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In May 2016 virtualization platform provider Citrix expanded on a long-standing relationship with Microsoft, naming Microsoft's Azure platform as its preferred cloud environment. In exchange, Citrix contributes delivery and security capabilities to Microsoft's classic corporate solutions like Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility Suite.
Citrix recently announced that this relationship will grow during 2017, with additional functionality for the two firms' mobility solutions, and a browser feature that will protect corporate applications on any device from the end-user's personal browsing activity.
BNamericas had the opportunity to talk to Citrix Chile commercial manager Marcos Vieyra about the response to these developments among clients.
This interview also coincides with our latest Intelligence Series report, which examines progress of the Cloud Services concept in Latin America.
Vieyra: Yes, the two cases are very similar. The JV with Microsoft is about enhancing Azure cloud services with our applications and functionality, to generate greater availability, greater access or greater ease of use, and consumption of these applications by corporations and their employees.
Citrix does also have agreements with AWS, though the relationship with Azure is much stronger at present.
What's important for us is the potential development of clouds in general, as solutions for better user experience among the clients of these companies.
BNamericas: Would Citrix consider making its own datacenter investments in the region, or is it enough to trust your partners?
Vieyra: We trust in the different clouds run by our partners, although we do have our own private cloud.
If the final user has agreements with Azure, for example, to provide the best applications for the end users' experience, we can enhance that agreement, generating the best solutions to run in that cloud.
For example, our solutions for optimizing availability or speed control of an application - we have those in Azure today and clients can subscribe to them.
BNamericas: Which product line is driving growth in Chile?
Vieyra: Most large companies are very interested in adopting a 'digital' work ethic, particularly digitalizing the work space. Digital Working is all about simplified access, secure applications, and high uptime.
BNamericas: There has been a buzz about Digital Transformation for a few years now. Have enterprises responded to the hype?
Vieyra: Absolutely. There's been a change in their attitude, more interest, more analysis of what digi transformation is. Particularly what it means with respect to workspaces and attention to end users in the case of firms that serve the public in general, like banks and retail. Companies have reevaluated the way they look at digital transformation, and banks in particular are interested in virtualized WAN.
BNamericas: Is there any new functionality you expect to add this year?
Vieyra: We're pushing cloud as a means of digitalization, access, and simplicity in using applications. Also, security when using these apps is implicit in all of this, via the Web Application Firewall (WAF).
BNamericas: Has the recent wave of ransomware attacks like Wannacry made firms more wary of digital solutions?
Vieyra: For several of our clients, since all their information was encrypted and virtualized, they didn't need to pay the ransom. They just needed to access the last version that existed before the attack and only lost a few hours reestablishing their devices. Sure, it wasn't automatic, we had to go in and intervene in the applications and servers, but the knowledge that their virtualized data was safe gave them great peace of mind.