West Jorden, UT, USA
What Citrix technologies are most important to your work?
The whole Citrix ecosystem is important to us, but in our current production environment, the absolutely critical components today are: XenApp, PVS, StoreFront and Netscaler. We utilize Citrix to deliver our critical core business applications to ~800 employees in over 85 Branches in five states.
What are the biggest tech challenges in your work environment, and what Citrix-related solutions have you implemented or do you hope to implement?
We are building a new corporate office and with that come some major changes and challenges to the way employees will work. Upper management desires a more mobile workforce to drive more collaboration within teams, which brings a technical challenge beyond just moving 600 corporate employees. To enable these employees to work productively, regardless of where they are, we depend on Citrix XenDesktop 7.15LTSR to deliver critical business applications and to secure data in the data center. Other technologies that will be critical to this succeeding, and that we are looking forward to implementing, are App Layering (Citrix UniDesk), UEM/WEM (Norskale), and MAS.
As a co-leader of the Utah CUGC, tell us about how and why you stepped up, and what your goals are for the group.
Ownership and management responsibilities of the existing (and future) Citrix environment recently transitioned over to my team, so I found myself treading water to come up to speed on Citrix. To learn more about Citrix and determine how we can take Citrix to the next level in our environment, I attended Citrix Synergy this year. Like most IT people, I had a goal to get as many awesome trinkets and t-shirts that I could (tell me I’m wrong!) and found myself visiting the CUGC booth to complete my quest. While there, I was approached about the Utah CUGC needing another leader to help it get off the ground. After being volunteered [thrown under the bus might be a better description :-)] by our VP of IT, I realized that this would be a great opportunity to not only help shape Citrix in our environment by using the existing knowledge that was out there, but to also help shape the direction Citrix takes its products!
My goals for the Utah CUGC group are to provide members with a channel they can utilize to address problems they might be experiencing, get insights from others that have overcome challenges, to have a voice to help shape the future of Citrix, and to have fun doing it!
What did you learn from your group’s first meeting?
I was very surprised by our first meeting–we had about 20 people show up! The meeting went well and it was good to find that many members of the group (like us) are dealing with some of the same challenges. The biggest challenges I see this early in the game in terms of keeping up this momentum are mostly related to making sure we give people what they are looking for. With so many diverse Citrix use cases, there are likely equal the number of challenges.
I’m looking forward to continuing to get to know the Utah CUGC members and helping them overcome their challenges!
What’s the best career or tech-related advice you’ve ever received? And how has it affected you?
I have had a ton of influential people impact me in my career over the years, but some of the best career related advice that has shaped me is:
“Even though something has been done a certain way, that doesn’t mean it should always be done that way,” and “failure is inevitable for all at some point in their careers. What we do after is what shapes us.”
To summarize these: Be open to change, challenge to do things differently, and our failures don’t define us–it’s what we do to move forward after we experience failure. This advice has helped me in my career to push forward despite the potential for failure, and strive to have a Kaizen attitude and continuously seek improvement.
Outside of work and CUGC, what do you do for fun?
Downhill Skiing [Utah=Greatest Snow on Earth!], Scuba diving [obviously NOT in Utah :-)], Hiking/backpacking, riding ATVs, and simply getting out into the great outdoors with my family!