Is It Time To Break Up With Citrix? Another 4 Reasons.

Author: Jimmy Chang

Publish on: Mar 3, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Do you love Citrix or are you planning your escape?

Time to break up with Citrix?  Consider an exit-Citrix strategy

Anyone who has made it through the multiple stages of a romantic relationship knows you take a big sigh of relief when you’ve made it past the initial honeymoon phase to a point where you both commit to a life together. At this point, you both know each other’s quirks and yet you love each other anyway.

A relationship with software is sorta like that. (Trust me—I can make the analogy work here.)

In the beginning you’re attracted to the software’s features and can’t wait to explore all of its possible new uses. Then, you encounter the problems: where to find a budget to pay for the licensing costs? What about the challenges of implementation?  (These are the quirks.) You come to the make-or-break moment. Either you can move past the quirks to the commitment phase or you move on. 


4 Reasons to Leave Citrix

Lately, we’ve been hearing from more and more Citrix users that they’re hitting the make-or-break moment. And they’re thinking it’s time to move on. Here’s a list of all Citrix’s biggest quirks - collectively we call them the “Citrix tax.”

Citrix Tax  #1: The Subscription Advantage renewal is due sooner than expected.

This is the first quirk that often comes up. Around 10 months into your relationship with Citrix you will receive a call to renew Subscription Advantage (SA) for the following year to keep your XenApp/XenDesktop current. Depending on your sales rep, they might have “forgotten” to mention SA was included in the first year of perpetual licensing but that it must be renewed annually (from the date of purchase NOT deployment). It is important you don’t miss the renewal. If you miss it, there’s a hefty reactivation penalty of almost $200 for each XenDesktop Platinum-named user or $400 for a concurrent license, which is nearly what you paid for the original license.

Considering a typical customer takes 6-9 months to roll Citrix out in production (Workspot can be as quick as 60 minutes), it is definitely unpleasant to pay again when you’ve barely gotten the product working. Most CIOs will tell you they had envisioned partnering with Citrix in which they’d both be working on delivering business success. They didn’t think of Citrix as a just another vendor focused on selling stuff. As a result, many CIOs are shocked by the call from Citrix in the 10th month of the relationship.

Citrix Tax #2: You need tech support? Well that’s extra.

If you think renewing your product after only a few months of use is ridiculous, you’re not going to like how technical support is not included with your purchase or the SA. Many Citrix customers are completely blindsided by this.

Previously, customers got “free” or highly discounted tech support through their reseller who bought a support contract from Citrix and then recuperated that cost by spreading it across all of their clients’ contracts. To boost revenue, in early 2015 Citrix introduced “Software Maintenance” (SWM), which combined 24x7x365 Premier Support with SA. SWM essentially became a double whammy for customers. Not only did they immediately experience an increase in annual support costs, they also found themselves burdened with the additional responsibility of chasing Citrix for issue resolution – something that used to be the reseller’s responsibility. 

Of course, you can forego all the hassles of SWM by paying for Technical Relationship Manager (TRM). The TRM is a fantastic concierge support service fully equipped with a Ritz-Carlton level price tag.  (Or there is simply no need with Workspot.)

Citrix Tax #3: Want simpler and faster deployment? Hire Citrix Consulting Services.

Some organizations decide that rolling out in 6-9 months isn’t for them. So they enlist the help of Citrix Consulting Services, which can offer a custom Statement of Work (SoW) that gets Citrix up and running fast. However, the price tag might be hard to swallow…maybe passing a gallstone is less painful. It isn’t unusual to hear about a SoW that costs more than the Citrix licenses. Here are the hidden costs of XenDesktop Platinum for a typical organization. For simplicity’s sake, we’re assuming it has 200-people who need user licenses:

Year 1:

  • Licenses - $235 x 200 named users = $47,000 (XenDesktop Platinum pricing from
  • Premier Support - $25 x 200 named users = $5,000
  • Technical Relationship Manager - $15,000 - 30,000  (Estimated cost of shared TRM. The cost for a dedicated TRM goes into 6 figures annually.)
  • Citrix Consulting Services - $25,000-100,000 (Estimated, depends on SoW)
  • Total to deploy Citrix initially and keep it up and running:  $92,000 - 182,000, or $460 - 910 per user. And that doesn't include the cost of hardware, OpEx, etc.

 Year 2+:

  • Subscription Advantage - $50 x 200 named users = $10,000
  • Premier Support - $25 x 200 named users = $5,000
  • Technical Relationship Manager - $15,000 - 30,000
  • Total to keep it up and running:  $ 30,000 - 45,000, or $150 - 225 per user. And again, that doesn't include  the cost of hardware, OpEx, etc.

(Or you can deploy Workspot for as little as $40 per user - see how in our TCO white paper.)

Citrix Tax #4: You need more licenses than you think you do.

Citrix charges for product features as though they were individual users, which essentially eats up the total number of your purchased licenses. For example some features – such as Linux Virtual Desktop Session Pre-launch or XenClient – will each eat up one license in your Citrix license pool. Customers who don’t know about this pricing strategy (or budget for it) face the prospect of having to return to their sales rep to buy additional licenses when they need them most and when they have least bargaining power (e.g., during disaster recovery or an M&A situation). And don't forget that with more licenses, you might need the TRM or Citrix Consulting Service to help you scale up the Citrix infrastructure.

If all of these Citrix taxes make you wonder whether your relationship is worth it, you’re not alone. And these aren't the only hidden costs of Citrix. Download the white paper below to learn more about the hidden costs of Citrix and compare with alternative VDI solutions.  

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