Citrix acquires Sapho for $200 million to create smarter, superior work experience

Citrix has announced the acquisition of enterprise micro-app software provider Sapho for $200 million (£155.6m) to help ‘redefine the employee experience.’

Regular readers of this publication will be aware of Sapho’s modus operandi. The company aims to break down monolithic behemoth apps into micro-apps in one mobile, social-esque feed, whether it’s expense approvals from Concur or PO approvals from Oracle.

Sapho will be integrated into Citrix Workspace, the company’s all-in-one app which enables employees secure single sign-on across SaaS apps, web apps and files. The move will help Citrix to enable what it calls a smarter work experience and superior employee experience, with Sapho’s machine learning capabilities a key part of that.

“Organisations make a wide range of productivity tools available for their employees, but adoption remains limited because users are unsure which app is the right tool for the task,” wrote David Le Strat, Citrix VP product management in a blog post announcing the move. “Additionally, legacy data repositories combined with document cloud storage has created data sprawl, making it difficult for end users to find the information they need quickly and efficiently.

“Now is the time for change: to break down application silos, to simplify application workflows, and to reinvent personal employee productivity and experience,” Le Strat added.

As this publication put it when profiling Sapho last year, unlike some other startups the product and vision was nailed down long before anything else arrived. Natalie Lambert, VP marketing, was the first marketing hire once the company’s two founders, Fouad ElNaggar and Peter Yared, had spent a long time in stealth building up the product and potential customers.

The company has been making various updates over the past year. Integration with Micrososft Teams was a key development – and one whose embrace Citrix insists will play a vital role in creating a refined end-user experience – as well as deep Windows 10 integration, announced back in May.

For Lambert, this represents a homecoming of sorts, with her role prior to Sapho being six years’ service in Citrix’s product marketing division across desktop virtualisation and enterprise mobility management.

The company had raised almost $28 million in total across five rounds of funding before acquisition.

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