What to do at Citrix Summit 2014?! Here’s my agenda.

Citrix Summit 2014 in Orlando Florida is approaching fast. Just a few more weeks before the Welcome Reception, including the Solutions Expo, at the Hyatt Regency (Regency Ballroom) officially kicks off next years Summit event. Since I don’t like last minute arrangements I took some time to figure out what I need to take with me, MacBook, paper notebook, clothing (I’m counting on 80F, around 26 celsius, average :-) hotel voucher, tickets, passport etc… stuff like that. About a month ago I also figured out my conference schedule, the opening key-note, multiple break-out sessions, the Expo, perhaps a walk-in hands-on session and I also scheduled the 1Y0-400 exam to, hopefully, earn my CCE-AD certification. See my full schedule further on, I fine tuned it last week.

Hands-on Learning Labs

I didn’t register for any hands-on Learning Labs, I like the idea, but they take up 3 hours each, if not longer and that’s just to long with Summit only lasting two and a half days in total. There’s so much to see and listen to that I rather do 3 back to back Break-out sessions instead. This way I probably won’t pick up any ‘real’ technical details with regards to certain products but for me that’s not what summit is about anyway. I’d like to try and absorb as much information as possible, including technical details whenever possible. No deep dives, basic product information combined with the latest (or improved) features and perhaps some new or enhanced product announcements (roadmap) that Citrix will offer her customers in 2014. This, together with their vision for the coming year, is what I’m expecting to learn.

It’s not all about the bits and bytes

Next to all the tech stuff Summit is also about collaborating and having a bit of fun with peers. You know what I mean right? Exchange business cards, drink a beer, discuss technology, having a laugh and of course we’re all going to attend the Partner Appreciation Party at the Universal Studios Music Plaza to wrap things up. This will also include the New York street set, a live performance of Bon Jovi and his band, an extended buffet offering food and drinks for the evening and free entrance to the accompanying theme park offering some wild rides, although not specifically in that order :-) Since I’m still relatively new to the wonderful world of Citrix, for me personally, it won’t be about seeing old friends but more about making and meeting new ones. This also goes for some of the Dutch tech guys that are going as well. Sure, I know most of them by name but I never really had the chance to get to know them on a more ‘personal’ level, perhaps now I will.

Some spare time

It will take me around 17 hours in total to get from my home to my hotel in Orlando (which is next to the Universal Studio’s by the way). Luckily I’m a big fan of flying :-( so I should be just fine. Because of that I want to arrive early, meaning I will leave and arrive on Friday the 10th of January so I can enjoy a Saturday of rest, sleep in, enjoy my breakfast, hopefully the sun will be out and maybe I’ll go for a short run as well, who knows. The same goes for Sunday, I’ll probably get another run in, get some writing done and do some shopping, visit a mall or two and score some MAC accessories, before heading of to the (opening) welcome reception in the Hyatt Regency Ballroom.

citrixsummit banner

Wednesday is still blank, of course I’ll try and share some of what I picked up on here as well, but I also enlisted with Citrix to perhaps come over to the Hyatt Regency again to test and evaluate some new products, but that’s not a 100% certain yet. I enlisted about two weeks ago and haven’t heard anything back. I can also imagine myself being quite tired of visiting all those sessions, absorbing information for three days, meetings, including the evening drinks. So perhaps a nice relaxing afternoon of doing nothing might be a good choice, we’ll see. I will fly home on Friday night so I’ll also have the whole Thursday to relax, write, blog, shop, run, sleep, eat, visit Sea World and what not.

Back to the event

It will be my first time to the US and I’m really looking forward to the whole experience, the country, the people, Summit and hopefully the weather gods will bare with me as well. Ok, back to the event, my day’s are fully packed, I just hope my schedule isn’t to busy and I can keep up, not only mentally, but physically as well. The plan is to make notes during all sessions I attend, perhaps send out some Tweets at the same time and during the breaks or back at my hotel room I’ll try and work out some more details while they’re still fresh. Once I’m back home, the idea is to put together a presentation for my direct colleagues at Qwise, scheduled somewhere mid February, so plenty of time to prepare. Below you’ll find my schedule during Summit, hopefully I’ll be able to complete it a 100%

Sunday, January 12

6:30 pm-10:00 pm     Welcome Reception & Solutions Expo – Hyatt Regency Ballroom.

Monday, January 13

7:00 am- 9:00 am      Breakfast – Hyatt Regency, Windermere Ballroom Foyer

9:00 am-12:00 pm     SUM001 – Opening General Session

12:00 pm- 2:00 pm    Lunch – Solutions Expo, Hyatt Regency

1:15 pm- 3:15 pm      Exam – CCE-AD, hopefully I’ll be finished on time.

3:00 pm- 3:45 pm      SUM227 – FlexCast design guide for mobile Windows apps

4:00 pm- 4:45 pm      SUM201 – Deliver a successful XenMobile demo and POC

5:00 pm- 5:45 pm      SUM226 – Winning bake-offs against VMware Horizon View (VDI)

Tuesday, January 14

7:00 am- 8:30 am      Breakfast – Hyatt Regency, Windermere Ballroom Foyer

8:00 am- 8:45 am      SUM204 – XenDesktop 7 in the CSP Reference Architecture

9:00 am- 9:45 am      SUM202 – Best practices for setting up XenMobile

10:00 am-10:45 am   SUM203 – Extending XenDesktop, XenApp and NetScaler deployments

12:00 pm- 2:00 pm    Lunch – Solutions Expo, Hyatt Regency

1:15 pm- 2:00 pm      SUM208 – Using public platforms for a fast on-ramp to a CSP DaaS

2:15 pm- 3:00 pm      SUM209 – Leverage Citrix CloudPortal integration

3:15 pm- 4:00 pm      SUM231 – When and how to migrate customers to XenDesktop 7

4:30 pm- 6:00 pm      SUM002 – Partner Closing General Session

7:30 pm-10:30 pm     Partner Appreciation Party – Universal Studios

Conclusion

My prime focus is on mobility and cloud / DaaS, I think that’s what 2014 will be all about, but I’m not telling you anything new here. Again, I don’t expect to learn everything there is to know with regards to XenMobile or CloudPortal for example, I mean, take your average break-out session, it’s 45 minutes in length and in most cases a session will be hosted by two, or more, presenters. If you take away the introduction there will be roughly 35 to 40 minutes left to bring you up to speed with regards to the product or technology at hand. Enough time to let you in on all that’s new or improved and perhaps even a short, well prepared, demo or something similar will fit the time frame as well, but nothing more. But that’s exactly what I expect from Summit to begin with so no disappointments from my end. Will be continued… shortly.

Bas van Kaam ©

Reference materials used: Citrixsummit.com

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