Citrix Synergy 2019 : An Executive’s Perspective

Confernce is Over.  Everyone has gone home.

It has been a few weeks since the close of 2019’s Citrix Synergy and IPM’s President Phil Alberta took the time to send over his observations and reactions from the Atlanta conference.  The email was largely for internal consumption and touched on the new opportunities IPM would be engaged in for 2020 and beyond but also had some great insights that I think would be beneficial to customers, vendors and partners alike.

Check out some of snippets below from Phil’s email.

I participated in a Partner briefing with David Henshall and other key executives giving us a sneak preview of the keynote and Citrix’s agenda.  The focus will be on improving employee experience and productivity with the new Workspace product.  Application and Desktop Virtualization only applies to a subset of users at their customer sites, while Citrix Workspace is for everyone.  It was met with mixed reactions as this strategy is a break from their bread and butter products and their target market.  It is a daring approach, but I commend them on trying something new.

Adapt or Die!

The workspace topic creates conversation about a myriad of things including my favorite topic – Security.   Peel away all the marketing jargon around productivity and you will find a way to secure SaaS and cloud apps like Salesforce and Workday on PCs and mobile devices with “a receiver” that prevents screen theft, malware and key logging on the BYOD endpoints we see everyday in the enterprise.

The other takeaway from this meeting was their symbiotic (read: heavily dependent) relationship with Microsoft.  The networking products, their new feature roadmap for existing products, and their new DAAS offering are all completely connected to Microsoft 365, Azure, and Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD).

My reaction to the Microsoft alignment was 100% positive. I can’t say I know how successful Citrix will be going forward, but I will say they are feeding the Microsoft fire and we are already seeing a shift from traditional Citrix virtualization projects to more and more Microsoft Stack based projects and managed services.  The customers at the conference with us confirmed this, as the two conversations are now completely woven together.  There will be many more opportunities to implement Citrix products into the Microsoft cloud stack to improve performance and management.

What about Windows Virtual Desktop(WVD)?

I think it will eventually replace the Citrix virtual desktop…but not yet.   That shouldn’t scare anyone because A. I am likely wrong, and B. change is unavoidable.   In the short term, think of Windows Virtual Desktop as the new Microsoft Remote Desktop Service (RDS).  Today, some customers choose RDS over Citrix based on price or simple use cases. The same will be true with WVD.   Citrix has built a whole campaign about “better together” and presented 20+ reasons/features to that effect. I found 2 or 3 really impactful.  Microsoft WVD will be part of all of our future desktop discussions and designs and we already have customers talking about it with us.

SD-WAN – what happened?

Yeah, I like something about SD-WAN now.  They have focused their effort on improving Office 365 and Azure performance and the stats are amazing. 50-200x better performance. OK, I am still a bit skeptical but definitely a good conversation to have when planning Office 365 migrations.

Final Thought

The best part of Synergy is ALWAYS the time spent with our clients. We had an amazing welcome reception that drew almost every current and future client we had there (and they brought friends!) along with about a dozen of our favorite Citrites.

A big thank you to all the IPMers that hosted our clients and potential clients through sessions, lunches, and dinners…and even Porsche test drives.

Thanks for all the insights Phil!