Its been a long time (about a month) since I posted my previous note where I was shamefully advertising the benefits of using Presentation Server. Based on the ratings on the post (which I checked today), it doesnt seem like it went quite well. So, while I am still passionate about the topic, I will stay clear from it so that I dont bore the audience.[:S]

During the past 5 weeks, I continued to spend fair bit of time on the road or on the phone with our customers, folks like members of this community. While I dont get involved in getting hands on with the product, I do get involved in discussions with the IT management teams and how they perceive Citrix. At one of my trips, I was sitting on a dinner table with few Citrix professionals and we started talking about their IT team objectives. And, we soon discovered that there were three distinct groups sitting on the table with three distinct priorities. There was over 100 years of Citrix experience sitting around that dinner table, working at several different firms. As we discussed around the three different categories, we reached some interesting conclusions that I will share with the group.

Problem management, Risk management and Cost management the three buckets you can place all CPS users into. Let me define these.

Problem Management – this is where I would place many of users. users manage their deployments around problems. They do not plan around application delivery strategy – but they achieve it overtime through resolution of problems. In these customers, Citrix teams are often isolated and run fairly independently. They may often define CPS as a band-aid to their problems, even though they may have several places where band-aid is being applied and the business may seize to operate without the band-aid. If you are in this type of organization and you are running, managing or administering your CPS environments, then focus on MARKETING. The most effective implementations that have come out from such organizations have been from the teams who have done a great job in making their IT organizations aware of the value that CPS brings to them. You do that through highlighting differences between before and after (since the organization thinks based on problems and their solutions and forgets about them once the problem is resolved).

Cost Management – another area to place many CPS users. These organizations focus on costs and cutting down costs. You should think about increased user density, server consolidation, bandwidth management, etc. Your goal should be to cut costs down in all places including server infrastructure, database and app infrastructure, network infrastructure. You plan the role of OPERATIONS in such organizations. You should be continually monitoring key metrics within your CPS infrastructure that impact your costs and report on them to your management teams. You should be cautious in implementing new items or adopting new technologies, with all the cost metrics studied.

Risk Management – These organizations focus on managing risks and elimintating them. Unless you belong to these organizations, you wont understand what I mean. These organizations are often leaders in innovation in their businesses. And in order to sustain their leadership, they need to do things differently but manage risks in succeeding. You can pick an industry of your choice and you will find the leader most likely belonging to this category. If you are in this category then your focus should be to AUDIT. You should ensure that you are taking steps in creating an environment that is dynamic and pushing its boundaries. This includes things implemented for Presentation Server environment to make your environment more dynamic.

A big problem that exists in training classes, certification courseware, blog recommendations, reference architectures professional implementations is that a cookie cutter approach is prescribed. This in itself leads to several failed implementations of CPS. have run across some implementations of CPS that were great for cost environments but awful for an organization who is focused on risks.

So, what in it for you?

  1. The skills around CPS that you acquire in one organization are not necessarily directly transferrable to another.
  2. Before applying the prescribed recommendations to your environment, validate your objectives and category of users that your organization falls under.
  3. If you want to talk CPS implementations in your organization in a manner that it resonates with your management team, you need to understand their priorities and follow MARKETING, OPERATIONS OR AUDITING functions based on the bucket your organization falls under.

Have you ever wondered whether the way you operate is to manage costs, problems or risks?