Our talented artist Sonny Chhen did this amazing sketch incorporating highlights from Synergy into the letters of our name. See how many details you can pick out, and don’t miss the artwork in progress in Synergy Park as Sonny adds new inspiration each day. I’ll be featuring my favorite images here each day of the conference. Watch for them!

Synergy 2017 officially began with the Vision Keynote on Tuesday, an exciting, inspiring, incredible look at the future of work and how Citrix is enabling our customers to embrace a changing world. Citrix chief marketing officer Tim Minahan kicked things off with a preview of exciting new Synergy content, including more immersive demos and more technical content—all a result of our data-driven focus on delivering programming that meets your needs.

Vision Keynote excitement

Citrix president and CEO Kirill Tatarinov took the stage, offering gratitude for the power and support of the Citrix community (including shoutouts to our amazing Citrix Technology Professionals), and delivering a compelling look at how Citrix innovation is helping our customers during this time of digital transformation.

Digital transformation changes every industry on earth, and digital natives will make up more than two-thirds of the workforce by 2020. “Digital natives push the boundaries of how people work together,” Kirill said. “To this new population of workers, work is no longer a place, it’s an activity, and workers expect a workspace that is digital and follows them wherever they go.”

Kirill also discussed how Citrix has delivered on the promises from Synergy 2016. Today, Citrix builds cloud-first and for the future, and the big announcement of the day—Citrix Secure Digital Workspace—illustrates how Citrix will deliver the world’s most integrated and comprehensive workspace as a cloud-based service to unify and enrich end user experience; secure all types of enterprise applications and data; and simplify IT’s ability to configure, monitor, and manage it all.

In addition to welcoming guest customer Roland Cloutier, staff vice president and chief security officer at ADP and guest partner Karyn Jeffery, head of Digital Workplace Services, Global Delivery at Fujitsu live on stage, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made a video appearance to talk about the strengthened partnership between our two companies. Kirill also spoke live via Skype with Christian Horner, president and CEO of longtime Citrix innovation partner Red Bull Racing, from Monaco to discuss Formula One racing and the amazing intersection of competition and technical innovation.

Technology Keynote

If the morning’s keynote was all about vision, the afternoon Technology Keynote was dedicated to innovation. Citrix CMO Tim Minahan introduced the finalists for the Citrix Innovation Award and senior vice president of product PJ Hough said, “It’s so inspiring to see how our customers use our products to move their companies forward.”

PJ and product leaders demoed the new technology that Kirill introduced in the Vision Keynote, sharing insights into how IT leaders can harness the power of our integrated portfolio of technology services. Demos didn’t focus on products as much as they did on the features and capabilities that deliver great experience and productivity to users as well as control and security to IT. Vice president of product marketing Calvin Hsu showed how the unified, adaptive workspace of Citrix Workspace Experience gives users contextual access to their apps and data depending on where they are and what device they’re using.

It was an incredible demonstration of the power of Workspace IoT and SmartSpace, which you can see in action in the Workspace Experience Center in the Citrix Booth Experience. Calvin also demoed the time-saving features of Citrix App Layering: with this capability from the Unidesk acquisition, IT can patch Windows once and update all images in the environment or push to Azure without rebuilding and retesting. Judging from the reactions from the crowd, it’s a game-changer.

“These days as a security guy, I don’t smile all that much. I think of it as a digital jungle. As a security guy, it’s my job to put a barbed wire fence around the jungle.” VP and Citrix technical fellow Abhishek Chauhan gave a trademark entertaining presentation on the Citrix evolution as a new generation of security provider, demonstrating with humor the deadly serious Citrix focus on security. He demoed NetScaler Secure Web Gateway and, with the new Citrix Analytics that underpins the focus on data-driven intelligent security, showed how Citrix is turning the tables on attackers. “Now we have turned security into a one-sided game that only we can win. And finally, I am smiling,” he said.


Tuesday highlights

His booth was packed, so I hope you were able to meet futurist Jacob Morgan and pick up an autographed copy of his book The Employee Experience Advantage in the Solutions Expo. Jacob’s Meet the Experts session on the experiential organization was also sold out—attendees were very interested to hear why organizations that focus on employee experience crush those that don’t.

The redesigned Citrix Booth Experience was also jammed with attendees swarming the Product Pods for insights into new technology, as well as the Experts Bar and the Operations Center. The highlight of the booth was the Workspace Experience Center: attendees were able to immerse themselves in real-world healthcare, smart office and Red Bull Racing environments to see Citrix solutions demoed live in context.

Looking ahead: Innovation Super Session

Tomorrow, New York Times bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell (What the Dog Saw, Outliers) peers into the future and asks: How can we thrive as humans in world of machine learning? What does the coming age of AI mean for the way we build organizations, manage businesses, and interact with each other? He’s one of the noteworthy speakers in the new Innovation Super Session series. His insights are always thought-provoking and often profound, and I can’t wait. Hope to see you back in West Hall D for this exciting presentation tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Up next: Welcome Reception

I’m on my way to the Welcome Reception. Attendees packed last night’s Navigators Reception, asking great questions (What’s the grand prize in GameOn!—do you know? It’s a full conference pass plus airfare and hotel for Citrix Synergy 2018 in Anaheim!) and meeting new people. Networking is one of the top reasons you come to Synergy, so join me in the Solutions Expo, West Concourse, Level II, West Hall B, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for beverages and hors d’oeuvres and reconnect with old friends. Citrix vice president, Global Product & Technology Strategy and DJ Christian Reilly will be spinning “with a brand new sound rig”—you do not want to miss this.

I’m updating my feed with news as it happens, so be sure to follow me on Twitter: @merisummers.