Thursday, June 20, 2019

Qlik’s CTO on why the cloud data diaspora forces businesses to rethink their analytics strategies
The next BriefingsDirect business intelligence (BI) trends discussion explores the impact of dispersed data in a multicloud world.

Gaining control over far-flung and disparate data has been a decades’ old struggle, but now as hybrid and public clouds join the mix of legacy and distributed digital architectures, new ways of thinking are demanded if comprehensive analysis of relevant data is going to become practical.

Stay with us now as we examine the latest strategies for making the best use of data integration, data catalogs and indices, as well highly portable data analytics platforms. 

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Read a full transcript or download a copy.

To learn more about closing the analysis gap between data and multiple -- and probably changeable -- cloud models, we are joined by Mike Potter, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Qlik. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

Here are some excerpts:

Gardner: Mike, businesses are adopting cloud computing for very good reasons. The growth over the past decade has been strong and accelerating. What have been some of the -- if not unintentional -- complicating factors for gaining a comprehensive data analysis strategy amid this cloud computing complexity?

Potter: The biggest thing is recognizing that it’s all about where data lives and where it's being created. Obviously, historically most data have been generated on-premises. So, there is a strong pull there, but you are seeing more and more cases now where data is born in the cloud and spends its whole lifetime in the cloud.

And so now the use cases are different because you have a combination of those two worlds, on-premises and cloud. To add further complexity, data is now being born in different cloud providers. Not only are you dealing with having some data and legacy systems on-premises, but you may have to reconcile that you have data in Amazon, Google, or Microsoft.

Our whole strategy around multicloud and hybrid cloud architectures is being able to deploy Qlik where the data lives. It allows you to leave the data where it is, but gives you options so that if you need to move the data, we can support the use cases on-premises to cloud or across cloud providers.

Gardner: And you haven’t just put on the patina of cloud-first or software as a service (Saas) -first. You have rearchitected and repositioned a lot of what your products and technologies do. Tell us about being “SaaS-first” as a strategy.

Scaling the clouds

Potter: We began our journey about 2.5 years ago, when we started converting our monolith architecture into a microservices-based architecture. That journey struck to the core of the whole product.

Qlik’s heritage was a Windows Server architecture. We had to rethink a lot of things. As part of that we made a big bet 1.5 years ago on containerization, using Docker and Kubernetes. And that’s really paid off for us. It has put us ahead of the technology curve in many respects. When we did our initial release of our multicloud product in June 2018, I had conversations with customers who didn’t know what Kubernetes was.

One enterprise customer had an infrastructure team who had set up an environment to provision Kubernetes cluster environments, but we were only the second vendor that required one, so we were ahead of the game quite a bit.

Gardner: How does using a managed container platform like Kubernetes help you in a multicloud world?

Potter: The single biggest thing is it allows you to scale and manage workloads at a much finer grain of detail through auto-scaling capabilities provided by orchestration environments such as Kubernetes.
More importantly it allows you to manage your costs. One of the biggest advantages of a microservice-based architecture is that you can scale up and scale down to a much finer grain. For most on-premises, server-based, monolith architectures, customers have to buy infrastructure for peak levels of workload. We can scale up and scale down those workloads -- basically on the fly -- and give them a lot more control over their infrastructure budget. It allows them to meet the needs of their customers when they need it.

Gardner: Another aspect of the cloud evolution over the past decade is that no one enterprise is like any other. They have usually adopted cloud in different ways.

Has Qlik’s multicloud analytics approach come with the advantage of being able to deal with any of those different topologies, enterprise by enterprise, to help them each uniquely attain more of a total data strategy?

Potter: Yes, I think so. The thing we want to focus on is, rather than dictate the cloud strategy – often the choice of our competitors -- we want to support your cloud strategy as you need it. We recognize that a customer may not want to be on just one cloud provider. They don’t want to lock themselves in. And so we need to accommodate that.

There may be very valid reasons why they are regionalized, from a data sovereignty perspective, and we want to accommodate that.

There will always be on-premises requirements, and we want to accommodate that.

