Is Citrix's version of the Microsoft MVP program dead? It's been a year with no action!

It's been a full year since Citrix announced that they would create their own version of the Microsoft MVP program called the "CVP" program.

It's been a full year since Citrix announced that they would create their own version of the Microsoft MVP program called the "CVP" program. (See "Citrix Responds, Plans to Create its own MVP Program" from April 22, 2004 and "The Cultural Differences between Citrix and Microsoft" from April 13, 2004.)

So after a year, where is the program? It was to be headed by Citrix's then-CTO Bob Kruger. Kruger invited me to Citrix's Ft. Lauderdale headquarters in May of 2004. However, before we actually met he pushed that meeting back to June and then back to July. On July 1 Kruger was suddenly no longer employed by Citrix. (Whether he left voluntarily or was fired depends on who you talk to.)

Kruger's departure left a void at the top of Citrix which was partially filled by Tony Marzulli. I spoke to Marzulli's team in September about the CVP program and I was assured that Citrix was working on it and that they would announce something by iForum. iForum came and went in November 2004 with no mention of the CVP program.

All was quiet over the winter until Tony Marzulli left Citrix in on April 1, 2005.

So it's now one year later and Citrix doesn't seem to be any closer to making the CVP program a reality then when they announced it. That's really too bad. Compare this to Microsoft who in the past year met with all the MVPs, collected our feedback, and actually improved their product based on our recommendations. (The Windows 2003 Service Pack 1 licensing notification and policy enhancements and SSL-based session initiation encryption where both things that came out of our meetings with them in April 2004.)

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Whats really funny is meeting all the guys at briforum that were supposed to be among the "first" CVPs. And all of them telling the same stories over the last 18-24 months. Nothing coming out of citrix other than "yeah, its coming", "any day", "talk to me in a week", "call me next month for a meeting."

The REALLY funny thing is that I think they would get invaluable input as to what we acctually see out there. I mean just talking to the TS team at MS yesterday we talked for some time at the end of con call about how they have addressed their bottlenecks, at the virtaul address space point, and how 64 bit will take it further, and that their tests with 550 users on a quad, are NOT what 99.9 percent of the users of the TS product really see. Guess what? Liked to hear it, they wanted to talk about what we see, what the perfomance really looks like, etc etc etc.

Citrix might not want to hear about it I guess.

If Citrix does not come with a CVP program, we can create it ourself, no ?

Come on Brian, let's create our own MVP programm, completely independant from any software vendor.
BriForum was just the beginning, let's continue this way and if you look at the BriForum blog, I think our own MVP program would have much more weight than any other

Dozens of excellent system engineers, project managers, developpers... around the world are certainly ready to create our own Server Based Computing MVP program
No commercial ppt, bullshit, NDA

Why not make it real ?
that the group at briforum was top notch, probably the top 25 gys in the world for Citrix were there, I have to say that a vendor program still has SOME advantages for both the vendor and the "mvps" that our own group cant get. The MVPs get direct access to the program teams to bring up complaints, gripes, and problems with software etc. And the teams know it is from PROFESSIONALS. Also the group can get great feedback from these same people that are out implementing, breaking, fixing, hacking the software in all types of environments.

Of course the "mvps" get a little shot inside the kimono, see stuff earlier than others (hopefully), access to deeper "internal" KBs, better access to tools, etc.

I have been doing this (Citrix) for 7 or 8 years now (since WinView and WinFrame), and getting access to ANYONE that has a clue about problems I deal with in Citrix (without going back channel through people I know) is almost impossible. Also I tend to get releases AT THE SAME TIME that my customers do... what is that... The only beta I could ever get before a client was able to, was the first version of XP, and thats because I was teaching other VARs the product. This may sound crazy but, Citrix unlike MS is NOT opening the kimono. They have institutional problems with that in their culture down there. For some reason MS has seen the light and begun to get responsive to the user community and its pro's in the field, recognizing those that push their products, and are their proponents. Citrix wont do that unless you plan on just sending them anything you write or create first, let them approve or disapprove it, then send it back to you for distribution.

Sorry. I just can self myself short like that. If you disagree with my opnion fine. If you think I am technically wrong about something, Fine. Show me. But dont say that I am no good at Citrix because you disagree. Dont tell people within the org to black ball a guy just because they disagree.

I mean why is that Brian one year has the hotest CTX book on the Market and even CCS guys and SE's are pushing it. Then all the sudden he is an untouchable. Dont get me wrong, Brian and I dont agree on everything, and thats OK. We also dont agree on how to handle vendors, and maybe even some technology stuff. But guess what, we can still be buds, swap ideas, and learn from each other even if we disagree on some things. Citrix hasn't figured out that we can provide valuable input, and are willing to. And that if someone disagree's, MAYBE its a good thing.

