What Citrix technologies are most important to your work?
I work with most frequently with XenDesktop/XenApp, MCS, Profile Management, Receiver, and NetScaler.
What are the biggest tech challenges in your work environment, and what Citrix solutions are you looking at?
One of the biggest challenges I’ve been dealing with is Windows 10–the changes between versions, and how to deal with it in a non-persistent desktop environment. Things like login speed, roaming the start menu and O365. Currently, I’ve been doing things the old-fashioned way with redirected folders and Citrix Profile Management. I plan on spending some time getting to know WEM and whether this is a better fit for my customers.
Happy 2018! What general tech or Citrix innovations are you hoping to see this year?
A challenge I’ve had is upgrading folks from XenApp 6x environments where they have been using the old Citrix Secure Gateway for remote access. In smaller environments, I’ve seen the cost of the NetScaler (coupled with the added complexity) either stall the move or push the customer towards Microsoft RDS, where a gateway product is still available. As a Citrix person, I understand the added value of the NetScaler, but this is not usually a motivator for smaller customers who just want to upgrade their existing environment and don’t want to have to pay the added cost, or have to get a network person involved because NetScaler falls outside the server teams’ purview. Citrix has done a good job of simplifying the configuration of the NetScaler for XenApp/XenDesktop gateway, but I think a lower cost solution for smaller businesses would make it much easier for folks like me to convince companies to stay with Citrix.
You're a mentor with the CUGC Women in Technology mentoring program. What drew you to the program?
I’ve been working in IT and with Citrix for a long time and love it. I try to sell people on it as a career every chance I get, and am obviously aware of the lack of women in the field. I’ve also been looking for a way to get involved, but I’m not really a “stand up in front of large groups” kind of person. So, a chance to get involved with a small group of women and do a one-on-one mentorship with someone who is already interested sounded like a great opportunity.
Are you involved with your local CUGC group? What do you enjoy most?
I have attended the West Michigan CUGC, which was just revived last year. I was happy to see it come back, because I love the opportunity to hear what others are doing with Citrix technologies, the challenges they are facing, and how they are dealing with them.
What's the best career or life advice you've received?
"You can do anything that you want to do, if you set your mind to it.”
Outside of work and CUGC, what do you do for fun?
My husband and I have four grown kids, with seven grandchildren between the ages of five months and eight years who keep us busy, and we have a lot of fun. In my spare time, I love to be outside, but only if the temperature is above freezing, which is a challenge here in Michigan right now! I love to garden and am a member of my community Garden Club. I also like to exercise, and enjoy golf, hiking, biking and traveling.
Cathy's big, happy family.
Hiking in Germany.