I started my career at Citrix in October of 2011. I had experienced years of large corporate  ‘secure’ IT, where your laptop and software is pre-determined for you, and you work off the latest ‘approved’ Windows OS, which in my case was Windows XP right up into late 2011. You install personal apps at your own risk and fear the day that IT discovers you are out of policy and makes you delete your critical iTunes account.

Unlike many people, I never had a need for a separate personal computer for home. I worked remotely and found myself answering emails all day and night, so soon my hefty work PC and I were inseparable. Although I had an iPad, my previous company did not allow us to use them at work, so my PC went wherever I did. I found the only use I had for my iPad was for the occasional heated game of Angry Birds. Oh, did I also mention that the phones of choice were BlackBerrys only? IT finally began to allow iPhones in 2011.

Now I find myself at a totally different kind of company – one that feels decidedly 21st Century. On my first day of work, I asked my manager when I would get my laptop, and he said he had me on ‘BYO’ – in other words, ‘Bring Your Own’.  Of course, as a former worker that was tethered to my work PC, when I left my last employer, my laptop went with it.  I now found myself in a unique position – I can now choose my own laptop and my new employer would actually help me purchase one.

While I began the process of joining the BYO program, in the interim, I needed a loaner. My manager lent me a mature Corporate laptop with Windows 7 (new to me!) and I worked to get all my basic needs set up: access to email, VPN, and the Citrix Intranet. Simultaneously, I started learning Windows 7, Office 2010 and began my initiation with XenDesktop and the client application to leverage XenDesktop, called Citrix Receiver. These are the solutions that allow workers to access the network resources they need when they need them – basically off any device they wish!

Once I got home, I was able to easily log into Receiver to access whatever Network resources I required. I also downloaded Receiver to my iPhone and iPad, and very quickly was able to access Enterprise apps like SAP right off those devices.  Suddenly the usability of my iPad skyrocketed. Rather than lugging my laptop downstairs in the evening to answer some emails and check a few internal sites, I now could do all of that right off my iPad or even my phone. In fact, just this week I was able to make my 2012 Healthcare choices in SAP on my iPad at a restaurant. Perhaps an usual place to do that, but oh how convenient!

In future editions of this series, I’ll discuss how I set up my new MacBook Pro and how I learned through a little trial and error how to best take advantage of all the great technology that Citrix offers.