Citrix launches the Citrix Technology Professional program, their version of the Microsoft MVP

Better late than never, right? It’s been years in the making, but last week Citrix officially launched the “Citrix Technology Professional” (CTP) program.

Better late than never, right? It’s been years in the making, but last week Citrix officially launched the “Citrix Technology Professional” (CTP) program. In doing so, Citrix is formalizing their relationship with several technical people whose names are well known in the community. The purpose of this program is for the Citrix product groups to engage with the CTP members.

The inaugural group of CTP members includes:

Shawn Bass (USA)
Douglas Brown (USA)
Rick Dehlinger (USA)
Jeroen van de Kamp (The Netherlands)
Thomas Koetzing (Germany)
Rick Mack (Australia)
Brian Madden (USA)
Ron Oglesby (USA)
Jeff Pitsch (USA)
Bernhard Tritsch (Germany)
Stefan Vermeulen (The Netherlands)

Of the eleven CTPs, eight of us spent a few days last week at Citrix’s headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale meeting with the product and support groups. (Three CTPs were not able to attend.)

Background

Let’s face it. Citrix doesn’t exactly have a stellar reputation when it comes to openness and engaging with the community. This is something that Ron Oglesby and I wrote about over two years ago after we attended our first Microsoft MVP conference. Frankly we were blown away by how open Microsoft was and by how closed Citrix was. We immediately called for Citrix to create their own MVP program. After several false starts with a program called the “CVP,” Citrix officially killed it before it was ever launched.

Fast forward to our BriForum conference in Washington DC this past April. Having skipped the conference in 2005, Citrix was very keen to be involved in BriForum for 2006. Sumit Dhawan and Bill Caravano both gave presentations, and several other Citrix folks attended to get a pulse on the event and the community.

Not wanting to waste an opportunity, Citrix’s Sumit Dhawan organized a private dinner between the various Citrix employees at the conference and several of the community leaders. In a nutshell, the purpose of the dinner was to open a dialog where Citrix could ask, “What do you, the community, need from us?” In return, we were able to ask the same question of Citrix.

We had a great dinner and hung out for several hours, and everyone agreed that we needed to continue the conversation. We decided to meet in Ft. Lauderdale at some point in the future, and that lead to our meetings last week.

Here’s a shot of the CTPs who attended. From Left to Right they are Rick Mack, Brian Madden, Jeroen van de Kamp, Rick Dehlinger, Ron Oglesby, Jeff Pitsch, Douglas Brown, and Shawn Bass. (Rick D. has posted many more photos of the event to Flickr if you want to check them out.)

The box I’m holding in my hand is a genuine copy of “Citrix Multiuser”—Citrix’s first official shipping product.

It shipped on February 1, 1991. It was a multiuser edition of Microsoft OS/2 v1.21. (This was back when Microsoft and IBM were still working together on OS/2, and Citrix licensed the OS/2 code from Microsoft.) This product was all text-based, and like WinFrame, it was a complete install of OS/2 along with the multi-user extensions.
Check out the Citrix logo in the lower left. Apart from a slight font change, the official Citrix corporate logo hasn’t changed in 15 years. That’s awesome!

We got this box from Brad Pedersen, the architect of Presentation Server. He’s been at the company for 16 years, and his employee number is “7.” He’s a super cool dude and someone that we’ll be talking to a lot more in the future.

I think that everyone agrees that going to Florida was time well spent for the eight CTPs. The real question will be whether this program has legs and continues to move forward, or whether it dies like so many other efforts have. The one saving grace is that this time around we’re working with the right group within Citrix. The people we met with last week were primarily from the Presentation Server product group, i.e. the people who write Presentation Server itself. This means that we can have the best influence on the thinkers who create the products, and we can get access to the “real” information when we have questions that need to be answered.

Moving Forward

Citrix plans on growing the CTP community. This is not something that will explode overnight, and there are not specific requirements for becoming a CTP. In general, Citrix is looking for people who are out in the community helping others on a daily basis; the people who write the books and articles, who speak at conferences, and who post in forums and newsgroups. If you would like to nominate yourself or someone you know to be a CTP, you can send an email to Citrix's Brad Nunn.

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This is excellent news. I can really appreciate that Citrix has finally done something to recognize those who are here supporting and sharing knowledge. Kudos Citrix!!!!! I would also like to mention that people like Jason Conger, Gus Pinto, and Alex Danilychev, all developers that spent tons of hours developing tools to enhance Citrix products and help us on our day-to-day tasks should also be recognized.
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This is radical news, very exciting.  Programs like this are a big "Thank You" for helping others and is well deserved.  Congrats to the core CTP team, my hat is off to you.
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congrats to the CTPs, and well done to Citrix on recognising these guys and the community that they represent.
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Hi Guys,
 
Congratulations with earning this award.
Thanks for the time and effort you're spending in the community.
Keep it going!
 