The reality is that, for quite a while, you are not going to see as much convergence around cloud providers as you are going to see around microservices architectures, containers, and the way they are managed and orchestrated.
You are not going to see as much convergence around cloud providers as you are going to see around microservices architectures, containers, and the way they are managed and orchestrated.

Gardner: And there is another variable in the mix over the next years -- and that’s the edge. We have an uncharted, immature environment at the edge. But already we are hearing that a private cloud at the edge is entirely feasible. Perhaps containers will be working there.

At Qlik, how are you anticipating edge computing, and how will that jibe with the multicloud approach?

Running at the edge

Potter: One of the key features of our platform architecture is not only can we run on-premises or in any cloud at scale, we can run on an edge device. We can take our core analytics engine and deploy it on a device or machine running at the edge. This enables a new opportunity, which is taking analytics itself to the edge.

A lot of Internet of Things (IoT) implementations are geared toward collecting data at the sensor, transferring it to a central location to be processed, and then analyzing it all there. What we want to do is push the analytics problem out to the edge so that the analytic data feeds can be processed at the edge. Then only the analytics events are transmitted back for central processing, which obviously has a huge impact from a data-scale perspective.

But more importantly, it creates a new opportunity to have the analytic context be very immediate in the field, where the point of occurrence is. So if you are sitting there on a sensor and you are doing analytics on the sensor, not only can you benefit at the sensor, you can send the analytics data back to the central point, where it can be analyzed as well.

Gardner: It’s auspicious, the way that Qlik’s catalog, indexing, and abstracting out the information about where data is approach can now be used really well in an edge environment.

Potter: Most definitely. Our entire data strategy is intricately linked with our architectural strategy in that respect, yes.

Gardner: Analytics and being data-driven across an organization is the way of the future. It makes sense to not cede that core competency of being good at analytics to a cloud provider or to a vendor. The people, process, and tribal knowledge about analytics seems essential.
Do you agree with that, and how does Qlik’s strategy align with keeping the core competency of analytics of, by, and for each and every enterprise?

Potter: Analytics is a specialization organizationally within all of our customers, and that’s not going to go away. What we want to do is parlay that into a broader discussion. So our focus is enabling three key strategies now.

It's about enabling the analytics strategy, as we always have, but broadening the conversation to enabling the data strategy. More importantly, we want to close the organizational, technological, and priority gaps to foster creating an integrated data and analytics strategy.

By doing that, we can create what I describe as a raw-to-ready analytics platform based on trust, because we own the process of the data from source to analysis, and that not only makes the analytics better, it promotes the third part of our strategy, which is around data literacy. That’s about creating a trusted environment in which people can interact with their data and do the analysis that they want to do without having to be data scientists or data experts.

So owning that whole end-to-end architecture is what we are striving to reach.

Gardner: As we have seen in other technology maturation trend curves, applying automation to the problem frees up the larger democratization process. More people can consume these services. How does automation work in the next few years when it comes to analytics? Are we going to start to see more artificial intelligence (AI) applied to the problem?

Automated, intelligent analytics

Potter: Automating those environments is an inevitability, not only from the standpoint of how the data is collected, but in how the data is pushed through a data operations process. More importantly, automating enables on the other end, too, by embedding artificial and machine learning (ML) techniques all the way along that value chain -- from the point of source to the point of consumption.

Gardner: How does AI play a role in the automation and the capability to leverage data across the entire organization?

Potter: How we perform analytics within an analytic system is going to evolve. It’s going to be more conversational in nature, and less about just consuming a dashboard and looking for an insight into a visualization.

The analytics system itself will be an active member of that process, where the conversation is not only with the analytics system but the analytics system itself can initiate the conversation by identifying insights based on context and on other feeds. Those can come from the collective intelligence of the people you work with, or even from people not involved in the process.
The analytics system itself will be an active member of that process, where the conversation is not only with the analytics system but it will initiate the conversation by identifying insights based on context and other feeds.

Gardner: I have been at some events where robotic process automation (RPA) has been a key topic. It seems to me that there is this welling opportunity to use AI with RPA, but it’s a separate track from what's going on with BI, analytics, and the traditional data warehouse approach.

Do you see an opportunity for what’s going on with AI and use of RPA? Can what Qlik is doing with the analytics and data assimilation problem come together with RPA? Would a process be able to leverage analytic information, and vice versa?

