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Recap: CUGC Great Plains XL 2023

by Steve Elgan, CTA & Omaha CUGC leader

The 5th CUGC Great Plains XL event on October 4th, 2023, hosted by the Omaha, Kansas City, and Central Iowa groups, was a resounding success! It took place at Charles Schwab Field, known as the home of the College World Series. As the pioneers of the XL platform within CUGC, our region has consistently drawn significant attendance to our XL meetings year after year. This year, we are proud to report an impressive 85% retention rate for sign-ups!

We greatly appreciate our sponsors for helping to make sure these events continue:







Owen Reynolds kicked off our event as the first speaker of the day. Do you recall the OSI Model we studied during our IT degree programs back in college? Owen emphasized the continued importance of this model and how we can harness free tools to troubleshoot issues in our IT environments. One intriguing insight he shared was the distinction between the IT profession and engineering. He drew an analogy by pointing out that the building in which we sat was constructed following established frameworks and engineering principles. Many engineers wear a ring featuring a bridge as a reminder of “that bridge that failed.” In contrast, IT lacks an equivalent set of principles, but our OSI Model serves as the closest thing we have.

Jason Samuel was our next presenter, and he delved into the significant changes that have transpired at Citrix in the past year. He emphasized how these changes have shifted the focus towards meeting customer needs rather than solely catering to investor interests. It was evident that Citrix is keen on gathering valuable feedback from customers to enhance their offerings. Additionally, Jason showcased a demo of Web Studio, a feature that has been accessible to Citrix Cloud customers for several years but is now extended to on-premises customers starting with version 2212. He showed the audience a video created by Scott Osborne in which the features and layout of Web Studio are identical to the legacy MMC version of Studio. This will make it much easier for operational transition to the new version.

Scott Lane, the Citrix demo expert, effectively dispelled our post-lunch drowsiness with a captivating presentation. He showcased the contrasting effects of Microsoft Teams optimized configurations versus standard configurations. To illustrate these differences, Scott presented video examples showcasing the user experience disparities between optimized and non-optimized Teams experiences on Citrix. In meticulous detail, he elucidated how Citrix can offload processing to endpoints, optimizing video calls within the Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) for enhanced efficiency. Moreover, he delved into the various deployment scenarios, shedding light on their respective trade-offs in terms of user experience, performance, and management overhead. Citrix is poised to swiftly adapt and provide comprehensive support for optimizations and feature parity when Teams 2.0 is launched.

Shane Kleinert delivered an engaging presentation on Citrix Session Recording. Citrix has improved this tool by adding features like analytics, triggers, and other mechanisms to help users navigate recordings and identify incidents more efficiently. If you’re a Citrix Cloud customer, you’ll appreciate a web interface that resembles Web Studio in its appearance. On-premises customers can access many of the new features but need to use the legacy MMC console, at least for now.

Amir Trujillo concluded our presentations by showcasing the exciting new features recently introduced by Citrix. These features include the integration of Citrix with ITSM/Service Now and the introduction of Citrix Secure Private Access with Enterprise Browser. Enterprise Browser has been available for Citrix Cloud Customers but is now available on-prem.

Thank you to our CUGC Staff for all of their help to make this event successful. We could not do this without your support. Thank you to the local leaders of Omaha, Kansas City, and Central Iowa.

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