Datapac history (Citrix R&D Australia)

Datapac was an Australian company purchased by Citrix in 1997. It was the core of the current development done in Australia for Citrix.  Datapac was not only the key to help open up the Asia Pacific market, but it also gave Citrix some pivotal technologies.  Perhaps the most famous was Seamless.  This technology allows for the look of an integrated desktop between MetaFrame and the client workstation.  Datapac was also the seed for the future Advanced Products Group.

This is a report that Martin Duursma (leader of Advanced Products) put together last year:


Citrix’s Australian R&D activities

Citrix has a long-established R&D presence in Australia, the origins of which lie with a local company called Datapac. Datapac was created in the late 1980s in partnership with the now defunct Wang Corporation (a manufacturer of computer hardware and software) and a venture capitalist, under the auspices of a federal government program known as the ‘Partnership for Development’.

Essentially an industry development initiative, the purpose of the Partnership for Development was to encourage multinational IT companies to foster industry development in Australia through collaboration with local organisations.The newly formed joint venture company proceeded along a course of researching, developing and building multi-user operating system software for the retail and point of sale markets.

In 1991, a management buy-out occurred and Datapac was transformed into an independent, private company. Datapac went from strength to strength, exporting its product to the world and experienced substantial growth.

In the mid 1990s, Datapac developed a strong relationship with Citrix Systems, a Florida based technology vendor, and was eventually acquired by Citrix in 1997. This transaction crystallised Citrix’s presence in the Asia Pacific and the multinational company was mindful to retain Datapac’s Australian focus and capability in R&D.

As Citrix’s presence in the Asia Pacific matured, the Australian subsidiary came to be viewed as a centre of excellence in R&D. There was widespread recognition within the company of the significance of the Australian R&D capability and the deep contribution that it was making to Citrix in a global context.

The Centre, which employs 30 engineers, is considered to be the innovation engine of Citrix’s product range. Its mission is to investigate technologies that are two to three years ahead of the current engineering cycle. This entails but is not limited to the investigation and examination of emerging concepts and technologies and also involves monitoring and providing input into industry standards bodies. The Centre’s mission is to develop the sophistication and value of Citrix’s product range and, in turn, deliver an enhanced experience forour customers.

Citrix’s Sydney R&D facility and the wider Advanced Product Group (a business unit of which the facility is a part) have enjoyed multiple successes since inception. Today, many of the innovative features that can be found within Citrix’s product range directly result from the research activities that we undertake in Australia.

An example of our successful research is embodied in a technology called ‘Secure Gateway’. This is a product that boosts the security of information exchanges across the internet and provides Citrix’s customers with a robust level of confidence that their information will be protected against infringement. The Advanced Products Group is headquartered in Sydney and also maintains R&D facilities in the United States (Redmond) and the United Kingdom (Cambridge).


Live near Brisbane, Australia. Software developer currently focused on iOS and Android. Avid Google Local Guide

Posted in Citrix History
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