My header photo is from today’s opening keynote: Citrix wants to help IT become business enablers, not managers of the past. Watch for my favorite Twitter photo each day of the conference!

Keynote excitement

“Make the extraordinary happen in your companies,” challenged Citrix president and CEO Kirill Tatarinov as he officially opened Citrix Synergy 2016 with the Day 1 keynote today. “We want to help you become the heroes of the digital age.”

With a commitment to “help every IT professional partner more closely with your business counterparts” and a vision to “make your companies more agile and more competitive, to deliver amazing results,” Kirill laid out the Citrix vision for the future and our strategy for getting there. That electric hum you heard? It was so much more than just the enormous video screens ringing the room.

“Our strategy is to build the world’s best integrated technology services for secure delivery of apps and data—anytime, anywhere,” Kirill said. He placed the story of the “new” Citrix in the context of a profound technological shift, driven by four megatrends, and went on to address how Citrix was leveraging that shift with new product announcements—from enabling XenDesktop VDI to deliver a Windows 10 DaaS from Azure to the focus on cloud as Citrix integrates all of its solutions as services that can be delivered on-premises or in the cloud. Read the Citrix blogs for the complete story about the day’s big announcements and check out the excited Twitter reaction to all the keynote news:

Tuesday highlights

Attendees packed into The Citrix Booth Experience to walk through their own digital transformations, demo by demo, and packed the house in the Meet the Experts Theater, where Citrix customers shared powerful personal stories about best practices and lessons learned in their own environments. Also, if you haven’t already, stop by the Social Media Hub in Synergy Park to build your very own custom Citrix minifigure; collect all the accessories to express your inner geek!

Wednesday hot sessions

As at most Synergy events, one of the most anticipated sessions is tomorrow’s SYN501: Geek Speak Tonight! Get ready for 90 minutes of nonstop fun as the audience crowns the winner of the GeekOvation competition—best-in-show Citrix hacks by Citrix users—then tests their wits and knowledge in the Jeopardy-style Geek Out game show, hosted by Brian Madden. Before you get there, though, there’s plenty to see and learn. Here are tomorrow’s top sessions:

  • SYN129: What’s new: NetScaler Unified Gateway
  • SYN 323: XenApp and XenDesktop tech update — May 2016 (repeats Thursday at 2:30 p.m.)
  • SYN 322: Security-hardening XenApp and XenDesktop
  • SYN307: Single-sign-on pass through with Receiver
  • SYN306: Preventing possible PVS performance pain points

Remember, breakouts will be available on demand on SynergyTV after Friday; check the listings for details.

Tonight: Welcome Reception

I’m about to head to the Welcome Reception: come on over to the Solutions Expo for some cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, check out the exhibitors, and meet up with old friends and make some new ones. Plus, Citrix CTO DJ Christian Reilly will be spinning some funky tunes—so there will be plenty to talk about!

Looking ahead: General Session and Simply Serve @ Synergy

At tomorrow’s General Session, you’ll get a firsthand look at the new technology that Kirill mentioned in the opening keynote. You’ll hear about innovation across the portfolio from product group GMs Bill Burley, Jesse Lipson and Klaus Oestermann, and meet customers including Amin Kassem from Humana, Mark J. Kirby from Liberty Mutual Insurance Group and Paul McEwen of UBS—as well as a special visit from Microsoft’s Brad Anderson, who will talk in more detail about the strengthened Citrix-Microsoft partnership.

Also tomorrow, don’t miss the opportunity to contribute your time in support of STEM education for local at-risk youth: the Citrix Corporate Citizenship team is offering several rewarding volunteer experiences right on-site. In addition to tonight’s robotics competition, options include a chance to help a local middle school robotics team build bridges and trusses, a speed mentoring session with high schoolers, and assembling Arduino kits with elementary students. You can also stop by the Corporate Citizenship booth in Synergy Park for several microvolunteer opportunities—view all the options along with the full schedule.

Join us online

Finally, don’t forget that SynergyTV is live-streaming keynotes and breakout sessions all week. Those who couldn’t make it to the conference are joining us virtually across the globe, from right here in Las Vegas to the Netherlands:

Follow me on Twitter to stay up-to-date on Synergy: @merisummers.

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