First-Ever Bay Area CUGC
It might come as a surprise to many in the San Francisco Bay Area that this was the first-ever Citrix User Group Community (CUGC) meetup, especially considering we are located in one of the largest concentrations of technology-based firms around the world. But, there is a first for everything and we are excited about future meetups, and garnering the momentum generated from this event. We had close to 40 participants for the inaugural event, ranging from customers and vendors to sponsors and partners, and other attendees who just wanted to learn a bit more about CUGC.
Our venue was The Farmers Union, located in the historic downtown area of San Jose, CA. We met upstairs in a quartered off room, that was cozy enough for people to comfortably and enjoy the opportunity to rub shoulders and share contact information with their peers. We did have one request for a quieter venue, as we were near to the main restaurant and bar areas, but the noise was manageable.
Introductions and Social
The event kicked off with some social time, to give everyone a chance to mingle with familiar faces and get to know the likes of new and old friends. A quick thanks to our sponsors and vendors, ControlUp and Citrix, for sponsoring the venue, food, and libation. Garren Quibelan, one of the Bay Area CUGC leaders (in case you can't spot him, he's the one in the bright blue CUGC shirt standing under the monitor), did a welcome chat to find out what people would like to see and hear about, since this is our first event and we don't have a barometer to measure against previous events.
'Performance Visibility, IT Insights, and End-user Experience'
I think everyone came here to look at deeper insights, so slides were optional. Breno went straight into the environment and walked everyone through the management portal and console. He showed demos on various use-cases with ControlUp's capabilities and native integration with Citrix components. What makes a great monitoring solution is having readily-available data at your disposal and being able to make calculated decisions based on those metrics.
Next up was Citrix, represented by Courtney Morris, Michael Neuberger, Dimitri Petropolis, Ray Anderson, and Chris Donovan. Apologies if I missed any other Citrix representatives. Keeping with the minimal slides theme, the Citrix team delivered short, yet focused, content around the major announcements stemming from the Citrix Synergy Conference back in May, with topics around Experience, Choice, and Security. A couple of hot topics included the end of life for XenApp 6.5 on June 30th and the capabilities and usage of Smart Check.
A deep dive into User Based Search Index Roaming for Outlook quickly ensued and questions followed regarding deployment best practices and technical reference architecture. These types of discussions are in line with what we would like to see from meetups, because, even though not every topic can be covered thoroughly, we can dive deep into the ones our audiences are interested in.
A full copy of the presentation can be downloaded here: Citrix CUGC Presentation
What's Next? - Open Discussion
Dane Young, CTP led the last session on what's next for the Bay Area CUGC. A quick raffle drawing was held for a couple of lucky winners of an Amazon gift card and a speaker system. The audience was asked what they thought of the venue, the content, and what else they would like to include in future CUGC meetups. Notable quotes and suggestions:
Venue - "...It's appropriate, but could be quieter."
Content - "We would like to see more customer testimonials and how they dealt with the challenges in their environments."
Content - "Can we have a debate or bake-off style format for competitive solutions...?"
Content - "How about a panel of participants or experts (SME) to answer questions?"
Content - "Keep slides to a minimum. The length of time for presentations was about right."
For those who would like to attend an upcoming Citrix Synergy Unplugged event in either San Jose or Sacramento, and learn more about the announcements from Citrix Synergy 2018, scan the following QR codes to register for the respective event locations.
Location: San Jose
What a great event!
This was the first-ever Citrix User Group Community meetup in the Bay Area and I know it won't be the last. Just a having a place to interface with my peers was the simplest expectation I could have hoped for and this event did not disappoint. There are many bright and sharp individuals in our Bay Area community and we hope to see everyone again at future events.
Check out this awesome VLOG by ControlUp's Leeza Malachevsky, covering the FIRST Bay Area CUGC on YouTube.
I'd like to again thank all the individuals who contributed to make this event possible: CUGC leaders, sponsors - ControlUp, Vendors - Citrix, and all of the attendees who came out to support our first event.