As the dust is finally settling after our very busy and interesting week in downtown Atlanta at Citrix Synergy, we wanted to share some high-level takeaways from the event. While we’d love to talk about our obsession with the electric scooter rentals scattered about downtown, we’ll do our best to keep the focus on our takeaways from the interactions we had at our dedicated CloudReady stand inside the larger Google Chrome Enterprise booth.
Throughout the event, we had the opportunity to talk with hundreds of attendees, partners, vendors, customers and everybody in between about CloudReady’s value in converting organizations’ existing hardware to Chrome OS, and also to listen to many presentations made by Citrix leadership. Our conversations ranged from discussing all sorts of Citrix, VDI, and endpoint configurations, to sharing the news about the launch of our new Chrome Experts community as a public resource for people to come and ask about all things Chrome.
CloudReady’s booth inside Google’s Chrome Enterprise booth.
To commemorate the experience, here are some of the highlights we took back to the Neverware headquarters at crazy old 27th Street in New York City:
Citrix is truly focused on “Delivering the Future of Work.”
Leading up to the event, Citrix’s Chief Marketing Officer, Tim Minihan, shared a post where he wrote, “Increasingly, competitiveness is being determined by how well companies can harness technology to innovate faster and drive new levels of employee engagement and productivity that improve the customer experience and business results.” This was evident throughout all of the keynote announcements and a focus within a lot of the breakout sessions.
At Neverware, we believe that the architecture of the Chromium operating system, combined with legacy Windows apps delivered by Citrix, accomplishes exactly that. With CloudReady and Chrome Enterprise Management, organizations can spend much less time on securing, patching, and managing their endpoints, and more on driving innovation, ultimately improving business results.
3 underlying themes: User experience, security and choice.
As a Citrix Ready verified partner, we had the opportunity to attend the Citrix Ready Summit on the day prior to the start of Synergy and hear first hand about the future roadmap of Citrix Workspace. During this event we listened to the Citrix leadership team, from many different verticals, speak on a number of topics. It was clear that there was an explicit focus revolving around each of the following three themes throughout each presentation:
Awareness of what it means to provide a better user experience where the user is less distracted and has all the tools & information consolidated into one pane of glass.
Security has become paramount in the enterprise workplace.
Users want freedom to choose where and what device they work from.
The intelligent cloud workspace has finally arrived in the new Citrix Workspace.
The era of managing multiple services and devices, and updating and patching with different types of inconsistent tooling, is finally coming to a close. Innovative organizations are implementing a single point of governance to manage their entire organization that can be accessed from anywhere, from any device, and retains all of the appropriate preferences.
Additionally, the benefits of cloud workspaces to improve the employee experience, resource optimization, and overall security. However, the biggest cost savings are found in the reduction of time spent monitoring and managing the parameters and updates for every device in the company’s network.
Google and Citrix Partnership
While we believe the Citrix keynote speech here provides the best overview of this topic, we’d like to point out what we view as the most impactful two elements of the ever-increasing partnership between Citrix and Google:
Citrix Machine Creation Services (MCS) is now available on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Organizations will be able to seamlessly scale their Citrix desktop workloads from their existing on-premises deployments directly into Google Cloud.
Google is now an official identity provider for Citrix Workspace. This means that this integration will provide you with a more unified, secure, and seamless authentication experience for G Suite and Workspace.
The announcement of these two features alone elevates Google’s effort to a higher standard alongside the other cloud platforms in the Citrix ecosystem.
We (Google + Neverware) need to continue the push of educating the enterprise community on the value and capability of the Chrome ecosystem and applicable use cases.
Throughout the hundreds of conversations we had with users, customers and partners, we realized that awareness of the enterprise-grade features of CloudReady and Chrome OS, and the available integrations with Citrix, hadn’t yet permeated the enterprise community.
We shared a number of use cases where IT administrators walked away with some great ideas on how to address a pain point, all while improving security and manageability with CloudReady/Chrome OS. A couple of quick highlights of some of these use cases that were found to garner the most engagement and “I wish I knew about this sooner” reactions:
The ultimate mobile thin client: We spoke frequently about the use case where CloudReady/Chrome OS customers can run their devices in Kiosk mode, giving users the ability to only log in via the Citrix Workspace app, and launch their Virtual Desktops and Apps entitlements. Taking it one step further, Citrix released a configuration called Beacons that can be managed centrally via a single policy deployed from the Google Admin console, and which allows users to roam seamlessly from the physical office to remote work areas (e.g., coffee shops, hotels, airports), and automatically receive either the internal storefront URL or more secure, externally facing access gateway URL.
A secure thin client now, a full robust desktop OS later: The idea that both CloudReady and Chrome OS can offer the full functionality of a thin client device with the purpose of connecting into a fully hosted Windows desktop; AND then transition at the same pace that your workforce transitions to a more web-based way of working of the future, all WITHOUT compromising on security or manageability of these endpoints. Additionally, we found that some folks were incredibly intrigued by the fact that it’s just a simple flip of a switch to turn an endpoint acting as a thin client into this fully functioning, browser-based OS.
Synergy was a fantastic event to interact with many of the great minds within the enterprise community, all under a single roof. We walked away with a lot of knowledge on how Citrix sees the future of its Workspace computing platform and just how well this aligns with a secure, managed, and cloud-focused endpoint, like CloudReady and Chrome OS.
Feel free to comment with your thoughts below!