The finishing line for 2018 is in sight, and I am particularly excited by the success that we have seen at Citrix UK and Ireland in the public sector — a direct result of our heavy investment in this area and the opportunities that we have seized.

The team has doubled in size this year, boosting our depth of expertise in field sales, as well as bringing in sector specialists from the NHS, for example. In addition, the public sector team has broadened its remit to focus on specific geographical areas, to truly grasp regional differences and challenges, and understand where investment is coming from within the area. Alongside this we have created bespoke sector silos covering education, healthcare, central government and local and regional government. This, we believe, is a winning combination that better brings us in line with our partner Microsoft and boosts our credibility within the public sector.

Central to our success has been the rise in demand for cloud-first strategies, and the pace of digital transformation taking place across the UK and Ireland. Austerity continues to bite (at least in the short term), which is driving the need for greater efficiencies and cost savings. Citrix Cloud makes it possible to respond to this, spreading the level of investment accordingly along with the speed of migration. The challenge of legacy applications and systems is also prevalent across much of the public sector, and Citrix consultants are well placed to manage this challenge and reduce any additional barriers to entry.

This year, we have accumulated myriad success stories in the public sector, ranging from large central government departments to universities including University College London (UCL) and Northampton University charities, such as Barnardo’s and The Salvation Army, as well as government agencies like Registers of Scotland and, last but not least, the NHS Foundation Trust Salford Royal. I would like to share with you a couple of customer success stories that we are particularly proud of this year.

We supported Northampton University’s digital transformation and the rollout of Active Blended Learning (ABL) on a new, purpose-built campus which merges face-to-face teaching with the best practices of digital education. The programme utilises Citrix Workspace, so that all software is managed centrally from the university’s data centre. Students use Citrix Workspace app on their own devices to gain secure access to a virtual desktop and all the software applications and information necessary for their course. Rob Palfreman, head of IT services at Northampton University, explains that for students today, “digital interactions and pervasive connectivity are expected to be the default. We want to be the Digital Leader in UK Higher Education, attracting students because of the way we allow them to work and learn. Citrix plays a large part in that goal.”

NHS Foundation Trust Salford Royal has been another great success story. Faced with the need to upgrade its desktop estate from Windows 7, Salford is leveraging the Citrix-Microsoft partnership to deploy Citrix Workspace on Microsoft Azure. The Trust is keen to deliver a Windows desktop, apps and data securely to any endpoint device. Utilising single-sign-on (SSO), it will mean that users within the hospital environment will be able to “tap and go” with their ID card, while clinicians can instantly log into any available terminal and have their desktop session follow them wherever required. Once this is fully in place, the next task will be to find a solution to share data directly with citizens.

And so, as we move closer towards 2019, the public sector remains of utmost importance to us, and investment in the team will continue along with its expansion. Next year we hope to get more proposition focused, and I look forward to telling you more about this in January…

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