The synergies, engineering efforts, and go to market execution of these three companies should not be underestimated in a time where IT organizations are looking for integrated solutions and businesses transform toward cloud computing. Businesses with ongoing efforts in desktop delivery, cloud adoption, and simplifying infrastructure should include the holistic value and simplification these companies can deliver. Each of these companies brings unique capabilities that when synced together are going to be a difficult force to reckon with. Commonalities include:
- Both on-premises and off-premises solutions with revenue streams associated with each path
- Consistency of management experience that integrates the stack AND bridges local (private cloud) resources with external cloud computing resources
- Data center to desktop acuteness that aligns with top business priorities
- Simpatico employee cultures and executive strategies
Industry pundits are going to call out FUD about Cisco acquiring NetApp and Citrix and questions about Cisco’s VMware relationship. This makes for good snarky tweeting and coffee break talk (for IT vendors playing defense), but risks missing the real near term opportunities these companies have in front of them today.
- Businesses are consuming from the cloud and perhaps at a pace that has accelerated past IT vendors expectations. Layer on that this capacity redirection is branching out to alternative platforms such as Amazon, and you can see how quickly this could potentially upset the present business models many IT vendors have.
- Nearly all top tier IT vendors have aligned to the mega IT trends: Cloud, Big Data, and Mobility. But can they truly deliver on them? Collectively Citrix, Cisco, and NetApp have a rich set of ingredients that stretch from the endpoint to a spinning disk and layer on collaboration and social innovations.
- Inclusivity of the service provider community matters, but the code has yet to be cracked from traditional IT vendors. Economic hurdles, performance concerns and fear have kept one foot on the brake pedal. These three companies can deliver a service provider platform (Citrix CloudPlatform), economical compute scale (Cisco UCS) and enterprise performance and availability services (NetApp Data ONTAP). And not to be forgotten the aforementioned management capabilities.
The final consideration is that most businesses have investments in one, likely two, if not all three of these vendors already. It is yet to be seen if its customers can link in the capabilities beyond existing deployments, i.e., beyond Cisco networking gear into UCS platform, expand beyond application delivery with Citrix XenApp to explore XenDesktop and CloudPlatform, and think of NetApp’s capabilities beyond a NAS filer to fully comprehend its Data ONTAP capabilities on and off premise.
The strength of these three companies are going to catch some vendors flat footed with existing capabilities and new innovation driving forward. IT decision makers should minimally invite Citrix, Cisco, and NetApp into the conference room to hear the collective vision (don’t compromise with 1 of 3 or 2 of 3 vendors at the table) and see how it may snap into exiting IT priorities, economic impact, and long-term strategy.
Hear what Citrix, Cisco and NetApp have to say in these associated blogs and video: