Citrix Systems is a key player in today’s application virtualization market. Citrix Web Interface is a very popular web portal product that allows user access to Citrix resources. Since Citrix Systems is very good at branding its products, Web Interface has a distinct “Citrix” branding which is hard to ignore. That is very good for Citrix. However, if you are using the web interface as a portal for web resources of your own company, that might not be the best thing for you. Why, you ask? Here are a couple of reasons I can think of:
First and most importantly, by using the default (Citrix) branding of web interface without customizing it for your company, you are missing a huge opportunity to advertize your own brand. Companies spend significant amount of money to create “brand recognition”. Company brand conveys company’s message to its customers, business partners and employees. Every time the web portal is used, the message is re-enforced. This, in return, builds a bonding with the company. To take advantage of this, the company web portal should be customized.
Secondly, by displaying vendor branding on your company web portal, you are risking “brand confusion” among your prospective customers and business partners. For example, customers of a financial institute would expect to see the institute’s logo and branding on its web portal. The default look and feel with Citrix branding for Web Interface portal might confuse customers attempting to use services offered by the financial institution. Having the well know look and feel for your company represented on the web portal will make your customers feel comfortable and secure.
Now, the question is, how do we change the default “look and feel” for Citrix Web Interface? If you are a Citrix administrator, you might know that some parts of the Web Interface can be customized, using Citrix management console (Access Management Console). However, it is not possible to completely “re-brand” the portal using the management console.
There are several ways you can customize web interface:
1. You can put on your “web developer” hat and make the re-branding happen. Make sure you are prepared to face any future modification requests as the company branding could change in future.
2. You can pay some consulting company big bucks to customize the look and feel. Once again, be prepared for future expense in case of branding change.
3. Or you can use a very easy to use tool called “Web Optimizer” offered by Extentrix Systems. If you take this route, you pay for the tool once and any future modifications of the portal are “free”.
I have used Extentrix Web Optimizer myself and found it very easy to use. After installing the product, I was able to customize my web interface site within matter of minutes. Extentrix Web Optimizer comes with 7 pre-defined templates. I was able to use the templates to modify the header and footer image, color, height, and text. The other components, such as the background image (or color), navigation bar background images and colors, text color etc. can also be modified very easily. Note that Extentrix Systems offers webinars for their products which are available from their web site.
As an added benefit, customization of the web portal can also work as a deterrent against malicious users. Since the technology used to create the portal is not obvious, finding vulnerabilities become more difficult for hackers.
If you use Citrix Web Interface, give the Web Optimizer a try. I am sure you will find it very useful and user-friendly tool.
You can download a trial version of Extentrix Web Optimizer from Extentrix web site.