user profile bloat, Cameyo’s patented Temporary User Profiles technology helps you accomplish exactly that.
#4 – Do you wish you had fewer support tickets from your VDI users?
Another common theme we hear from IT pros currently utilizing Citrix is that they tend to be so buried with end user support tickets related to the user experience that IT spends a disproportionate amount of time helping end users with Citrix issues than they do the rest of their job.
If this sounds familiar, and you wish you had a product that your end-users loved while making them more productive, then it may be time to make a change from Citrix.
In addition to end-user support tickets being a huge drain on your time, they are also indicative of a drain on your end-users’ productivity. And studies show that more and more remote & hybrid workers are willing to change jobs if they don’t have the tools they need to be productive. More specifically, a report from Adobe titled “State of Work: How COVID-19 changed digital work” found that close to half of all workers said they were likely to leave their job because of outdated technology.
#5 – Are you tired of constant EOL notifications and forced upgrades?
Does the term “LTSR” give you shivers? We consistently hear that Citrix’s Long Term Service Release (LTSR) program is an ongoing source of pain and frustration. And it’s no wonder why. Take a look at just one part of their LTSR description:
For each LTSR, you may purchase 5 years of Customer Success Services (CSS) mainstream support. You must remain on CSS supported LTSR products, editions and license models for LTSR mainstream support. LTSR products (both on-premises and Cloud) will move though lifecycle phases under the Product Lifecycle Support Policy. If support for an LTSR product, edition and/or license model ends before mainstream support for the LTSR ends, you must transition to a supported LTSR product, edition and license model to maintain mainstream support, and to be able to purchase extended support, if available.
The last line is a particular source of friction for most Citrix customers: “If support for an LTSR product, edition and/or license model ends before mainstream support for the LTSR ends, you must transition to a supported LTSR product, edition and license model to maintain mainstream support, and to be able to purchase extended support, if available.”
Granted, these transitions and forced upgrades wouldn’t be too painful if Citrix didn’t end-of-life (EOL) products very frequently. But unfortunately, they do. So much so that they have an entire page dedicated just to a glossary of all the various “lifecycle phases” – from End of Renewal( EOR), to End of Maintenance (EOM), to End of Life (EOL), to End of Service (EOSRV) and more – for its products. They also have an entire page dedicated to tracking the current EOL cycle for 29 different products and components.
If you’re tired of the constant EOL notifications and the resulting forced (and costly) upgrades that are required to be in compliance from a support perspective, then it’s time to make a change from Citrix.
Here at Cameyo, we only have one product (which takes the place of dozens of Citrix products), so there are no “end of life” announcements. Also, all new features and functionalities are provided to all customers at no additional cost.
With Cameyo, you purchase once, and you never have to upgrade.
That’s right – in the 5 years that Cameyo has been in business, we have never charged upgrade fees for customers to access new features, functionalities, or technologies. So we never use new capabilities as a lever to force customers to upgrade, which means you never have to worry about whether you’re in compliance for your service contract.
Besides, as discussed in question #2, here at Cameyo support is always free.
#6 – Are you being pressured to move to Citrix’s cloud product?
In recent years, Citrix has tried to push it’s legacy VDI products into the cloud and package those as a desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) offering. Traditionally, DaaS solutions take the components of conventional virtual desktops and swap out some or all of the on-premises components for cloud infrastructure. The general idea is that this will allow them to feature more public cloud integration and adopt something closer to SaaS pricing models (though Citrix’s “DaaS’ pricing models are notoriously hard to parse). At the end of the day, though, these Citrix cloud-based desktop services can’t escape their roots in legacy VDI and retain a lot of the same caveats.
But that has not prevented Citrix from making a large push to try to force existing customers into their so-called DaaS offering.
In our conversations with former Citrix customers, we’ve often heard that this pressure to move to Citrix’s cloud option is not welcome because either the customer is 1) not ready to move to the cloud, and/or 2) moving to Citrix’s cloud version actually increases costs for the customer.
So if you answered yes to this question and you’re tired of being pressured to move to Citrix’s cloud offering (or being forced into Microsoft Azure for that matter), Cameyo offers a self-hosted version of our platform that gives you the flexibility to securely deliver your apps from the environment of your choice, while at the same time decreasing your costs, simplifying management, and significantly increasing security.
It’s logical to be concerned about how the turbulence of Citrix’s acquisition will impact you as a customer (the same can be said for VMware’s acquisition and the fate of VMware Horizon). But there is opportunity in this uncertainty. Just as the acquisition marks a changing of the guard from legacy VDI/DaaS to Cloud Desktops/Virtual App Delivery (VAD), it also marks an opportunity for your organization to migrate and adopt cloud computing solutions that can significantly reduce your costs, deliver a better user experience, and increase your organization’s overall security.
We have dozens of case studies (here) where you can read more about the experience of companies who have already made the shift from Citrix to Cameyo’s Virtual App Delivery (VAD) and have experienced the cost-effective scalability of Cameyo while eliminating the need for Windows desktops. And we’re happy to put you in touch with customer references so you can hear more about their experiences.
We understand your uncertainty and would be happy to discuss your options – even if it turns out that Cameyo isn’t the right fit. Schedule a personalized demo to discuss, and on that call we can also get you set up with your own demo environment to test within minutes. Or you can get started with your own free trial here.