Ruben
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Brian
 
William Lolli here in Escondido CA--
 
I hope this new acknowledgement from Citrix as to the community's valuable input, contributions, and standing-- to include BriForum-- does not mean that Citrix is looking to influence or taint the honest points of view that we have all come to rely upon.
 
I certainly dont want to see the No Bull seal of approval go away--
 
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This program is for people with big ego's.  Most of you guys reply to peoples questions using the knowledge database. WOW you guys are so great sarcism.
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ORIGINAL: Guest

This program is for people with big ego's.  Most of you guys reply to peoples questions using the knowledge database. WOW you guys are so great sarcism.

 
That is correct. The funny thing is that 90% of the questions is covered with kb referrals.
Most people are so web enabled these day's that the dump their simple questions and issues in the forums/newsgroups.
At some point it even starts getting corny for us to answer them, as they just start to annoy us. At that point we take our notepad files answers that we used about 300 times before, and you will get a very basic reply with a link.
 
So what happens when the troubled admin having a true deep issue, tries his luck at the forums?
He get's that same copy/paste from the notepad file, as we cannot read through his basic problem description, and put him in that same 90% box.
At that point he needs to get annoyed, and start giving some more details so we see he's a serious one. (it happens sometimes)
 
This is when the fun starts (for us at least). True problems forcing us to think about the same issues we may have encountered at customers, we IM some of the other sbc inbreeds who could be more familiar on that specific part, an it could take days of posting to get any closer.
In the MS newsgroups if we come to a halt due to lack of knowledge, we tip off the MS product manager himself to just have a look at this one. (this is not (yet) setup for the Citrix forums)
 
Unfortunately we loose quite some peope during these days, as they find the answer themselves in some other location.
Updating their posts to day they have is fixed, is only done by a few %.
 
So basicly it's a pretty ungratefull hobby, as you have to keep in mind that we do this next to our days job. So maybe some day we have 10 min to help out, and some others we can spend a few hours. Most of us running support websites hardly get any "thumbs up" email. It's usually just dumping questions and 3mb screendumps of their issues.
 
The way i see it such recognition is indeed well for the ego, i do not disagree. But the effort put into this community, versus having your name on the vendors site for being an OK guy, does not even come close.
 
It's the comments given by the people on this article that gives me that extra boost to get back in.   
 
p.s. i think "Anonymous Visitors" have a very small penis ;-)
 
Stefan
http://www.printingsupport.com
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Nice one Stefan.
 
What most people don't realise is that guys like Stefan, Thomas Koetzing, Dr Conti, Sam Jacobs, Stuart Souter and many others, have been contributing to the Citrix forums since the very early days (the old 'Notes' style Forum...yeauch) when there was comparitively little knowledge colleteral out there from Citrix to support the 'real world' type of problems that customers were experiencing.
 
These are the people who took the time to help others, in their own time,  for no personal reward...well now they get their reward....and Mr Anonymous don't like it one bit
 
These guys 'seeded' the Citrix knowledgebase with information that wasn't available elsewhere and their original forum posts probably still answer 95% of the questions asked today by people who either don't know how to search or are just plain lazy.
 
I agree with Stefan, 'anonymous' posters have very small penis's, I speak from personal experience
 
My congratulation to the first CTP's, a much deserved accolade, just ignore the numbskulls and carry on the good work.
 
Help4Ctx
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1.  If the answer is in the Citrix KB, why shouldn't someone reference the URL in their answer.  For those of us who've spent years answering thousands of questions in SBC newsgroups, anything that makes answering the same question for the 100th time easier is fair game.

2.  Just because you get an award doesn't mean you need to be a biased salesperson for a company.  When I don't like part of terminal server, I tell people why, and what products I do like that do the job to my satisfaction. 

3.  Hopefully Citrix will listen to this group of experts when planning and designing new features, and keep an open line of communication with them for any issue they wish to discuss.

4.  As for the ego remark.... there's a difference between liking the recognition for hard work and expecting recognition.  In a world where everyone has certifications, these kind of awards do give you instant credibility with people that otherwise wouldn't know who you are. 

5.  This post really didn't dignify a response.

ORIGINAL: Guest

This program is for people with big ego's.  Most of you guys reply to peoples questions using the knowledge database. WOW you guys are so great sarcism.
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ORIGINAL: Patrick Rouse

5.  This post really didn't dignify a response.

ORIGINAL: Guest

This program is for people with big ego's.  Most of you guys reply to peoples questions using the knowledge database. WOW you guys are so great sarcism.



If the quote did not dignify a response why did you respond?. Was it to dignify your big ego?. In regards to whether I have a small penis the answer is no. I dont stoop that low on insults about the size of you guys penis as the thoughts would make me sick.  I have met most of you guys on more than a few occasions and most of you are cool guys but I still think this Citrix Program is a self glorification program.

The reason for staying hush on my identity is to protect my job and my ip address is double proxied as well Brian and yes Brian and yes Jeff and yes Stefan you guys know me.

