So among several other things this week I managed a quick sneak peak at an early (Alpha?) release of Citrix's Tarpon (Application Streaming) yesterday, what I found interesting was not that it would appear that Citrix are leaning towards using blue instead of red for some of the pretty bits? nor that there was a nice shiny new Citrix Client, but I suddenly realised that I was examining Tarpon from a purely Technical Focus and to really appreciate what might be possible meant that I had to shift to looking at it from a Marketing perpective, like asking myself will this product have legs? Forget about asking yourself if I would install and use the product, try something more like "Can I convince others to buy the Licensing?" and I think the answer is yes.
This is what we do right? We are Techies, so we examine everything from a Technical perspective, don’t we? We look at Tarpon and it’s intended functionality and feature set and compare it to the other potential Application Virtualisation or Streaming products out in the market place today and try to figure out it’s weakness’s and strengths compared to these, and possibly even arrive at a conclusion as to how worthy it is for further consideration, or indeed even recommend it?
Not supprisingly, as this is an Alpha Product, it is found wanting (at the moment) – and when we start comparing it to the features and functionality available in Softgrid 4.0 then it could be said to be well and truly behind the eight ball?
What I had just stopped and considered, as I was looking at this was, “Of course it’ll sell, look how many existing Citrix Customers will want this!”
I’m almost scared to think that I had just been looking at a new product with a Marketing mind set? ;-) Too much free thinking and caffiene doesn't mix?
What am I on about? Well, let’s consider Novell NDS versus MS Active Directory? Nearly anyone who has had a deep look and understanding on these two competing products will tell you that NDS was far and away the superior product, struth!, NDS was on Version 8+ as Active Directory was coming to fruition!!, but which product do most of us use today? AD won the battle, because MS was superior in Marketing and Novell decided that it’s product was so superior it didn’t need marketing! Hey, I'm as cynical as the next guy, but savvy Marketing has the potential to either:
help make up the mind of the Key Decision Maker, before you pitch or present
or it at least opens the way to get you in a door that might have been otherwise closed
The rest, as they say is History
So, back to present day, Citrix have just taken Net6 and pumped it, polished it, given it a serious road map with Full Integration in to the rest of the Citrix Architecture, and now not only do they have the fastest selling number one Hit with a star(4,500 units plus?), the Access Gateway, but they also have created another revenue stream completely apart from the classic Presentation Server.
Now if Citrix can do Marketing like that, who would bet against them in a potential battle of Softgrid, Altiris and Tarpon? Just think that Softgrid has done pretty well, but if I recall some of their numbers they have only actually sold it in approx. 1,000 customers? (please correct me if I’m wrong on that?)
How does that stack up against Citrix’s existing installed base? Mmmm?
Also very interesting is that this would then allow Citrix to wave a product under IT Management noses that no longer is paid for by licensing on a concurrent user basis, but would be done on a per device basis?
I would be guessing that Citrix have a lot riding on this, and the potential numbers probably have them smiling?
Tarpon may not look much if you look at it now and compare it directly with Softgrid 4.0 but simply by virtue of the fact that the 4.0 Feature Set is out there means that Citrix already know exactly how good their product needs to be – sure they are probably 2 years behind – but if you have a large enough team with the right funding AND Marketing, you can achieve an awful lot – just ask Microsoft? ;-))
Who knows, right now we need to see if the MS aquasition doesn't slow Softgrid down any?