From MS I get about a con call/presentation about every 4-6 weeks. Updates on this/that, tools before they are relased public, chat sessions with different program managers, a once a year trip there to give feed back and check out the new products before others. And I can easily say that I have influenced more revenue (as a %) of Citrix's bottom line, than I have for MS's.

Ron Oglesby
How can some of you claim that the top 25 guys were there??? I didn't see anybody from the Australia group or the Asia group as a mather of fact. I know who was on Briforum and who wasn't. And I know for sure some of the guys that didn't attend, are sure to be better than some of the guys who did go there. (no flame intended)

I'll give everybody credit, especially Brian for putting it together and for doing it again soon. But don't go around bombing yourselfs to the top notch guys because that's not where you guys are coming from.....

Please read my previous message

"Dozens of excellent system engineers, project managers, developpers... around the world are certainly ready to create our own Server Based Computing MVP program"

Who said this MVP program should only be for guys present at BriForum ?

1 thing is sure : Being a king in SBC is good (anywhere in the world)....but willing to share experience and knowledge with the worldwide community is another....

So come on guys, stop posting comments as anonymous, we need to identify top specialists around the world....

I think anonymous needs to be renamed to 'anonymous coward' ala slashdot.

So where are they? How much are they giving back to the community? How much do they spend time helping people out? I totally agree there are better people out there that are never heard from but that's the point isn't it?

Don't sell anyone short because you think someone is better. That's your opinion and your welcome to it but don't cut everyone else down because of it.
Yeah post a name... in stead of Anon. I guess Rick Mack wasnt from Australia? Or maybe Shane Broomhall? Nope he didnt make the long filght either. Kinda funny that you mention austrailia specifically and say you know who was there, but completely ignore two of what I think the hotest guys in Citrix in Australia or the world. Well Rick and Shane would be surprised to hear that they didnt make the flight or present at Briforum.

And I am sorry you feel it was MY EGO. I sat in a room with a bunch of guys that I thought were the best in the world. I looked around the table and saw:
Doug Brown
Joroen VandeKamp
Brian Madden
Rick Mack
Shane Broomhall
Bernhard Tritsch
Jeff Pitsch
Alex D (I wont try to spell his name)
Tim Mangan
Stefan from Printing Support
Alex Yuschenko (Dr. Conti) from the supprot forums
Tim Mangan

Plus a TON of other guys I am probably failing to mention (sorry)
Now does that mean their AREN'T Hot guys else where? NO. Like I would have love to had seen Steve Greenberg, and Neil Brabaum from the thin lists (two more guys that are solid though maybe not as well known, but give back regularly via the thin list).

But when I walked around and talked to the presentors it was a who's who's in SBC, with numerous PHD's, book authors, software developers, web site moderators, etc. etc. Brian was doing something really cool, bringing them all together. And I think that in creating some form of NON-vendor "mvp" program this could be a great first step and we gotta start with people that are participating. Does that mean that we wouldnt include these other fantastic guys that couldnt make? no.

Personally I just think you are upset you couldnt come (that or a Citrix employee looking to discount what brian and the rest of us did, which would be sad). But that doesnt mean we didnt want you there. And it doesnt mean we think that only people that made it are hot. My point with the "25" number was to get across that we did probablly have a majority of the top 25 guys known to the community. I am sorry if I dont know a guy in Malaysia that is the Citrix god there and would out program and script all of us but is not known ouside of malaysia.... If we knew of him he would be invited to present too.

Get off the self pity, bashing crap. and recognize that the people brian brought together were some of the best. Hell I dont even think I should be sitting in a room with so many PHDs so much talent, and so many unbelievable minds.

BTW, if you want to say something at least leave your name. I am:
Ron Oglesby
"But don't go around bombing yourselfs to the top notch guys because that's not where you guys are coming from..... "

That is 100% correct. The real top 25 are hardcore sbc consultants making 200 to 300$ an hour on consultancy for their boss. They are booked towards customers at 80 to 90% chargable and have no time left for anything else. They are involved in in-house company training/knowledge sharing groups in that small piece of free time they have, making sure they stay up to date.
Feel free to hire one if you can afford it.

Most of the admins out there are on their own. The boss has no budget for training or consultancy, but let's them in charge of setting up or maintaining sometimes complex farms. Testservers are to expensive, and the IT manager comes straight out of a dilbert cartoon, forcing the admin to slam up the latest servicepack 2 days after it is released.
These guys revert to the community to help them out, where the theory book fails on their issues.
Helping these kind of people whenever i can, makes me feel like a 100$, regardless of top x whatever.

My 2 cents.
I don’t tend to get into these arguments but I must admit I’m getting sick and tired of a few people flaming the ones trying to help others. So I will put my two cents in also.

The best in the world is a very hard thing to say so I will say that we do know the people who are trying to give of themselves to help people solve problems and those are the people I consider to be the best. If you live in a cave and are super smart then that is cool but you are not helping anyone. I for one love the people who help me and I for one strive to help others and that makes us better and I believe it makes Citrix better.

