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May 11, 2016

Q&A: An Exclusive Inside Look from Citrix at What to Expect at #CitrixSynergy 2016

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It's hard to believe that in two weeks, 5,000+ fellow Citrix users will be descending upon the city of Las Vegas and taking over the Sands Expo thanks toCitrix Synergy 2016.

The fun of Synergy kicks off on May 22nd this year with the official kickoff happening May 24th and continuing through May 26th (although this is Las Vegas, so I have to think there will be quite a few people who extend their trip on either side, just don't tell their bosses).

Citrix has gone through its fair share of changes over the last 12 months.  So, what do they have planned for this year's event?  How do they top the previous event?  And what kind of new company and technology information should we expect to learn about at Synergy? 

To find out more ahead of the show, I spoke with Tim Minahan, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Citrix. 

[ Watch live coverage from VMblog during Citrix Synergy 2016 on the Events page | Before you leave, read VMblog's Citrix Synergy 2016 Survival Guide ] 

VMblog:  What are some of the industry trends we can expect to hear more about this year at Synergy 2016?

Tim Minahan:  The CIO has a big job in today's increasingly digital world. 

A convergence of cloud, mobile and big data is powering new disruptive business models and transforming how we work and live. From healthcare to financial services to government, business is more and more digital. This trend has the power to connect people, organizations, and devices to engage in new ways, power more intelligent processes, and rethink how business gets done. 

In fact, IDC predicts that two thirds of the CEOs of Global 2000 Enterprises will have Digital Transformation at the center of their corporate strategy by the end of 2017.  And, at least half of IT spend will be cloud-based, reaching 60 percent of all IT infrastructure, and 60-70 percent of all software, services and technology spending by 2020. (Source: IDC FutureScape Worldwide IT Industry Predictions, November 2015)

Against this backdrop, our customers are entrusted to guide and safeguard their company's digital aspirations by providing a secure and reliable infrastructure that can scale to meet new opportunities, adapt quickly to new innovations, and empower employees to access the data and apps they need to be productive anywhere from any device.

That's why this year's Synergy is all about powering and securing Digital Business Transformation.

We're bringing together industry experts in application delivery, user experience, security, networking management, virtualization, file-sync and cloud services. Collectively, our goal is to arm IT leaders with the tools and confidence that will inspire them to say YES to workforce mobility, security and compliance, BYOD, workplace redesign, hybrid cloud infrastructure, IoT -and whatever comes next.

VMblog:  What should we expect to hear during the keynote from your new President and CEO, Kirill Tatarinov?

Minahan:  At Synergy, our customers, partners, influencers, and the entire market will be looking for us to define our vision for the digital future. They also expect us to articulate our strategy and show how our innovation roadmap will help them innovate, drive efficiencies, and secure their infrastructure. Kirill will do just that in the opening keynote. He will also be joined by some marquee customers in finance, healthcare, and the public sector who will share real-world stories of how they're leveraging Citrix to drive digital transformation in their own companies.

VMblog:  What are you most excited about in preparing for this year's event? 

Minahan:  At Citrix, we believe that nothing illustrates our vision and validates the value of our solutions better than our customers. That's why customers will be center stage at Citrix Synergy 2016.

From the General Session Keynotes to more than 100 training and breakout sessions, over 80 IT and business leaders will provide first-hand insights into their strategies and tactics for using Citrix virtualization, networking and file-sharing technology to drive innovation, simplify IT, and solve real-world problems by saying yes to digital business.

On the main stage, customers like Liberty Mutual, New York Presbyterian Health, UBS and others will join members of our leadership team to share inspirational stories of workplace transformation and business model innovation.

We will also showcase three exceptional Citrix Innovation Award finalists:

  • Arca Continental, the third largest Coca-Cola bottler in the world;
  • Action for Children, a charitable organization serving children and communities across the UK; and
  • Baloise Group, thelargest Swiss all-industry insurance service provider 

Starting on May 16, 2016, anyone - even if they can't attend Synergy in person - will have an opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes look at each story on video here and cast their vote for the company they deem most deserving of this prestigious award.  Finalists will be recognized during the General Session at Synergy on Wednesday, May 25, where this year's winner will be announced. 

With 5,000 attendees expected to join us live in Vegas this year (and an equal number expected to watch via the Web), registrations are ahead of schedule so we're encouraging folks register now

VMblog:  Can you highlight the key benefits of Synergy for attendees?  And, do you have any tips for "making the case" with management for attending this year?

Minahan:  Citrix Synergy is the premier industry conference on digital business. Citrix customers, partners and industry influencers from around the world will come together at Synergy to share strategic insights, deliver business and technical training, and network with their peers.  

Attendees can look forward to an event packed with latest innovations in secure app delivery, mobility, networking, and file-sharing. They will also learn how Citrix can help them embrace new IT strategies - like Cloud and IoT - and entirely new functional and vertical solutions. 

This year, we're debuting a conference within Synergy built exclusively for networking professionals, called NetScaler Connect. This event provides a comprehensive day-and-a-half of customized sessions on key networking topics, like secure networking, network optimization, SD-WAN, dev ops, containerization, and more. It will include 25 networking tech sessions from industry experts plus two super sessions featuring networking practitioners. 

As usual, we have a full agenda of business and technical breakout sessions, instructor-led and self-paced learning labs and a certification center for on-site exams for the entire Citrix portfolio. And the expanded Solutions Expo provides hands-on access to products and services from Citrix and our partners.  A variety of special Programs, including Birds of a Feather, lunch table tech chats and Match.Geek,offer extensive networking and the opportunity to share challenges and best practices with industry peers and colleagues. 

For those needing help in securing their bosses' approval to attend Citrix Synergy 2016, we have a Justify your Trip tool, which generates a customized PDF that can be shared with others to outline the compelling benefits of attending, along with pertinent sessions/activities that uniquely address the needs of their business.   

VMblog:  I've always found Synergy to provide its attendees with a lot of fun (beyond the learning).  What do you have planned this year in Las Vegas?

Minahan:  Throughout the conference we have a host of great networking opportunities for our customers, prospects and partners - not the least of which is our Final Night Party. On Thursday evening, we're hosting a street party in vintage downtown Las Vegas, capping off the evening with a performance by Grammy-nominated American rock band, Fall Out Boy.  

VMblog:  If someone can't make it to Synergy this year, is there anything being made available online that would allow them to follow along or participate remotely? 

Minahan:  We're live streaming the entire event from Las Vegas - check out our SynergyTV Watch Live Schedule for details.


A special thank you to Tim Minahan, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Citrix, for taking time out to speak to VMblog about the upcoming Citrix Synergy 2016 event.

 Tim Minahan

Last modified on May 13, 2016
David Marshall

David Marshall has been involved in the technology industry for over 19 years, and he's been working with virtualization software since 1999. He was able to become an industry expert in virtualization by becoming a pioneer in that field - one of the few people in the industry allowed to work with Alpha stage server virtualization software from industry leaders: VMware (ESX Server), Connectix and Microsoft (Virtual Server).

Through the years, he has invented, marketed and helped launch a number of successful virtualization software companies and products. David holds a BS degree in Finance, an Information Technology Certification, and a number of vendor certifications from Microsoft, CompTia and others. He's also co-authored two published books: "VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center" and "Advanced Server Virtualization: VMware and Microsoft Platforms in the Virtual Data Center" and acted as technical editor for two popular Virtualization "For Dummies" books. With his remaining spare time, David founded and operates one of the oldest independent virtualization news blogs, VMblog.com. And co-founded CloudCow.com, a publication dedicated to Cloud Computing. Starting in 2009 and continuing all the way to 2016, David has been honored with the vExpert distinction by VMware for his virtualization evangelism.

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