Update: the call for submissions for 2017 Citrix Innovation Award for Partners is now open through Sept. 16, 2016. Apply today!

This year some of the biggest innovations took place at desks around the world—some of them very, very small desks.

That’s right, kids were empowered at them and adults were freed from them.

At Citrix Summit, we were touched by the ingenious ways Citrix partners are transforming the world—and we’re pleased to honor the winner, finalists and honorable mentions of the Citrix Partner Innovation Awards.

Thank you to these partners and to all our partners around the world for helping further our goal of empowering people everywhere to work better, live better.

Citrix Partner Innovation Award Winner: Kelway

For the employees of the UK charity Action for Children (AFC), being there for at-risk youth is the most important part of their job. But instead of getting out in the communities where they were needed most, field workers were tethered to their office network and, of course, a mountain of paperwork.

Our 2016 Citrix Partner Innovation Award Winner Kelway helped AFC turn the old system on its ear by enabling thousands of their employees bring their offices with them—any device, anytime, anywhere—securely using apps, data, forms and files while visiting a care center or sitting on the living room sofa of a family in need.

And in the face of poverty and crisis, Kelway’s enabling workers to be with people—instead of with screens—turned out to be the most powerful innovation of all.

Citrix Partner Innovation Award Finalist: Gotham Technology Group

When it comes to doing more with less, no organization has a tougher challenge than public school systems. Which is why a partnership between our Citrix Partner Innovation Award Finalist, Gotham Technology Group, and Shelton Public Schools broke down impassable barriers— and made impossible budgets work.

The big breakthrough was the ability to give every child—no matter what device their family could afford—equal access to a windows-based desktop through Citrix XenApp. Outdated school computers got new life as vehicles for Citrix XenDesktop, Chromebooks were purchased at a fraction of the cost and teachers were freed up to plan lessons and grade projects remotely.

Over the ten-year partnership with Gotham, Shelton Public Schools saved almost two million dollars. But seeing kids from all walks of life get a world class education?

You can’t put a price tag on that,” says Shelton Public Schools IT Director Dan Divito.

Citrix Partner Innovation Award Finalist: Forthright Technology Partners

Royal Caribbean had a slightly different problem: vacations. Namely, how to roll out infrastructure everywhere – and still get the lobster on the table at night?

In the cruise line industry, personal touch is everything. But when you’re dealing with 5.1 million guests and a fleet of floating cities – that’s a lot of touches to get right.

Citrix Partner Innovation Award Finalist Forthright Technology Partners understood that getting a flower arrangement into a passenger’s cabin begins as a critical data point in a global call center.

Forthright helped Royal Caribbean streamline and simplify so that every department along the way, from marine parts to housekeeping, had mobile access to consistent information. This empowered the cruise giant’s 70,000 land and sea employees to give passengers exactly what they needed, when they needed it.

Personal touch? Nailed it.

Citrix Partner Innovation Award – Honorable Mention: Fujitsu

In 2015, Germany faced a massive crisis: 800,000 refugees suddenly in need of services, information and assistance. A traditionally run government agency would have crumbled under the pressure. But thanks to its partnership with Citrix Partner Innovation Award Honorable Mention Fujitsu, Germany’s Federal Employment Agency was well placed to handle the overload.

In a time of upheaval and uncertainty, Fujitsu’s architecting and implementation of Citrix powered mobile and adaptive workspaces created growth, value and most importantly— a sense of social well-being in a time of national hardship.

Citrix Partner Innovation Award – Honorable Mention: Personal Data SRL

How can a 20-person IT firm in Northern Italy help a small pastry maker gobble up market share around the world? That’s exactly what Citrix Partner Innovation Award Honorable Mention Personal Data SRL did for Bauli.

While the confectioner introduced its croissants into over 70 countries on 5 continents – Personal Data made life (ahem) sweeter for the acquisitions by providing virtual desktops and remote access to hundreds of new production and office workers, making rapid global expansion easy as, well, panettone.

Citrix Partner Innovation Award – Honorable Mention: Ozona Consulting

Aside from baking a billion chocolate-filled pastries, you can’t tackle a bigger logistical hurdle than building a power plant. So who did Técnicas Reunidas—Spain and Portugal’s engineering giant—turn to for supersized solutions?

Answer: an 80-person virtualization company and our Citrix Partner Innovation Award Honorable Mention: Ozona Consulting.

Ozona brought engineers from all over the globe together in a virtual environment, enabling them to collaborate from any location with full access to information, design models and high-end 3D applications—revolutionizing business-as-usual for a global leader.

This year, innovation touched every walk of life—from a working class kid in the US, to a family of refugees in the Middle East, to an industry behemoth in Europe.

Citrix Partners sidestepped economic limits, social turmoil, company size and geographic barriers and they didn’t just level the playing field—they transformed it for good.

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