This program should be only available to companies that cough up big cash for Citrix TRM's. The reason been at the end of the day we the companies that pay for TRM's keep Citrix going with the money for licenses. We are the companies that citrix shouldbe tailoring there product for. I am not saying exclude the small company maybe one or 2 of you guys could represnt the smaller guys.

What is your guys thoughts on that?
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How does an employee of company that owns 10000 licenses have better ideas than a consultant that serves 100 clients with 10000 total licenses.  I agree that Citrix should listen to companies that have invested a large amount of $$$, but this kind of award has nothing to do whith what you purchase, but rather with how you serve the server based computing community, and if Citrix thinks you bring something to the discussion table.
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ORIGINAL: Guest
The reason for staying hush on my identity is to protect my job and my ip address is double proxied as well Brian and yes Brian and yes Jeff and yes Stefan you guys know me.

This program should be only available to companies that cough up big cash for Citrix TRM's. The reason been at the end of the day we the companies that pay for TRM's keep Citrix going with the money for licenses. We are the companies that citrix shouldbe tailoring there product for. I am not saying exclude the small company maybe one or 2 of you guys could represnt the smaller guys.

 
I think you're not getting the concept of such a program, which i hope will have similarities to MS mvp's program.
This is not the technical elite we're talking about here. The true elite are the consultants who live this technology and use their free time to get even better at. They have no time or do not feel the need to share thoughts or help out where needed. The type of people that has this strange urge of answering forum and newsgroup postings is a different breed.
The way i see it, the program has nothing to do with skils, but with community spirit.
 
Most people who need to use forums and newsgroups cannot afford support contracts or caugh up a 400$ support call.
These people benefit from that slow and not 100% accurate but free system 
 
If you're a big customer, you are probably into the Preferred Customer Support program and just need to pick up the phone to get a fast response from a citrix engineer who probably dealt with your issue before. If needed they escalate this inside Citrix to get it fixed. 2 days before iforum those Preferred Customer Support customers get to hang out with the Citrix technical elite at cseit (http://support.citrix.com/cseit/) These sessions kick mayor ass and give you the best and the lastest of what's out there.
 
Now you're telling me that you prefer free forum support, dragging issues over days and getting copy/paste answers during the first few? wow.   
  
Stefan
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Brian, the original name for Citrix was "Citrus" so the logo has changed.  Just thought you would want to know and change your article accordingly.
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This note is from Sumit Dhawan, whom Brian has quoted in his original message. I lead the Product Management team for Citrix Presentation Server, and am responsible for product strategy and roadmap for CPS.

First of all, I want to thank all the CTPs who attended the event at Citrix. All of us at Citrix got extremely valuable feedback from this group, who represented and provided feedback from several of our customers and users.

As Brian said, better late than never. Citrix made a couple of attempts in defining a program in the past - but we did not have the right group with the right objectives in defining the programs. We were trying to market our products to this group, rather than have technology and architectural discussions with them. Now, we understand the objectives from both parties better; and we were able to formulate an appropriate agenda with the group that benefited both parties. Over almost two full days, we were able to have an open discussion on product roadmap, product strategy, future of IT architectures, emerging technologies, etc. We were able to bring in folks like Brad Pedersen (who is the oldest employee in Citrix and has developed a large part of the ICA protocol). The event sparked several discussions with significant input provided by the CTPs. I have to say that this is the most passion about Citrix and related technologies I have ever seen from a group of folks outside of Citrix, including our own most loyal (or dissatisfied :)) customers. Hats off to these guys!

Citrix's objective with CTP is not to influence their independent and open thinking about Citrix and other technologies. (If you know these guys, you would probably believe that yourself).

So, where does Citrix go from here? We certainly got a lot of valuable input out of the two days of meeting and I think we need to keep this communication open. We are going to use this group for our feature design councils, guidance on product roadmap, product strategy evaluation, etc. We are planning to hold another meeting with this charter group in October timeframe. To be honest, I cant say that Citrix has nailed down this program and it is well defined. But, I can certainly say that it is off to a good start (this time around)!
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GO STEFAN!
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I'd like to nominate "Guest" and "An Anonymous Visitor" who have helped me lots of times in the past with comments on this site and the forum.
 
:)
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Whats about the biggest german community? [link=http:  
Cu,
Michael
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How do you think I feel? I didn't even hear about this happening and I run the largest discussion list on the web for them....and have been
doing it for longer than any of these guys have been out there.... I've also been in the voice of the customer program for 6 years.
 
Jim Kenzig
http://www.thinhelp.com
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ORIGINAL: Guest

This program is for people with big ego's.  Most of you guys reply to peoples questions using the knowledge database. WOW you guys are so great sarcism.

 
someone is a jealous jamie  with a small winkie
 
keep up all the good work brian, jeff, shawn etc and congrats on the CTP
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the program sounds cool would like a chance to become a CTP one day but only just started learning citrix recently. sorry for my poor spelling.I dont know why some people have negative feedback.


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