There is much to love about Synergy:  the energy, the education, the expertise … and now the European experience!  OK, I admit that’s a lot of e-words. How do you feel about i-words?  Like inspirational, impressive and, of course, innovation (was that inevitable?).  Speaking of innovation, one of the best Synergy traditions is the unveiling of the Innovation Award winner at each event.

I’m particularly excited about the winner announced today at Synergy Berlin.  Yes, we always reveal an amazing team that is achieving incredible results by transforming their companies using virtualization technology.  But this organization is unique in the breadth and realization of its vision. The Co-operative Group has cut costs dramatically, improved worker productivity, increased employee satisfaction AND reduced carbon emissions.  Not just a little, but a lot!

Sustainability is a key priority for The Co-operative Group, the UK’s largest retail cooperative with 4.5 million owner-members and 123,000 employees.  Virtualization is one of the major initiatives they’ve undertaken to reach their goal of 35 percent carbon emission reduction against 2006 levels by 2017.  So far they’re saving up to £459,000 per year on lower server, storage and desktop PC energy bills.  Their plan to replace 3,000 physical desktops with low-power thin client devices powered by XenDesktop in the next two years will save up to £1.53 million per year on desktop PC upgrade costs.  And, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that The Co-operative decided to switch to a joint Citrix / Microsoft solution from a competitive platform. Wow!

The Co-operative has also created a more flexible workplace by enabling employees to “workshift,” i.e. work from any location on any device they may desire.  This highlights the company’s commitment to employee-friendly work practices and helps them attract the kind of young, savvy workers who can contribute to their growth and competitive advantage.  Desktop virtualization also saves the organization about £1.5 million per year in software license fees, since they don’t have to deliver unnecessary applications to all of their end users, all of the time. Again, wow!

Didn’t I tell you these guys are innovative?  And impressive?  And inspirational?  I hope their story inspires you to investigate how Citrix can save you hardware, licensing, support and energy costs, while improving employee satisfaction at the very same time.

Congratulations to The Co-operative Group!  Onward and upward as you continue to prove that social responsibility and profitability can go hand in hand.   See their inspiring video for yourself!