Being a CUGC lead myself, we do quite a bit of promoting of the Citrix brand by simply being ambassadors in each of our respective local communities. However, when asked to help out with the lunch table tech chats held at Synergy 2016, it was a chance to do something different from what we do here at the CUGC and for a larger scope of end users, partners, and enthusiasts alike.
I usually don’t have the time to prepare full presentations myself for Synergy beyond what I already do for the CUGC, so for me personally, this was a perfect chance to do something else that didn’t require hours/days of rehearsing and prep that, for me, are very hard to come by with the full project workload I have leading up to Synergy. So it was almost an extension of what we do for Citrix with our local CUGCs in a smaller and more focused roundtable format.
It gives us a change to sit at a table and facilitate conversations with other attendees that simply don’t just want to eat lunch quietly and head out; they want to ask questions or even answer questions for others and simply interact and maybe learn something at lunch.
As a bonus, it also allows those of us hosting a great chance to promote our local CUGC groups because in my opinion, essentially our CUGC groups are just larger and localized extensions of what we do at these chat tables. At my table for all three days, I had a fair amount of attendees that were not a part of their local CUGC and maybe didn’t even know about the community and the fact they could participate locally in similar fashion. It was great to be able to spread the word!
I had the privilege of hosting the Desktops and Apps table all three days over the lunch hour. This lunch hour would fly by and quickly become 1.5 hrs. until I finally had to remind those still there that sessions were starting again and we all had to get moving… At one point on day two, I had a vendor, two customers and two partners at the table together at the same time which really provided great coverage from all angles when discussing whatever was brought up.
It’s hard to sum up nicely three days’ worth of discussions, however, the following list, although not all encompassing, gives those that have not joined these tables an idea of what all might be discussed. For me it was “apps and desktop” topics that were the intended focus, however from what I heard many of the tables have overlapping discussions where attendees just sit and start firing off whatever topic comes to mind. It’s just part of the normal agenda every day at these tables. A quick synopsis of some items touched on included:
- Layers, layers and more layers – discussions around layering technology, how it differs from App-V and isolation and when to use it was a part of all three days’ discussion at some point during my lunches.
- Hyper-Convergence – outside of layering, no other topic came up as much which doesn’t surprise anybody with how disruptive this is today in the industry.
- A day one discussion which involved a customer in the mountains of Brazil having a specific need for “offline” applications where at many times with the mountains they would lose all connectivity from the central office.
- Monitoring solutions and where User Experience (UX) monitoring and holistic monitoring might overlap and what solutions are out there. The expo hall was full of great ones we all know and love J. This topic came up on two of the three days of hosting.
- One customer was still a huge fan of EdgeSight and hoping for something similar someday to come out of Director at least data/metrics wise. Aren’t we all….
- NetScaler Insight and what it can do with the focus on NetScaler MAS now!
- Many customers now thinking it is time to migrate from XenApp 6.x to 7.x. XenDesktop 7.9 announced, feature parity has really picked up steam over last few releases and time flies, so this is a hot topic.
- Day three for me also consisted of an EPIC EMR discussion surrounding XenApp and now XenDesktop compatibility and once again gravitating back to possibly using layering as blessed by EPIC.
- First day discussion on new cloud capabilities in Azure with the Keynote announcements. Although we had another table dedicated to cloud, as mentioned everything was fair game at any table!
- And of course, conversations around the announcements at Synergy and with coming fresh off the Keynotes, the impact – if any, they had on day one and/or two. From consensus, day one was not a hit. Second keynote saved it.
Anyway, that is just a small sample of all of the hotter topics that filled the lunch hour for me and I am sure my counterparts at the other tables have similar stories to tell. I think this is a great way to involve attendees in active conversation over lunch and possibly help some of them talk through some big decisions with those of us involved with many different environments in our jobs back home.
If any questions or if you happened to be at any of the tech chat tables, please comment on the blog as we would love to hear from a participant perspective any feedback you may have.