Potter: It gets back to the idea of pushing analytics to the edge, because an edge isn’t just a device-level integration. It can be the edge of a process. It can be the edge of not only a human process, but an automated business process. The notion of being able to embed analytics deep into those processes is already being done. Process analytics is an important field.

But the newer idea is that analytics is in service of the process, as opposed to the other way around. The world is getting away from analytics being a separate activity, done by a separate group, and as a separate act. It is as commonplace as getting a text message, right?

Gardner: For the organization to get to that nirvana of total analytics as a common strategy, this needs to be part of what the IT organization is doing, with full stack architecture and evolution. So AIOps and DataOps also getting closer over time.

How does DataOps in your thinking relate to what the larger IT enterprise architects are doing, and why should they be thinking about data more?

Optimizing data pipelines

Potter: That’s a really good question. From my perspective, when I get a chance to talk to data teams, I ask a simple question: “You have this data lake. Is it meeting the analytic requirements of your organization?”

And often I don’t get very good answers. And a big reason why is because what motivates and prioritizes the data team is the storage and management of data, not necessarily the analytics. And often those priorities conflict with the priorities of the analytics team.

What we are trying to do with the Qlik integrated data and analytic strategy is to create data pipelines optimized for analytics, and data operations optimized for analytics. And our investments and our acquisitions in Attunity and Podium are about taking that process and focusing on the raw-to-ready part of the data operations.

Gardner: Mike, we have been talking at a fairly abstract level, but can you share any use cases where leading-edge organizations recognize the intrinsic relationship between DataOps and enterprise architecture? Can you describe some examples or use cases where they get it, and what it gets for them?

Potter: One of our very large enterprise customers deals in medical devices and related products and services. They realized an essential need to have an integrated strategy. And one of the challenges they have, like most organizations, is how to not only overcome the technology part but also the organizational, cultural, and change-management aspects as well.

They recognized the business has a need for data, and IT has data. If you intersect that, how much of that data is actually a good fit? How much data does IT have that isn't needed? How much of the remaining need is unfulfilled by IT? That's the problem we need to close in on.

Gardner: Businesses need to be thinking at the C-suite level about outcomes. Are there some examples where you can tie together such strategic business outcomes back to the total data approach, to using enterprise architecture and DataOps?

Data decision-making, democratized

Potter: The biggest ones center on end-to-end governance of data for analytics, the ability to understand where the data comes from, and building trust in the data inside the organization so that decisions can be made, and those decisions have traceability back to results.

The other aspect of building such an integrated system is a total cost of ownership (TCO) opportunity, because you are no longer expending energy managing data that isn't relevant to adding value to the organization. You can make a lot more intelligent choices about how you use data and how you actually measure the impact that the data can have.

Gardner: On the topic of data literacy, how do you see the behavior of an organization -- the culture of an organization -- shifting? How do we get the chicken-and-egg relationship going between the data services that provide analytics and the consumers to start a virtuous positive adoption pattern?
One of the biggest puzzles a lot of IT organizations face is around adoption and utilization. They build a data lake and they don't know why people aren't using it.

Potter: One of the biggest puzzles a lot of IT organizations face is around adoption and utilization. They build a data lake and they don't know why people aren’t using it.

For me, there are a couple of elements to the problem. One is what I call data elitism. When you think about data literacy and you compare it to literacy in the pre-industrial age, the people who had the books were the people who were rich and had power. So church and state, that kind of thing. It wasn't until technology created, through the printing press, a democratization of literacy that you started to see interesting behavior. Those with the books, those with the power, tried to subvert reading in the general population. They made it illegal. Some argue that the French Revolution was, in part, caused by rising rates of literacy.

If you flash-forward this analogy to today in data literacy, you have the same notion of elitism. Data is only allowed to be accessed by the senior levels of the organization. It can only be controlled by IT.

Ironically, the most data-enabled organizations are typically oriented to the Millennials or younger users. But they are in the wrong part of the organizational chart to actually take advantage of that. They are not allowed to see the data they could use to do their jobs.

