Another year and Citrix’s acquisition strategy of interesting companies continues as they have announced the purchase of EMS-Cortex. This acquisition has caught my eye because EMS-Cortex provides a web-based “cloud control panel” that can be used by service providers and end users to manage the provisioning and delegation administration of hosted business applications in a cloud environment such as XenApp, Microsoft Exchange, BlackBerry Enterprise Server, and a number of other critical business applications. In theory this means that customers and vendors will be able to “spin up” core business services quickly in a multi tenant environment.  

It is an interesting acquisition, as vendors are starting to address the fact that for “cloudonomics” to be achieved by their customers it is important that they ease the route to cloud adoption. While this acquisition is potentially a good move for Citrix I think it will be interesting for I&O professionals to see how they plan to integrate this ease of deployment with existing business service management processes, especially if the EMS-Cortex solution is going to be used in a live production environment.

These integration areas can be looked at from two levels. At a technical level, when an instance of a core business application is spun up, how does this integrate with potentially existing, on-premises, automated provisioning tools? If deploying a core business service then, simply, how does this “cloud control panel” ensure that systems management agents are deployed and configured correctly?  I know that there are automation tools in Citrix’s product portfolio but it will be interesting to see their plans for integration with other vendors’ toolsets.  At a service management level, there are a number of needed integration areas. If we take financial management from a service process perspective it will be interesting to see how the cost of provisioning can be aligned to an organization’s IT chargeback mechanism if they have one implemented?  It is definitely an area of technology which I will be following with interest over the next year to see how these types of questions get answered.