Posted by: mobilitycloud | March 18, 2016

Onstage with Citrix CEO Mark Templeton – Always be sure to sure to test your Demo!

I’m taking a trip back down memory lane to when I first really started down the path of Mobility/Cloud/Virtualization when I had the honor of presenting at Citrix Synergy 2010 with CEO Mark Templeton. I presented from the Ford F-150 Smart Truck powered by Sprint and loaded with Citrix Receiver in the dashboard, where I was able to use a live AutoCAD Drawing of a home in front of 4,600 people at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, but what most of you don’t know was that this live demo was minutes away from being scrapped due to a failure that we had not anticipated.

So for background’s sake, let me first explain that the Ford vehicle was modified with a “Kill” switch inside the engine so it could not be turned on inside of the Expo Center plus I had to remove nearly all the fuel and then have it pressure cleaned completely before the California Fire Marshal would even let me in the building with it. After the initial examination, I was allowed to drive the vehicle past the other exhibitors with a crew of about 6 trade show workers guiding me so I didn’t run anything over since much of the Expo Center had exhibits on the floor and by the way, I was the only one permitted to drive the truck as California Union rules would not allow them to touch the truck. After carefully maneuvering the truck to its assigned area, I then had the fire marshal return after I activated the Kill Switch to show that the engine could not be turned on with the key. Since I had no power from the engine, we had to connect a 12oV cable to an external battery charger to then connect to the battery inside the engine to work any of the systems during the event and where we had issues, which I’ll detail below.

After plugging everything in and testing Citrix Receiver working with the app from the truck, we then turned to the Citrix Marketing Team to come up with the presentation as well as rehearsing it about 30 times including twice with Mark, who was upstairs in convention hall and I presented from the Expo Hall, where the Ford Truck would be for the next couple of days. Everything went great and we were confident that on the day of the show, we were the last presentation of that day and then everyone would be sent down to the Expo Floor to take a “Test Drive” of Citrix Receiver running live in the truck.

Well day of show we did one final rehearsal with Mark and again everything went flawless and then we had about 4 hours to wait for our turn to present and would you believe that 30 minutes before we were supposed to go on live, the power in the truck DIED!!! After removing my microphone and earpiece (remember that I’m presenting remotely from the Expo Center) I went diving under the truck to see that we had over-charged the external battery and caused a short in the truck, which at this point also put my blood pressure over the to. Once we unplugged and reconnected the external battery, the power in the truck came right back on and most importantly, Citrix Receiver also restored the session exactly where we left off, which is exactly how Citrix XenApp is supposed to work.

The clip below went off fairly flawlessly after that except for the fact that I was no longer calm like I was during rehearsal and had serious “flop” sweats just before we went on live, but somehow I pulled it off with any additional calamities during the presentation. Special thanks to the Citrix Ready and Marketing Teams for keeping me calm during this mini-disaster and to @markbtempleton, who just retired from Citrix and was great in guiding me though the presentation as he had no idea what had just occurred and was a real trooper when I told him the following day.

As they say in the movies, enjoy the clip everyone!

Link to Citrix Sprint Video from Citrix Synergy 2010:


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