Citrix releases SMB version of access software

Citrix releases SMB version of access software

Citrix is releasing a version of its Presentation Server application management software tailored for midmarket businesses, called Citrix Access Essentials.

Citrix Systems plans to release a version of its application management software tailored for midmarket businesses, an aggressive step that the company hopes will aid its expansion beyond the enterprise market.

Citrix Access Essentials is derived from Citrix's flagship Presentation Server (formerly called MetaFrame) software, which helps organizations centrally deploy, manage and secure business applications. The software can be used to support remote and mobile application access.

"With the Presentation Server mainstream product, we've increasingly tuned it for larger enterprises," said Paul Burke, a senior product manager at Citrix. "Smaller customers say they end up with a choice of a low-end product where they lack security and features, or Presentation Server, but Presentation Server imposes too much of a cost."

Citrix Access Essentials is priced at US$250 per seat, with licenses sold in five-user packs. The software is capped at 75 users, and includes client access licenses for Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Terminal Server software. Citrix Access Essentials will be sold entirely through Citrix's reseller channel. Citrix plans to spotlight the new offering at Microsoft's upcoming partner conference, which starts this Friday in Minneapolis. The company will initially focus its sales efforts for Access Essentials in North America and EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa).

The new software can be run on one server and includes a wizard interface intended to simplify installation. Burke said that beyond the scalability limits imposed by the 75-user cap, Citrix Access Essentials is functionally comparable to Citrix's full-strength Presentation Server.

"There's nothing exceptional that's in the enterprise version that's not in this," Burke said. "What we've focused on is simplifying it and making it more usable."

Citrix is best known as a provider of application access infrastructure software to large corporations -- its products are ubiquitous in Fortune 500-size companies. Through product-line additions and acquisitions, the company has recently been working to broaden its portfolio, adding offerings like its GoToMyPC remote desktop-access software that appeal to smaller organizations.

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