My Day at Citrix Synergy 2016 – Day One

by Esther Barthel, CTP, Women in Tech Lead Mentor

Today is the first day of Citrix Synergy and I have the honor to kick off the “Day In The Life at Synergy” blog series for CUGC.

And even though this blog will give you an insight into my first day at Synergy, I have to be honest and let you know that the Citrix Technology Professionals (CTPs) get a head start, with 2 full days of meetings with the Product Managers, prior to Synergy. So, technically, my first day started on Sunday at 8AM and was packed with sessions with the different Product Managers from Citrix. Sessions in which we get to share our thoughts on the latest releases and features and future developments to come. I love having the opportunity to give direct feedback to Citrix, even though these sessions tend to run till 6 or 7PM and wear you out.

But back to the first day of Synergy …. the day that traditionally starts with the keynote in which the CEO shares his vision, strategy and product announcements, presented this year by the new CEO, Kirill Tatarinov. It’s THE session at Synergy to get the scope on upcoming releases and get insights in the latest innovations.

Another perk of being a CTP is the fact that we get pre-seated by being escorted to our own bloggers area (with tables and power plugs for all our social media enabled devices) that has a nice view of the stage and those big screens. We even get our own wifi connection! But with all those devices we once again managed to overload the wifi connection within minutes after the keynote started. So I had trouble covering the keynote and my reactions to all of the announcements. 

I was very curious how Kirill would handle the keynote. And I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the way he took the stage, gave a very clear overview of the new Citrix strategy and explained his vision for the new Citrix. If he can execute his plans for the upcoming months, it will definitely give us a new energy boost to once again be working with the “best integrated technology services for secure delivery of apps and data.” He really built up the keynote …… until the demo kind of took the momentum out of it. 

But I don’t think we wil hold that against him, as the new partnership with Microsoft really was that great news we were hoping for this year. This will give Citrix the chance to once again show the world that they offer cutting edge technology that puts the user experience first. And who better to partner with than Microsoft, who has shown us all in the last months that they can change corporate strategies in a short time and ‘get’ the cloud. Citrix does have a great track record at offering added value to the Microsoft stack, so I am looking forward to the added value that the combined resources from Microsoft and Citrix can offer us.

So some really great stuff to look forward to!

After the keynote I almost immediately was up for the next ‘gig’ as team Village Idiots was up for the first heat of the Synergy Showdown–a battle between different CTP teams to build a Citrix XenApp infrastructure on Azure. With only a ‘few’ restrictive rules to follow. We had to be able to connect to the XenApp published desktop within 60 minutes and were not allowed to use any automation scripts. I have to admit we failed horribly at the challenge against a ‘well oiled Dutch Devil’s machine’ who had done their homework and delivered on time. At least I had fun! And an opening in my agenda, as I would not have to take the stage for the grand finale.

So I even had time to explore the Expo, visit different sponsor booths, learn about new solutions that can improve my XenDesktop/App designs and let my inner geek out by building my own mini-me from lego 😃

And after I dropped of some of the collected goodies, I made sure to check out Christian Reilly’s DJ skills, get a signed copy of the Ultimate Desktop Virtualization – Best Practices Guide. With autographs from Ruben Spruijt, Wilco van Bragt, Theresa Miller and THE Carl Webster 😃

A big thanks to all the contributors that show just how much knowledge and experience this community has and the passion to share that knowledge. True community power!

So technically speaking the first Synergy day is over as it is just a little past midnight as I post this blog. I’m looking forward to more Citrix news tomorrow in the day 2 keynote, meeting new people at Match.Geek and having a Geek moment at the Geek Speak Tonight!

Hope to see you there!

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