Surprise special guest Sonequa Martin-Green of Star Trek: Discovery and The Walking Dead fame said it best: “The future starts right now.” And I’m excited to tell you that it’s a beautiful place — one that makes your life so much easier in so many ways.

Attendees of Citrix Synergy 2019’s Opening Keynote got the full scoop in a powerful two-hour presentation by Citrix executives and customers, who showed us how the new intelligent features of Citrix Workspace will enable organizations to do even more and work even better.

“Businesses that can seamlessly shift their people and digital resources across workflows to capitalize on market conditions, that can contextually put the right data at its people’s fingertips, and can harness technology to empower their people to increase the value they provide, improve their skills and educate them are the companies that are going to win,” explained David Henshall, president and CEO at Citrix, before demonstrating how all of that is possible — right here, right now.

I’ll get into the specifics, but first, consider this: a whopping 85 percent of employees are disengaged at work, according to a recent Gallup study, which translates into $7 trillion of lost output. Given that employees are a company’s largest expense, and therefore its most valuable asset, it’s essential that they have the tools and the information necessary to do their best work. By drawing on consumer-like experience and infusing machine learning, AI, and simplified workflows into Citrix Workspace, Citrix is empowering companies to completely transform the employee experience in a way that enables their people to work smarter, more efficiently, and more productively.

“We know the outcomes you need for your business: incredible employee experience, integrated security, and the choice and flexibility to put workloads where you want them. For Citrix, these outcomes aren’t an either-or proposition. We’re committed to delivering you all three,” he said. “And how we do that is by putting people first.”

What until this point may have taken an employee 20 minutes to accomplish with traditional apps, she can now complete in a mere 30 seconds, eliminating the need to search for the information she requires and effectively giving her a full day back for every week she works. These benefits extend to IT as well, enabling you and your teams to spend less time on maintenance and devote more energy to the innovation that drives business forward.

“The digital revolution that occurred on mobile, it really hasn’t come to the desktop. Until today. Welcome to the revolution.” Citrix executive VP and chief product officer PJ Hough was next on-stage to demonstrate the centerpiece of the workspace — a personalized, customized, prioritized feed — with actionable, micro-transactions from within the activity feed.

Additional features include:

  • Out-of-the-box micro-apps for the most widely used apps and common tasks
  • A micro-app builder to extend the user experience within your organization using the apps that make the most sense to you
  • Local application support

PJ also introduced Citrix Analytics for Performance, a brand new set of services built on top of our analytics platform that give IT greater insight and a direct measure of the experience it’s providing for individual users so that deployment performance can be viewed, understood, and improved over time.

The Opening Keynote also featured a guest appearance by Brad Anderson, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Enterprise Experiences & Management Experiences & Devices Group, for an in-depth discussion of even deeper Citrix collaboration and integration, including Citrix Managed Desktop Services exclusively for Azure, HDX Optimization for Microsoft Teams, 365 optimization with Citrix SD-WAN, and Citrix support for Intune Device Compliance APIs.

Citrix vice president of product marketing Calvin Hsu showed how the frictionless user experience of Citrix Workspace makes it simpler to create security policies that function at a workspace level. He introduced  Access Control Service for hybrid deployments as well as expanded security capabilities including anti-keystroke logging and screen capture prevention. He welcomed Herb Harrison, director of enterprise delivery services at Partners Healthcare, to explain how intelligent Citrix Workspace capabilities give providers the consistent experience they crave, regardless of whether they’re inside or outside of the Partners Healthcare network, and regardless of where they’re working or from which device.

The conversation wouldn’t be complete without mentioning our partnership with Google Cloud. Robert Enslin, president of Google Cloud, came on stage to talk about G Suite Integration, Citrix ADC High Availability for Google Cloud, and Google Identity along with Machine Creation Services for Google Cloud, which will be rolled out to everyone by Q3 of this year.

Finally, recognizing that customers have made significant investments in a variety of technology and apps, Citrix also introduced Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops for VMWare Cloud and Citrix ADC BLX.

“Our perspective is you shouldn’t be limited in choice of the ecosystem you use – we’re that platform that unifies all those platforms and systems and brings them together so you can offer great experience to users no matter which you use,” PJ said. “That’s the promise Citrix makes about delivering the future of work.”

Note: if you missed the Opening Keynote, watch it on demand on Citrix Synergy TV when the conference is over.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the technology behind the exciting announcements made during the Opening Keynote in the Citrix Experience Center, where you can watch more in-depth demos, get your questions answered, and consult with experts. The Solutions Expo and Citrix Experience Center are open this evening from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. during the Welcome Reception, and will be accessible tomorrow from noon until 3:00 p.m. ET, and again on Thursday from noon until 5:30 p.m. ET.

What’s Next?

The excitement continues tomorrow, and you won’t want to miss these events:

  • Madeleine Albright’s Super Session: The first female U.S. Secretary of State is taking over the Super Session stage tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. ET. Join us to hear her very sharp and clear-sighted views on the urgent issues facing the world’s democracies and the impact that technology can have on global security.
  • Best of Citrix Synergy 2019 Awards: Independent media partner TechTarget has been busy reviewing the products on display in the Solutions Expo and will announce their picks for the most outstanding products in four categories, plus Best in Show, at an award ceremony held tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. ET in Synergy Park.
  • The 3rd annual Synergy Battle Bots competition: Tomorrow’s also the big day for local high school students who have been eagerly planning to build their very own robots to compete in this year’s Synergy Battle Bots competition—and they need your help! So let your inner kid come play! Head over to the Simply Serve @ Synergy area of Synergy Park tomorrow to volunteer and help these teens build, code, test and battle their bots.

Also be sure to check out the Social Hub and Community Hub in Synergy Park to create your personalized Citrix MiniMe and get started on your Synergy MiniMe journey, if you haven’t already. You can also find out how to win cool prizes by doing what you’re already doing — tweeting and Instagramming! Plus, you can review the GameOn! leaderboard to see where you stand. Be sure to download the Synergy Mobile app to get in on the GameOn! fun.

Plus, don’t forget to follow ‪#citrixsynergy on Twitter to keep up with the latest and to use ‪#citrixsynergy every time you post about the event — just like these folks did!

I’m off now to catch up with old friends, and probably meet some new ones, at this evening’s Welcome Reception in the Solutions Expo — hope to see you there! Thanks for an amazing first day, and I can’t wait to catch up with you again tomorrow. Follow me on Twitter at @merisummers for the latest updates.