One of the most important qualities of Citrix Synergy 2015 in Orlando, May 12–14, is the balance it strikes between strategy and tactics, providing both “big picture” business and technical vision along with practical training.

Synergy achieves this balance with breakout sessions and labs that welcome a wide variety of presenters—including customers, analysts, and IT vendors—alongside Citrix experts. It’s a great mix that sparks thought-provoking discussion and gives attendees a better perspective on trends and technologies, and how they can benefit their own organizations.

As we finalize our guest presenters and prepare to release the full catalog of breakout sessions, I wanted to give you a preview of highlights—and tell you more about the new format for the popular Instructor-led Learning Labs.

Session Catalog Preview

The focus of Synergy 2015 is on how mobility is transforming the workplace, enabling people to work better from anywhere. Synergy will feature breakout sessions in four tracks: mobility management, virtualization, networking and cloud. Together, these tracks will help attendees understand trends and see how technology is driving innovation in key industries, including healthcare, education, financial services and government.

Here are my picks for hot sessions to watch for:

  • Terminal Server versus VDI: 2015 edition, presented by independent desktop virtualization expert Brian Madden
  • XenApp/XenDesktop vs. VMware Horizon
  • How the “Internet of (healthcare) things” will revolutionize patient care

Instructor-Led Learning Labs

We’ve changed it up a bit this year: Instructor-led Learning Labs are now a preconference workshop on Sunday, May 10, and Monday, May 11, to give you the time to focus exclusively on deep-dive training before jumping in to three full days of Synergy programs.

If you’re responsible for implementation, deployment or management of Citrix solutions, then this hands-on training—in a classroom setting, supervised by Citrix experts—is designed for you. The workshop package is $99 for up to three labs with your Synergy registration and also includes a Learning Lab Happy Hour on Sunday night, where you can talk with other attendees as well as the speakers and facilitators over beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres.

This year, with many labs focused on new features and new products, there will be several you will not want to miss. I’ve called out a few favorites to watch for:

  • Disaster recovery strategy for XenMobile 10 using NetScaler
  • Delivering an end-to-end encrypted file sync and sharing solution with ShareFile Enterprise
  • Accelerate your cloud architecture  by deploying XenDesktop, XenApp, and NetScaler in Microsoft Azure

Registration is now open for the labs workshop. Browse the catalog for the full selection, and register to reserve your top choices.

I hope you’ll check out the full session catalog when it goes live in mid-March and make your plans today to attend Synergy in Orlando, May 12-14, 2015. Early Bird savings of $150 off the regular registration are available until March 2—take advantage of this rate before it’s gone. And be sure to follow me on Twitter @merisummers for Synergy updates.