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Proactive App Compatibility Testing is now Free with Login AT Express

Proactive App Compatibility Testing is now Free with Login AT Express

Those of you that have read a lot of what I write know that I am very much about being proactive in IT. Proactive means you are aware of issues before they affect work or worse, production. One of the major risk areas I have been seeing, however, is when applications are not tested against system changes or validated prior to being placed into a Citrix solution. Teams are forced into being reactive. And that’s bad.

Reactive = Bad

What is happening here is that IT is RE-active not Proactive. Today we’re going to look quickly at two primary problem areas and I’ll tell you about some friends that are trying to help.

That Compatibility Problem

I’ll be bold here and say that one thing that seriously irks me is when people just assume an application will work virtually – often without any testing in a physical realm. I’ve lost count of how many times this year I have heard teams frustrated because there is an initiative to upgrade to Windows 10 but management just assumed the apps on their Windows 7 (or Server 2008 – not R2) environment would ‘just work’. That’s bad.

Without good proactive tools, what ends up happening is that IT just tries to make it work and spends countless hours when it doesn’t. The worst part is that they typically don’t even know it doesn’t work until they are into the validation phase of a project, in most cases after several months have already been spent building the new environment. That’s really bad.

That Patch Tuesday Problem

What we *haven’t* yet addressed is updates. The other area that often causes a scramble is testing patches against the system. Problem as in… it is rarely done at this point. There may be a quick validation process before patches go out in maybe 1/3 of the customers I visit.

The vast majority of IT Teams managing Citrix are so overwhelmed at this point they rarely even test. They just deploy and hope for the best. They quite literally deploy and cross their fingers, knowing they’ll just react when the trouble tickets come in.

How Reactive Affects Work

The reality is that IT is being hamstrung before they even start. How can they address a backlog of work when they are constantly reacting to new issues or having to re-engineer solutions because they didn’t have the info they needed in advance?

Proactive = Good

So maybe I’m talking more to management here – what your IT team needs here are two things:

  1. Proactive Mindset of Management (solution AFTER problem, not before it)
  2. Proactive Tools (force multipliers with automation)

Proactive Mindset

When you are constantly chasing the latest issue, there’s only so much time in the day. Improving becomes relegated to lower and lower on the list, and in no time at all the team is only ever break-fixing. This problem has become so extreme that I have seen IT teams split between deployment and administration tasks completely, often trading roles mid-year just to retain sanity. Others have teams that don’t specialize at all, they just deploy and are never tasked with upkeep.

The problem here is that both of these solutions make innovation either not happen at all, or be so disconnected with user needs as to become worthless. I believe that the IT team supporting an environment needs to be in some way committed to improving it. Both in terms of them knowing the issues very closely and just raw sanity. Most folks in EUC do not want to spend most of their time doing only one thing. They want to grow. And this is where having a completely reactive mindset makes such things impossible.

What is required here is a cultural shift in the workplace to identify issues before they become production outages or “Resume Generating Opportunities”. Management needs to drive this – not the IT teams. Leadership must lead. There; I said it now I’ll jump off my soapbox and we can continue.

Once the mindset is set towards being proactive instead of reactive – workflows need to change to accommodate it. What one quickly realizes is that being proactive requires an investment of time and faith. The time is obvious, but the faith is knowing that historically, teams that invest proactive time spend less overall time troubleshooting issues and chasing outages. It is easy to forget this and take it as a given, falling back into old habits. Mind the new culture!

Proactive Tools

But today I have some good news. Automation can be a ‘force multiplier’ for IT to accomplish the same goals in less time, especially with repeatable tasks.

Login AT from LoginVSI is an automated testing tool for applications that can tell you if applications are going to be able to run in a scenario… without the difficulty of maintaining AppDNA or ‘relying on the testing army’ to give proactive results before deployment. The software is able to automatically perform key tests against the software in a consistent manner (something that is often missed relying on human testing) and inform you in advance of potential trouble.

By doing this proactively and automatically, you can save your team a lot of wasted effort hours in finding the same thing.

Login AT Express = Free

I love the attitude at LoginVSI. If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know that I’m on a mission to Leave the World Better Than I Found It.

Here’s some text from LoginVSI’s press release about Login AT Express:

Current Login AT customers are very large enterprises with very large numbers of applications. In the past year we learned that small and medium sized enterprises are also suffering the same problem.
As of the start Login VSI has always been active to help ‘make the VDI world a better place’. With our product Login VSI as a free tool for the first years, our support of VDIlikeaPRO, the performance tests in our own lab and the active support of 3rd party labs with free licenses (such as ICT-R and others).
With so many organizations struggling to keep their applications running after each software update, and our relatively small organization to effectively help them all, we chose to adopt the freemium distribution model for this new product to enable us to reach the market in the most efficient way.

LoginVSI Login AT Express Press Release

I’m happy to announce that Login AT Express is now free for up to 50 applications. All you need to do is renew your 1 month license as often as you like.

