Thanks to ‏‪@LenIsquith for this amazing photo (look, no rain!), which captures the excitement that everyone felt arriving at Citrix Summit 2017 in Anaheim, California.

Summit officially began with the Vision Keynote this morning (more on that later), but partners and Citrix teams began arriving over the weekend for the Instructor-led Learning Labs preconference workshop and to set up for Summit. Remember, pre-event labs are included in your conference fee and are one of the most popular features at Summit, so don’t forget to preregister next year. If you weren’t able to make it this year, many of the topics are also available in Self-paced Learning Labs, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. tomorrow in Hall B.

We had a great turnout for the Compass Reception last night! It was great to see so many new and returning partners getting insider tips from our expert Compass hosts, and learning how to navigate the conference and create a more personalized experience. 

Vision Keynote

As the sounds of Recycled Percussion faded, leaving behind some great energy and enormous anticipation, Worldwide Sales & Services executive vice president Carlos Sartorius took the stage to officially kick off Summit 2017 with the Vision Keynote. He welcomed partners and Citrix sales teams from 70 countries — including the farthest traveler from the island nation of Mauritius, more than 18,000 km from Anaheim. Partners and sales teams unable to make the trip to Summit watched the live stream on Citrix Partner Central from all over the world:

To appreciate where we’re going, we have to understand where we’ve been. Carlos recognized Summit All-Stars—partners who have shown a long-term commitment to Citrix and have attended 15 Summits—and acknowledged business successes from 2016, including new customers and wins over VMware and F5, achieved by having the right partners, the right people, the right strategy and the right products.

The big news came as Carlos introduced Citrix president and CEO Kirill Tatarinov, who had some exciting announcements and some details on Citrix strategy that are designed to “help IT professionals become the heroes of the digital age.” I think we can all get behind that plan!

First up: a new innovation partnership with Red Bull Racing that showcases the performance of our two top brands when working together. This got a lot of attention on Twitter:

Kirill also unveiled the acquisition of Unidesk, the leader in application layering, which makes it easier for partners and customers to securely deploy and manage apps and desktops through XenApp and XenDesktop. Other announcements included:

  • Citrix Cloud Accelerator, a comprehensive set of transition and trade-up offers for customers who own existing XenApp or XenDesktop licenses and want to move to Citrix Cloud
  • A new pilot program for Citrix Service Providers (CSPs) who want to deploy workspaces leveraging Citrix Cloud
  • A new Citrix Ready HCI Workspace Appliance Program that enables hyperconverged appliances from hardware and storage partners to connect to Citrix Cloud
  • The integration of Citrix NetScaler Unified Gateway with Microsoft Intune

So much happened on the keynote stage today: Scott Guthrie, EVP, Microsoft Enterprise and Cloud, talked about the great opportunities for our two companies, SVP and CMO Tim Minahan talked about delivering growth and strong leadership, and new VP, Worldwide Partner Strategy & Sales Craig Stillwell talked about how we’ll win together in 2017.

Partners offered immediate — and enthusiastic! — feedback on Twitter:

As Kirill told partners, “You have our complete, unwavering commitment to your success. We will win together.” Get a deeper look at the morning’s big announcements in the Citrix blogs. And follow hashtags #CitrixSummit and #CitrixPartnerLove on Twitter for Summit updates from our partners at the event.

Hot Sessions

Partners have really responded positively to Summit’s new session structure: with sales sessions focused on Sales Plays and technical sessions classified by complexity, everyone was able to choose the right session to fit their role and level of expertise. These were the most popular breakouts today, by the numbers:

  • TECH101: XenApp and XenDesktop: What’s new and roadmap (repeats Tuesday 10:30-11:15 a.m.)
  • SELL105: How to go to market with Microsoft (repeats Wednesday, 9:00-9:45 a.m.)
  • TECH313: Moving customers to Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10
  • TECH311: XenDesktop and XenApp on Azure: integration is the key
  • SELL302: Conquering the cloud frontier: selling XenDesktop for Windows 10 on Azure

Remember, you can watch sessions on-demand in Citrix SalesIQ beginning February 6. If you’re on-site, be sure to add tomorrow’s most in-demand sessions to your agenda. They include sales sessions:

  • SELL306: Effectively competing with F5 Networks by focusing on compelling events
  • SELL216: The comprehensive NetScaler security session
  • SELL208: Overview of ADC use cases for displacing F5 with NetScaler

Technical sessions:

  • TECH315: Designing and deploying Citrix on Azure
  • TECH205: NetScaler SD-WAN: what’s new and what’s next
  • TECH102: XenApp and XenDesktop tech update: January 2017 edition 

And a session for CSPs:

  • CCSP204: Cloud and the future for CSPs, hosters, MSPs and resellers

Looking ahead: Welcome Reception and Tuesday highlights

Are you joining me at the Welcome Reception? I’m headed there right now—it’s happening at the Solutions Expo in Hall C from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. I’m planning to catch up with some colleagues and would love to hear your thoughts on your Summit experience so far.

Tomorrow, you won’t want to miss the Tech Talks keynote, where you’ll get a sneak peek into the innovations, strategic partnerships and functional advantages that make our customers successful and give Citrix a competitive advantage in the market. Stop by The Citrix Booth Experience to explore use cases in the demo stations and access partner resources at the Ask the Experts Bar.

Also tomorrow, don’t miss the Diversity in Technology session on implicit bias. It will be a great talk about how the attitudes and stereotypes that we are unaware of can undermine teamwork, led by Professor Jerry Kang, UCLA’s inaugural vice chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Remember, voting closes tomorrow for the Citrix Innovation Award for Partners—get your vote in before 6:00 p.m. PT!


We’ll close out tomorrow night at the Partner Appreciation Party, a Summit street festival celebrating #CitrixPartnerLove. Enjoy your Summit, and don’t forget to follow and post at #CitrixSummit! I’ll update my feed with news as it happens: follow me on Twitter at @merisummers.

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