I was out on PTO (vacation) last week and have to admit I did a little work while away.  It dawned on me how awesome it was to take advantage of our implementation of SaaS and Application Delivery through the Cloud. 

I take this stuff for granted sometimes but with the market exploding around off-premise services and using the Internet as a means to access everything from applications to support I wanted to share my experience from a users perspective.  After all, it’s the user who ultimately will determine whether or not Cloud Computing actually works.

Citrix uses Single Sign On (SSO) as a feature of XenApp so I first logged into our corporate portal with one click and then accessed my profile using two factor authentication.  Immediately I was configured with secure access through our Access Gateway product.  I was presented with a portal of applications I could access for the user profile preset from our IT group.  I also had access to all of the data files and Sharepoint files under my user name and password.  I wanted to check my blog for comments so I used the internally controlled corporate web site to get to my landing page (didn’t have to sign in again because of SSO).  I then opened up an Excel spread sheet where I log some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) metrics.  The spread sheet was part of my personal directory structure loaded on the corporate XenServer farm so I can access it from anywhere even though I created it from a local PC in Florida.

Next I checked my Citrix Online Webinar metrics page to view participants who were accessing the recorded webinars I had done a couple of weeks ago.  I was having some problems viewing them so I called our IT Hotline and they immediately had me start a GoToAssist session.  It took about 30 seconds for them to see that I didn’t have the Windows Media Player loaded so we accomplished that while on the call and it solved my problem.  I decided to set up a meeting for when I returned from vacation with some sales folks in Europe so I opened a GoToMeeting session, added participants and it automatically saved the meeting (date/time/participants) to my Outlook Calendar.

Just for grins I wanted to show my family one of my blogs so I disconnected the laptop I was on from the cabled connection and it switched over to the wireless router at my son’s apartment.  I never lost the connection and everything (Outlook, IE, Excel) continued to work seamlessly… and STILL connected to my corporate server.  I passed the laptop around to get comments… family can be brutal sometimes .

I answered a couple of emails and then logged off so I could get back to my vacation.  I was 2,500 miles from my office, connected via wireless router/cable modem from a PC I didn’t own, accessing files and applications in my corporate environment.  The cool thing was you couldn’t tell I was out of the office!  All of this possible because I was using Citrix Online, Citrix XenApp and Citrix XenServer to get to my information.  And all of it over the open Internet.

It would take another couple of pages to go through all of the technology wizardry that allowed me to “work” through Citrix Cloud Center technology… but at the end of the day that doesn’t matter to the user, does it?  I’m just glad we have the technology to do what I need to do, whenever I need to do it .  The other cool thing is I get to sell the stuff I use and it works… flawlessly.  This IS the next big thing for Cloud providers who want to use state of the art technology and get it at a decent price.  That’s why we created the Citrix Service Provider Program and I’m proud to be a part of the team!

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