Let me start by stating that I have the utmost respect to all Citrix CTA’s and CTP’s including the amazing Citrix team supporting these programs. I am only detailing my personal take on the community recognition approach Citrix is taking and why I chose to quit the Citrix Technology Advocate program for the year 2019 on the hope that something changes in the near future. I have learned so much from all CTA’s and made very good friends.
I fell in love with Citrix technology around 9 years ago and started my EUC journey supporting a Citrix environment. I put aside most of the other technologies I was working on in terms of learning and gaining experience to concentrate on EUC environments based on Citrix products in the belief that VDI adoption was going to just keep growing and Citrix is the obvious choice.
Over the years, I have learned so much from Citrix CTP’s blogs/webinars/presentations and decided that I need to give back after I have built some practical experience in working with Citrix Consulting Services as a third-party professional. couple of years ago, I started a blog dedicated to EUC with concentration on Citrix technology, started the Citrix User Community Group in UAE, joined and formed many EUC support groups, joined forced with local Citrix team to spread everything Citrix and supported users with Citrix issues even when sometimes they were competing partners.
Why I Left !?
When Citrix started the CTA program publicly, I was keen to apply, first because the CTP program as per the requirements was far beyond reach, second because I am a human being and craved recognition, third and most importantly, it was the perfect opportunity to meet product managers, get inside information, interact with a group of hard core citrites, give feedback and be more involved with Citrix all in the aim of enhancing my contribution to the community. In the end, these programs are about the community because CTAs where already doing what they do with or without the CTA title so in itself, CTA is just a title to the individual.
First thing that did not go as planned was that our blog URL was not mentioned in the CTA announcements nor was it mentioned in the CTA page which was created not so long ago. Even the CTA page does not include CTA member profiles. Lets remember it was only the first year of the CTA program publicly never the less it was not a big task to do so I would like to imagine and given the fact that most of one’s technical community contributions are on his/her blog.
Second thing that did not resonate well with me was the fact that after our meeting with Citrix CEO, which was by itself an amazing event that wouldn’t have happened without the CTA program, we were asked to leave short after when the actual technical discussion were about to start with product managers. I mean meeting Citrix CEO was cool but would not add value to the community that I as a CTA was trying to provide information to and give feedback from accordingly.
Third thing that I felt in terms of CTA communication channel was that it was very limited and access to product managers and/r decision makers was hard because of the late or no-response at least on groups. Aside from one sole product manager reaching out to test a specific build , we had no requests to give inputs on any product nor were we invited to share our feedback on the same in an official manner that would effect the outcome of these products.
Fourth thing that amazed me was that we will not have the chance to meet this year not with any Citrix personnel nor even together as a CTA group in an official meeting setup by the program.
Fifth and I say this with the best of intentions, there is a clear differentiation and distinction between different Citrix community groups. I felt the distinction was a negative one because a CTA does not have access to the same resources as other programs especially access to Citrix related Information/Betas/Support/Licensing… that would help in one’s community contribution.
After much consideration, I have decided to leave the program for the year 2019, because I do honestly believe that it did not add anything to my community contribution. Its a very hard decision to say the least, I enjoyed saying I am the only CTA in the region so yes it does come at a personal professional cost because vendor awards do count towards something with customers and peers never the less I have decided to stay true to myself.
Of course the CTA program has its advantages and perks, some that I admittedly took advantage off especially the Snagit and Camtasia licenses on top of the chance of hosting lunch tables and moderating webinars …
On a final note, I would like to thank the CTA program personnel for their efforts into the program especially the late Stephanie Roper whom I had the pleasure of knowing and working with over the last year.
What’s Next ?
Nothing will change and that is the whole point. I will still do my best to lead the UAE CUGC and present, blog on new and existing Citrix products, share my experience with the community, attend Synergy and PTEC whenever possible, blog on CUGC, and support the community in any way possible.