Citrix Synergy 2019 live blog!

Citrix Synergy is taking place this week in Atlanta, Georgia. Follow along to hear the latest news.

Hello and welcome to our Citrix Synergy 2019 live blog!

The keynote is over now—read below to see what happened.

8:45: Good morning! We're seated, plugged in, and ready to go!

9:03: Just about to start.

9:07: It's starting off with a montage about how awesome the future is, talking. I guess they need to set the mood.

Now David Henshall is on stage, welcoming the audience.

9:09: David's first big point is that everything they announced on stage last year actually got delivered. From there, he's stepping back to talk about the context of how many people are connected these days, how much data is being product, ML is here, quantum is coming. All this will affect business models, etc, etc. All this requires enterprises, tools, and people to one more flexible.

9:16: David is talking about talent shortages, recruiting, and the need for skilled workers. This is part of Citrix's plans to up-level their customer relationships, so that they can go after more general purpose users and be more strategic (i.e. not just the virtual desktop vendor). Read back to my interview with Tim Minahan for more about this.

9:20: David is getting more specific now, talking about the difference between consumer tech experiences and enterprise user experiences. We've heard this before—back when we talked about consumerization a lot and had a whole website devoted to it—but it's still true and relevant today. We can still work on this much more.

9:24: Citrix: “We believe that there’s a better way.”

9:27: David: You've trusted Citrix with your most important workloads (desktop virtualization), but now we're going to talk about all employees and applications.

The big question to me, is that will Citrix partners be onboard with getting to all those other (non-desktop virt) use cases?

9:30: It's (video) demo time. First we see how annoying it is to jump through all your SaaS apps. This is clearly setting us up for a Sapho demo.

9:35: Last year we saw the Workspace app really bring in SaaS apps for the first time. Now they're bringing in the Sapho acquisition, and it's called the "Citrix Workspace intelligent experience." (Cheers from the audience.) We’re seeing a demo of how all this can make the workflows from the previous demo easier. (Applause.) "Our internal goal is to give people back one day a week." This will take a while to integrate.

9:38: Now CBS is on stage, they were one of Sapho’s big customers. The co-founder of Sapho, Fouad ElNaggar, came from CBS Interactive.

9:42: Next up is PJ Hough to talk products. He’s talking about how we’re getting used to notifications, recommendations, etc. He’s characterizing Citrix Intelligent Workspace as a revolution. So in case there was any doubt, they’re all in on Sapho.

9:51: PJ is giving a tour of the desktop app, and apparently it's going to have a built-in assistant, too. Next, we get a tour of the mobile app. The assistant can do natural language processing, integrate with whatever apps you’ve plugged in to Sapho, etc. Sapho has about a dozen pre-built connections.

9:57: They're also going to do a micro-app builder, with a low/no-code interface.

10:01: Citrix Workspace will now have "local application support." Using Citrix Endpoint Management, you'll be able to deliver local apps. So was that just 30 seconds on their endpoint strategy?

10:02: Next new feature announcement: Citrix Analytics for Performance. It's for measuring end user experience, login times, etc, will include troubleshooting tools. Works for both on-premises and Citrix Cloud, and covers infrastructure, too.

10:05: Brad Anderson is next up, joining PJ, and we’re getting a pre-recorded video from Satya. Brad is starting the introduction with the latest Microsoft 365 and Azure stats, and now they’re going to go through all the integrations.

First up, they're talking about Citrix Managed Desktops on Azure. Back at Ignite, we heard that this would be built on WVD, but recently there’s been no mention of this. (Of course Citrix will still support WVD, which I’m sure they’ll get to next.) (They did.) Citrix will support WVD as a new type of deployment you can manage from Citrix.

Citrix says that VMware Horizon Blast Extreme costs up to 89% more to run on Azure than HDX. (With default, non-optimized settings, so take it with a grain of salt.)

Next up is Citrix SD-WAN on Azure. It will support Citrix Managed Desktops and Citrix with WVD.

And now Intune. Citrix will support Intune's device compliance APIs. Citrix Endpoint Management (Brad called it XenMobile) will be able to deliver device compliance data into Azure AD for conditional access policies.

10:23: That wraps the Microsoft segment. Calvin Hsu is up next. He’s going to talk security. Calvin says that employees will want everything to show up in the workspace. They'll want more micro apps, too.

He's describing how Citrix will have a security overview over devices, apps, users, etc. and be able to enforce policies in the Workspace App. These policies are old hat for virtual desktops, but with the browser in Workspace, you can apply them to SaaS and web apps, too. I actually really love this concept, and have for years. (Shout out to Project Skynet!) He’s recapping what they introduced last year, which is great, because I’m hoping that the Citrix community gets more excited about it.

10:33: This year, they’re bring it on-premises, announcing Access Control Service for hybrid deployments.

Plus there are two new features: anti-keylogging and screen capture protection.

This is cool. A keylogger on the device can just see random text, a screenshot just gets a blank image. How do they do this? Is there something running on the device? Is it compatible with all devices? We’ll have to take a look. Lastly, Calvin is reminding us that this works on all content (virtual apps, SaaS, files, workflow cards) in the Workspace app.

Next, they’re announcing Citrix Analytics partner integrations. There’s Microsoft security graph (which was public already), Splunk, and Ping Identity.

This whole Citrix Analytics message should make a lot more sense to more people in 2019 than when it was announced in 2017—this concept is just a lot more common now.

Citrix Analytics will be coming to Europe and APAC, too.

10:42: Time for another customer segment, with Partners Healthcare.

10:48: That wraps Calvin’s segment, David is back up. He’s talking about choice. This is the Google Cloud segment. Rob Enslin, president of Google Cloud, is joining David on stage.

10:53: There are a couple of new integrations. First, MCS for GCP. More here. Identity support; support for notifications in the Sapho stuff, too.

10:55: PJ is back to talk more about the Google integration. There’s also support for doing Citrix ADC in a highly-available way in GCP.

They’re also announcing support for Okta. So that’s Microsoft Azure AD, Okta, Ping, and Google overall.

Next announcement: they’ll support Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops on VMware Cloud.

11:03: We’re on to Citrix ADC now. PJ is outlining that there are a lot of options here, and good support for hybrid and multi-cloud.

11:05: PJ: We’ll unify all your other apps, we’re about choice.

11:07: Feels like we’re wrapping up now, with a similar segment talking about the future.

David is on for one last recap. Everything they talked about is at least in the hands of beta customers, and will be GA throughout the year.

And now we’re actually done. See you out there on the show floor!

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