Reseller News

Citrix Cloud Portal Services Manager back in local hands

Automate101 launches Atria
  • Leon Spencer (New Zealand Reseller News)
  • 04 December, 2019 16:55
Daniel Thurston (L) and Colin Williams (R) of Automate101

Daniel Thurston (L) and Colin Williams (R) of Automate101

Nearly 12 months after buying back the rights to Citrix Systems’ Cloud Portal Services Manager business, two New Zealand-based co-founders are taking the refreshed offering to market under a new identity. 

In early 2011, it was announced that Citrix had acquired New Zealand-based software company EMS-Cortex, for an undisclosed sum. EMS-Cortex specialised in cloud service provisioning and management software.

As noted by analyst firm Forrester, EMS-Cortex was at the time known for its web-based Cortex Cloud Control Panel, with which service providers and their customers could set up, provision and maintain a wide variety of hosted services from a single interface. Citrix subsequently made good use of this offering, which was rebadged as its Cloud Portal Services Manager.

Colin Williams and Daniel Thurston were CEO and sales manager, respectively, at EMS-Cortex when it was sold to Citrix by the company’s previous owner, Enprise Solutions. Indeed, Williams played a core role in driving the sale of the Cortex business to Citrix Systems.

Now, more than eight years after the business was sold to Citrix Systems, the two New Zealand-based former EMS-Cortex operatives have acquired the Cloud Portal Services Manager business and founded a new company through which to offer it to the market once again.

Through the new business they have co-founded, Automate101, Williams and Thurston have taken the core product underpinning the Citrix Cloud Portal Services Manager and rebranded it as Atria, a move aimed at signifying its central role in how an IT company manages its customers.

However, thanks to the acquisition, Atria represents more than just a rebranding, Automate101 now has the exclusive rights to develop, support and license the product formerly known as Cloud Portal Services Manager.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to finish the work we started over a decade ago and are looking forward to updating and developing the product,” Automate101 said on its website.

"The licence transition process from Citrix to Automate101 is quick and easy," it said, going to tell users to contact Automate101 to transition to the new licencing arrangement.

As Atria, the new release includes a range of updates, including Azure AD and Office 365 support, as well as support for the latest versions of Microsoft and Citrix software. 

The new offering now also has a focus on security, a factor reflecting a recent series of managed service provider (MSP) hacks, primarily in the United States. 

“By focusing on security we’re showing our MSP customers that we understand the pressures they are under, and that our part of the solution is there to help protect them and their customers – rather than being another point of vulnerability” Williams said.

Having brought CPSM -- now Atria -- back into the hands of a New Zealand-based company, Automate101 plans to build a core innovation and development team, taking New Zealand’s skills and know-how to the world.

In fact, since the acquisition in January, five senior New Zealanders, including developers and support staff, have been hired by the company, with more on the way. All up, the business is now approaching 20 employees across four time zones.

“Right now we are out there hiring as many developers as we can. We only care about ability and attitude; one of our developers even lives just north of Hamner Springs,” said Williams, who is the CEO of the new company, as well as one of its co-founders.

The company’s plan is to have two fully staffed development teams by the middle of 2020, building the core automation platform, and integrating a range of new services such as Azure, backup-as-a-service and Citrix Cloud.

While the acquisition of CPSM brings the offering and the revenue arising from back to New Zealand shores, going to market internationally is part of Automate101’s core mission.

“We have always been an international company,” said Thurston, who is director of customer success at the new company, in addition to being a co-founder. “Our target markets are telecoms companies, large IT organisations, managed service providers, and government shared services organisations -- we already have a stable of successful customers.”

Looking forward, Automate101 has firm roadmap of goals and offerings, including the delivery of virtual desktops from the cloud with Citrix Cloud and Microsoft Virtual Desktops, enhancing the automation platform so partners can easily plug in and automate additional services and removing barriers to entry by reducing install complexity and lowering initial licensing costs.