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Citrix Looks to Dominate Educational ASP Market

Citrix Systems, Inc. Thursday launched its worldwide marketing program focused on primary, secondary and college-level education.

Christened the "Solutions in Education," the Citrix (CTXS) application service offering is aimed at informing administrators, teachers and IT professionals about the benefits of using its ASP software.

Ed Lacobucci, Citrix chairman and chief technical officer, said Citrix intends to be the driving force behind adoption of the ASP business model within all academic environments.

"Schools and universities face IT complexity similar to that found in major corporations," Lacobucci said. "Citrix can build the systems required by schools today that also will meet the needs of tomorrow's students and teachers."

"Citrix can provide educators with a financially viable learning tool to tap the Web's resources in every classroom and help narrow the digital divide for students who currently don't have access," Lacobucci added.

Citrix introduced its C.O.R.E. Program as a cure for IT challenges faced by primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities. The program is designed to help educational institutions optimizing their online learning environments.

Raymond Boggs, International Data Corporation president of education markets research, said both K-12 and higher education institutions are embracing technology as never before.

"Access to computers and access to the Internet are now an important part of instructional life at all levels. IDC expects the support of virtual communities to be especially critical in the coming years as distance learning and the use of the Internet to connect students, teachers, and parents both increase," Boggs said.

"System flexibility is one key to the success of such community development," Boggs added. "Application server software is a technology that enables all these elements to work together seamlessly."

The U.S. government has been very successfull at pressing for Internet services to public and private schools nationwide. It's estimated that there are more than 16,000 primary and secondary school districts with more than 87,000 public schools in the U.S. Citrix is well positioned to tap into the lucrative ASP education market segment in the U.S.

The new Citrix education program is designed to help administrators and faculty members discover innovative ways to extend learning to the broader community, and for resellers to discover new revenue streams.

Don Carte, LearningStation.com vice president of sales and marketing, said the ASP model provides solutions for a number of long-standing challenges within the education marketplace.

"Whether by providing uniformity of applications on all desktops across a variety of devices and systems, or automatic upgrades across those same desktops, The LearningStation.com can bring new approaches to the table for solving old problems," Carte said. "Citrix can be a vital component for the delivery of those new technology solutions to schools, and educators as well as students.''

For IT personnel, Citrix's application server software enhances the technology infrastructure with academic computing environments.

Andrew White, State University of New York at Stony Brook systems support specialist, said its goal is to provide secure, maintenance-free public access to the library, which offers open access for students and members of the community.

"We started using Citrix software over two years ago and we're now convinced that a centralized solution significantly improved library security and increased our access capability," White said. "Our tec