HP, Scotiabank, Microsoft, and SAP Join Mark Templeton for the Morning Keynotes

This year's iForum keynote address kicked off with an eloborate smoke and mirrors (and laser) show. CEO Mark Templeton did not do a Mickey Mouse impression this year, opting instead to immediately highlight Citrix's current full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal and Business Week.

This year's iForum keynote address kicked off with an eloborate smoke and mirrors (and laser) show. CEO Mark Templeton did not do a Mickey Mouse impression this year, opting instead to immediately highlight Citrix's current full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal and Business Week. The bulk of the presentation was around Citrix's new "Access" message and the importance of companies to develop a new access strategy.

Templeton stepped through several case studies. Washington Schools will be supporting 50,000 users with 4 IT staff. Two days after 9/11, 1200 employees of Lehman Brothers had access to their trading software. John Deere built dealership network to over 2000 dealers on MetaFrame technology. The Cleveland Clinic is making medical records securely to docors and patients with Citrix technology. Employees of the UN's World Food Program access SAP via Citrix over a radio network in some remote locations. Lemon Grove schools have implemented LemonLink, allowing 4600 students, parents, administrators to access all of their educational applications from school, library, home, or any Internet connection. The common thread is their "access strategy," which Templeton said is core to both their IT strategy as well as their business strategy.

Next on the agenda was JP Savage, SVP of Systems, Operations, and Technical Services for Scotiabank. He talked about how Scotiabank solved their problems by using about 100 MetaFrame servers to deploy banking applications to 1,000 branches. The core of his message was that Citrix was better than updating desktop computers every few years (which seems like the message that Citrix was trying to deliver in 1998). In fact, Savage even mentioned that they were able to save money by reusing all of their existing Pentium 133s. While this is certainly a big advantage to the technology, it's hard to see how his presentation fits into the "Access" message.

Next, Templeton came back out talked about the critical takeaways. (1. Get a strategy. 2. Implement it) He outlined the immutable laws of access strategy, which was more like an edict that specifies that all applications are available to anyone at anytime. This is course still does not address offline issues. The immutable laws are Guaranteed access, scalability and redundancy, verifiable security, technology continuum, and total observability

Next, William McDermott, CEO and President of SAP gave a presentation that was a complete advertisement for SAP and had nothing to do with Citrix (other than saying most people use Citrix to deploy SAP). He also talked a lot about how Citrix was a strategic partner of SAP, although searching for "Citrix" on sap.com sure doesn't find anything.

McDermott also talked about SAP's portal software called NetWeaver (which was again completely irrelevant and appears to compete with MSAM). He actually said "Isn't the dream to go to a portal in the morning?" just like it was 2001. He described cool on-demand technology, but it sure wasn't Citrix's solution. This was all NetWeaver advertising, and he didn't articulate a single message about how Citrix is actually helping.

Once the SAP ad was over, it was HP's turn. HP has a really good message about utility computing. Unfortunately, that was not the message that Jim Milton, HP's North American VP of Enterprise Systems, was delivering. In fact, all he did was make fun of Dell (which didn't seem appropriate considering they're also a platinum sponsor the the event) and talk about HP's marketshare.

Mark Templeton jumped back in to talk about how Citrix helps control the complexity of an environment. Citrix's value and role is to be the access component of complex environments, replacing dozens of intertwined client-server connections with a single access method.

Having an access strategy must become a core part of the IT strategy, and this message most be delivered to the C-level folks running today's companies.

Bob Kruger spoke next, but I'll cover that in a later blog entry.

Rich Kaplan, Microsoft's VP of Content Development and Delivery Group spoke next. Kaplan runs microsoft.com, which also means that his message was completely irrelevent for a Citrix conference. He showed a Steve Ballmer "Micrsoft loves Citrix" video clip, and then proceded to tell us how important security is to Microsoft and how Windows is cheaper than Solaris.

Templeton came back on stage, and Kaplan told him that "a lot of people ask me, 'Are you guys partners or are you guys competitors?' We are partners, and that's what that award is all about." Kaplan then presented Templeton with a trophy for Citrix's ISV of the year award from Microsoft that was annoced last week.

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