ORLANDO, Fla. -- Global accounting firm Hernandez & Company had relied on a third-party cloud provider for access to Citrix XenApp. As the company grew and needed more control over applications and data for its clients and employees, it moved to Citrix Cloud.
Armando Hernandez, CEO of the Miami-based firm, shared his experiences with Citrix Cloud in a session here at the annual Synergy user conference. Citrix has strongly pushed the service this year, although some IT professionals have concerns about going to the cloud.
"We have so many international clients, we decided to use the cloud as a way of embracing technology," Hernandez said.
Citrix Cloud benefits
Hernandez & Company employees used to take large folders of paper documents in hand to visit clients. Now they rely on the ShareFile service, delivered through Citrix Cloud, to share accounting information in about 90% of client interactions, Hernandez said.
"I had one client tell me, 'Don't send me those beautiful folders anymore; it's easier to have it all this way,'" he said.
Armando HernandezCEO, Hernandez & Company
The firm has an office branch in India that processes data. Previously, employees there would have to transfer that data to another server before their U.S. counterparts could use it. Now with the whole company on Citrix Cloud, all offices can more easily share data, Hernandez said.
Hernandez & Company also uses NetScaler in Citrix Cloud to secure data, including when employees access corporate information on their mobile devices while on client visits.
"Any access point is going to be monitored and encrypted," Hernandez said.
Citrix Cloud also brought benefits around IT administration, said Omer Palo, CEO of MaviSky Technology Services, an IT solutions provider that helped Hernandez & Company with its implementation. The management plane is available through the cloud, so IT administrators can make changes and deal with support issues from users anywhere at any time, he said.
It only took two days to implement Citrix Cloud, which was another benefit, Palo added.
"There was nothing to plan for," he said. "It's a simple connection and making sure the right applications are allowed for each user."
Cloud skepticism remains
Keep in mind, however, that Hernandez & Company already used Citrix. Organizations that want to adopt Citrix Cloud out of the box may not be able to do so as quickly or easily. And those with significant investments in Citrix's on-premises products face their own challenges.
One such organization is Louisville Gas & Electric Company (LG&E), which has about 1,200 employees using virtualized applications through XenApp and Microsoft App-V, as well as nonpersistent virtual desktops through XenDesktop. Mobile users also have access to business applications on smartphones and tablets through XenMobile.
LG&E has invested so many resources devoted to its on-premises infrastructure that it doesn't make sense to move to cloud, said Darren Collard, an IT systems engineer at the Kentucky-based utility. And there aren't any technical benefits of Citrix Cloud that the organization would need, Collard said in an interview.
"I don't think cloud would do anything for us," he added.
The financial model is also a barrier.
"Citrix Cloud is subscription-based, so that hits your OpEx," Collard said. "And we're a very CapEx-based company."
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