I really find it funny that a few people, and I think I know who you are, use so much of your time and effort worrying about people like Brian and the rest of us who are trying to help you! Trying to sell and support Citrix technologies. We are holding a conversation online, in email and for two days we got together to talk about Citrix in a conference attended by people who WANT to learn and you get mad about that? Wow!

I sell a products and I’m going to be releasing more products and I sure would love people to talk about my stuff the way we do about Citrix. I just find it funny and if you want to talk about EGOs… Well, we can do that too. You would not find a more humble group of people than I had the pleasure of dealing with in the Citrix community and at BriForum. We all know that we are not the best but that together we are the best and hence why we meet. Maybe the people that flame us should learn this but you can only do this by checking your ego at the door. Not mine or Ron’s. I’m a normal person, from a normal place with big ideas and big plans to help my fellow man. The flamers are the people who put down and stifle growth and what they are really doing is hurting Citrix as I for one am not interested in playing those games. I’m not scared to say it.

On a MVP stance, I’m now and MVP and it is sick the amount of attention the biggest company in the computer world gives me. I mean, they hold talks with us and the developers, they give us road maps and they call and email us to know if there is anything they can do for us. I’ve been supporting Citrix since WinFrame (’97) and I even worked there for three solid years and I’ve never got the type of attention I get from Microsoft. This being said, I think Citrix would be wise to invest in the industry as we help them. If they wanted us to talk about their other products they help us learn them don’t ignore us. If we are educated then we help more but no matter what we will find out what is going on, we will play with the software and we will write all about it and we will never stop helping someone as that is, in my mind, what makes us the best of the best!

So, those are my two cents and if you have a problem with them then please let me know what you have done? I wrote a 901 page doc, all in my spare time and gave it away for free. What have you done Mr. Flamer? How did your ego grow? I don’t know unless you are Ed I. and if so then I’m sorry. You are the one true God as Ed I is the guy that gave Citrix a vision and gave Citrix the money they have today and Ed I is the one who gave me the life I have today and I bet if you look at yours then you will find that to be true but then you would flame him too.

I can go on if you choose to flame me and please use your real name and don’t think for a second think I don’t know the group you came from.

Thanks for listening.

Yup. Its $225 US an hour minimum for me to walk in the door. BUT, I have learned so much from the community over the years that I still feel that the community, the sites, the user groups, the books, the hacks etc etc are MORE important to long term success with any SBC/Citrix environment than having me help you set up or design anything. If you had a choice, and could only choose one, I would choose the community access over me each time. Of course, I still remain 80% billable and make all those targets (because some people do have the money to spend) but to me, the people at these conferences is whats its all about.

I'm just going to chime in with a quick 2 cents also...

It really comes down to this - being a smart guy and knowing how to pull your own fat out of the fryer is fine. Walk around with a big ego and the "I'm smarter than those guys" attitude. I, for one, met some of the brightest guys at BriForum and every one of them was willing to spend time talking about this stuff. No one had an ego of "Your not part of my click so piss off". And these guys spend their free time in forums like this one helping other, less knowledgable people get through their troubles.

I try to give back to the community whenever possible, and if that is a few posts in the forums, then so be it. I'm certainly not the smartest guy out there, but I'm trying help. Having any knowledge is useless unless you can share it with others without contempt. Posting flaming remarks (anonymously) just shows that you don't get it.
Hey I was there too... : ) Hey Mr. anonymous weasel...You want to see a picture of the smartest and BEST group of citrix Gurus in the world here you go...

This group of chaps is the most unselfish group of people I have ever met. Every one of them wants to share their knowledge to the community. The only thing you are sharing is your ignorance of it Mr. anonymous.

Jim Kenzig

I think we should get get back on topic and don't let this guy spoil the topic...
All you guys are citrix experts, but not all experts have the time (or money) to attend Briforum. So you can't say 'the top' was there.
Why should you even bother for a CVP program when the software supplier doesn't care about it. as Brian said the 2 guys involved in the program left the company maybe beacause of the program...?
hmmm, that was my post. I am sure I was logged on....
>> that the group at briforum was top notch, probably the top 25 gys in the world for Citrix were there

Some top guys had not time sorry ;-)

But I agree, Citrix's strategie is the license business. Also in germany
it seems that they are not much interested in communication with
top-consultants and to learn how to push their products and to build
new features.

We're giving a lot of feedback to citrix, but at the end nothing chages...

Ulrich Stamm
>> I even worked there for three solid years and I’ve never got the type of
>> attention I get from Microsoft

Hy Doug.

THAT's the point and nothing more to write about it.!

Ulrich Stamm (now logged on)
Dr.Conti speaking

You know what Ewout? A lot of Citrix Support Forum guys who will visit PubForum in Dublin in just about 1 Month are willing to meet you! So join us!

I do want to be able to say that best European SBC people were there - and without you this statement would be a lie. Give me a note: