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December 17, 2010

Citrix Online takes out competitor with acquisition of Netviewer

There goes the SaaS support and meetings neighbourhood

By Jason Stamper

US-based Citrix Online, a hosted maintenance and meeting vendor has announced the acquisition of Netviewer, a hosted maintenance and meeting player in Europe.

Netviewer is privately held and terms were not disclosed. It is said to have an installed base of more than 18,000 customers, from global blue chip companies to small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Since both firms offer their services in a software as a service (SaaS) manner their location might seem irrelevant, but Citrix said the buy will help it expand its market share in Europe.

The two firms have been competing directly in several areas, and there are clear overlaps. Citrix Online’s GoToWebinar competes with Netviewer Meet, for instance.

Netviewer hasn’t got products in another of Citrix Online’s core areas though: remote access. Citrix Online’s GoToMyPC is a popular SaaS-based remote PC access and file transfer utility.

"SaaS based collaboration and IT Services have been key to our growth story. We believe there is even more opportunity ahead as the global market matures and customers look for a strong, experienced partner," said Brett Caine, senior vice president, Online Services Division, Citrix Systems. "With the acquisition of a company that shares our vision, we will continue to execute on our strategy for global expansion and accelerated growth by delivering products that offer a simpler, better experience to enable customers to succeed."

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If Citrix Online is simply bulking out its European presence in this area then it may also have looked at another German firm – TeamViewer. TeamViewer’s remote access technology enables remote access to computers similar to Citrix Online’s GoToMyPC, while TeamViewer also has remote diagnostics and meeting technology that compete with the combined Citrix Online/Netviewer.

The remote access space is surprisingly competitive, with other rivals including 01 Communique, Log Me In, Laplink Software, Anyplace Control and more. Toronto-based 01 Communique is currently pursuing a number of patent infringement lawsuits against Citrix Online, Dell and others.

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