I’m willing to bet this will benefit well over 3/4 of my audience, so I’m thrilled about this announcement.

Let’s get proactive and stop the grind!

Here’s what to do. Click the button below and fill out the form. Under Product of Interest, make sure you select Login AT Express (and the others). Do me a favor and let them know you heard it from ctxpro.com as a blogpost!

Earnings Disclosure: DJ Eshelman is a LoginVSI Technology Advocate and was not compensated in any way for this article or any links associated with it.

How to Press On When Noone Appreciates Your Work

How to Press On When Noone Appreciates Your Work

How to Press On When Noone Appreciates Your Work

May 16, 2019

You know how Facebook has that whole flashback/timehop “X years ago today” feature? How cool would it be to have that in the IT world?

“3 years ago today you said you were going to quit because your Citrix session took 5 minutes to load…”

I had a reminder of this recently when I was doing some work at a client having a comparatively minor problem. When I was called in initially, they had staff wanting to quit.

I’m not joking. In fact I’ve encountered this more than once where staff were literally threatening to resign their means of working because they were so frustrated in how their employer was making them work. And to them- it was a “Citrix” problem. These guys were, however, especially desperate. Things were really, really bad. Like 12 minute logon bad.

Now they are one of my favorite success stories for why you should apply leading practices. In their case it literally kept staff from quitting because they couldn’t work. Surely it can’t be pure irony that a month later another Citrix environment I served had a similar issue. It was like a theme for that year.

I found myself wishing there was some way to give perspective to those we serve about just how much better things are without just bragging about it. Timehop for EUC (but, you know, without the data breaches). Flashback for Citrix.

But that got me thinking… why do I do this stuff. I mean, why really?

For all of you facing another day with more tickets, complaints and a seemingly never-ending series of providing praise-less solutions – I’ll simply ask you:

Are you *really* doing it for the money?

Or for recognition?

Both of those will fail you.

I encourage you to connect with #WHY you are doing it. If you’re fine-tuning Citrix for a 5 second faster logon – is it the achievement that drives you, perhaps?

This too will pass unnoticed.

I feel my mission in life comes down to a simple statement- one that actually resonated with former Citrix CEO Mark Templeton.

“In whatever you do, Leave it Better Than You Found It”

Why do heroes do what they do? Why endure hardships, pain and rejection… why live a solitary life?

Because that’s what heroes do. They leave what they found better. Not because they are obligated but because it is their mission or that they are seeking praise. They just can’t help it – it’s how they are wired. Maybe they were born that way. But most have been forged from circumstance and hardship, and emerged with an overwhelming sense of one thing:

All that matters is that I have mattered. Therefore I must endeavor to Leave it Better than I Found It.

This may not be you. And that’s okay. But I submit to you that if you really want to advance in your career it is more about serving than attaining. More about leading than advancing.

In the coming months, I will be opening up opportunities for learning from myself and others just how to do this. Until then, consider your own motivations…

We may not be the hero they always deserve. But we *are* the Hero they *need* right now.

 

I don’t do this for the praise.

I do this because I KNOW I’ve made their life better.

Whether they choose to recognize that or not really isn’t the point in #EUC (End User Computing). The point is that, as my friend Dane Young reminded me of recently…. sometimes we are a lot more like Batman. We may not be the hero they always deserve.

But we *are* the hero they *need* right now.

So step up. Be the Hero.

So what can you do? Here’s a few tips to get you started.

  • Connect with WHY you are working. Not why you are doing what you are doing… why you are WORKING.
  • Make sure WHAT you are doing matches WHY you want to do it.
  • Serving others should be your primary focus in life.
  • Spend more effort learning how to be a better person than to be a better tech
  • CELEBRATE the wins you have
  • Don’t dwell on failures
  • Be INCLUSIVE instead of exclusive
  • Find a mentor

By the way- if you want to be coached by me – “TheCitrixCoach” isn’t just a fancy title. I do actually coach individuals and teams on how to improve their careers. It isn’t just teaching Citrix skills. It’s about going on the journey together!

Join the Conversation

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“DJ, why are you giving away your best Citrix Tips?”

This question was asked of me recently- and I didn’t hesitate to give an answer. So I think I’ll give it to everyone here as a kind of open letter to the Citrix community…

It all has to do with quantity. I seem to give out the same things almost every week, not only in conversation but in my consulting engagements as well (regardless of if I’m representing Citrix, a Reseller or my own consulting company). So I asked myself two questions:

  1. Why do I always seem to be giving the same advice? Is that such a bad thing? It makes my job easier, right?
  2. Are they really that important if people aren’t doing them?

Before I get into this behind-the-scenes look (or if you don’t really want to know why, you just want my Top 3 tips right now) – click here to register for my free eBook where I give you those and put you on a monthly newsletter with even more tips – free:

Register for the Free eBook & top Citrix tips

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Proactive App Compatibility Testing is now Free with Login AT Express

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