In the movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes, primates benefitted from the actions of humans. Those actions had unintended consequences that saw primates rise in prominence and humans dwindle to a haggard and struggling few. Is that what we are seeing now in the world of end user computing (EUC)? Are the actions of historically major players in the EUC space creating a situation where the planet is taken over by the EUC giants?

We are talking about the actions of major EUC vendors Citrix and VMware. Are those actions creating a situation where the world’s EUC giants – Microsoft, Amazon, and Google – can finally and comprehensively take control?

Time will tell as there has been considerable change and upheaval in recent years – change and upheaval that many customers of Citrix and VMware have not been happy about. There is also a significant level of uncertainty about what the future holds.

What do we know and what could it mean for EUC technologies, solutions, and the vast range of companies (including Access IT Automation) involved in the space?


Citrix Timeline Highlights

  • September 2022 – Citrix acquired by Cloud Software Group (CSG), a company created after Citrix was taken private by two investment firms and then merged with California-based company Tibco.
  • January 2023 – CSG cuts 15 percent of its workforce and announces its intention to focus its sales, marketing, and product development efforts on its 1,600 largest customers.
  • March 2023 – CSG announces an end to support for products on perpetual licences and the introduction of a new subscription-based universal licence.
  • January 2024 – CSG cuts a further 12 percent of its workforce to streamline the company.
  • March 2024 – CSG announces a further change to its Citrix licencing model, replacing the universal licence with a product called the Citrix Universal Hybrid Multi Cloud.


VMware Timeline Highlights

  • November 2023 – VMware acquired by Broadcom in a USD $69 billion deal.
  • December 2023 – Broadcom announces its intention to divest its end-user computing (Horizon) business unit. The company says it is doing this to focus on its core business. The company also announces an end to perpetual licences and a switch to a subscription model.
  • January 2024 – Dell announces it will be terminating its commercial framework agreement with VMware by March 2024.
  • February 2024 – it is reported that VMware’s EUC business has been bought by KKR, a private equity firm involved in enterprise technology.


Questions Remain

After all this change, many questions remain despite the efforts of CSG and Broadcom to reassure customers.

  • What will happen to Horizon licencing that includes VMware vSphere under KKR’s ownership?
  • How will the changes to Citrix operations and licencing impact overall costs and performance?
  • Will costs increase for Citrix and VMware customers as the licencing models and subscription levels change?
  • Can Citrix fully provide high-quality support after significant layoffs over the past year?
  • Will VMware’s new owners follow a similar strategy to CSG in streamlining the VMware business?
  • Will existing customers of Citrix and VMware stay loyal or take the opportunity to seriously explore alternative options?


An Open Goal for the World’s EUC Giants?

One of the big questions in the EUC space is where the three technology giants – Microsoft, Amazon, and Google – will end up when all the dust settles. All three have EUC products that can be offered as standalone services or through upselling on existing services.

Previously, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google faced fairly stiff competition from Citrix and VMware when upselling their cloud-based desktop-as-a-service offerings. Will that competition now be less intense? Will previously solid Citrix and VMware customers look to an already familiar provider in Microsoft, Amazon, or Google to take on their EUC requirements?

If previous Citrix and VMware customers do start to switch to one of the three EUC giants, that leaves additional questions.

  • Have the big three got the capacity technically and in terms of service support to handle a wave of new EUC customers?
  • How will VMware and Citrix react? They are both well-established powerhouses in end-user computing who won’t give up their market position without a fight.

Watch this Space

It will be interesting to watch the situation play out as we get answers to the broad questions raised in this blog. There are already developments, including an announcement that CSG has entered into an eight-year strategic partnership with EUC giant Microsoft. The partnership involves CSG committing to a USD $1.65 billion investment into Microsoft’s tools, particularly its AI technologies.

For your organisation, it is essential to focus on what is best for your users and infrastructure today and in the future while eliminating as much of the noise as possible.

That can be difficult when there is uncertainty. One problem is that events might force a decision, such as a large increase in licence costs. The best approach is to stay as informed as possible, work closely with your trusted partners, and explore your options.

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