The opportunity from a democratization-of-data perspective is understanding the value of data for every individual and allowing that data to be made available in a trusted environment. That’s where this end-to-end process becomes so important.

Gardner: How do we make the economics of analytics an accelerant to that adoption and the democratization of data? I’ll use another historical analogy, the Model T and assembly line. They didn't sell Model Ts nearly to the degree they thought until they paid their own people enough to afford one.

Is there a way of looking at that and saying, “Okay, we need to create an economic environment where analytics is paid for-on-demand, it's fit-for-purpose, it's consumption-oriented.” Wouldn’t that market effect help accelerate the adoption of analytics as a total enterprise cultural activity?

Think positive data culture

Potter: That’s a really interesting thought. The consumerization of analytics is a product of accessibility and of cost. When you build a positive data culture in an organization, data needs to be as readily accessible as email. From that perspective, turning it into a cost model might be a way to accomplish it. It's about a combination of leadership, of just going there and making occur at the grassroots level, where the value it presents is clear.

And, again, I reemphasize this idea of needing a positive data culture.

Gardner: Any added practical advice for organizations? We have been looking at what will be happening and what to anticipate. But what should an enterprise do now to be in an advantageous position to execute a “positive data culture”?

Potter: The simplest advice is to know that technology is not the biggest hurdle; it's change management, culture, and leadership. When you think about the data strategy integrated with the analytics strategy, that means looking at how you are organized and prioritized around that combined strategy.

Finally, when it comes to a data literacy strategy, define how you are going to enable your organization to see data as a positive asset to doing their jobs. The leadership should understand that data translates into value and results. It's a tool, not a weapon.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Read a full transcript or download a copy. Sponsor: Qlik.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Happy employees equal happy customers -- and fans. Can IT deliver for them all?

The next BriefingsDirect workplace productivity discussion explores how businesses are using the latest digital technologies to re-imagine the employee experience -- and to transform their operations and results.

Employee experience isn't just a buzz term. Research shows that engaged employees are happier, more productive, and deliver a superior customer experience, all of which translates into bottom line results.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Read a full transcript or download a copy.
To learn how, our panel will now explore how IT helps deliver a compelling experience that enables employees to work when, where, and how they want -- and to perform at their best. Joining us are Adam Jones, Chief Revenue Officer, who oversees IT for the Miami Marlins Major League Baseball team and organization, and Tim Minahan, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer at Citrix. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

Here are some excerpts:

Gardner: Tim, when it comes to employee experience, Citrix has been at the forefront of the conversation and of the technology shaping it. In fact, I remember covering one of the first press conferences that Citrix had, and this is going back about 30 years, and the solutions were there for people to work remotely. It seemed crazy at the time, delivering apps over the wire, over the Internet.

But you are still innovating. You’re at it again. About a year ago, you laid out an aggressive plan to help companies power their way to even better ways to work. So, it begs the question: Tim, what's wrong with the way people are working today and the way that employees are experiencing work today?

From daily grind to digital growth 

Minahan: That topic is top of mind both for C-level and board members around the globe. We are entering an era of a new talent crisis. What's driving it is, number one, there are just too few workers. Demographically McKinsey estimates that in the next few years we will be short by 95 million medium- to high-skilled workers around the globe.

And that’s being frustrated by our traditional work models, which tend to organize around physical hubs. I build an office building, call center, or manufacturing facility and I do my best to hire the best talent around that hub. But the talent isn’t always located there.

The second thing is, as more companies become digital businesses -- trying to develop new digital business lines, engage customers through new digital business channels, develop new digital business revenue streams -- oftentimes they lack the right skills. They lack skills to help drive to this next level of transformation. If companies are fortunate enough to identify employees with those skills, there is a huge likelihood that they will be disengaged at work.

In fact, the latest Gallup study finds that globally 85 percent of workers are disengaged at work. A key component of that frustration has to do with their work environment.

We spend a lot of time talking about vision alignment and career development -- and all of that is important. But a key gap that many companies are overlooking is that they have a frustrating work environment. They are not giving their employees the tools or resources they need to do their jobs effectively.

In fact, all the choice we have around our applications and our devices has actually begun to create noise that distracts us from doing our core jobs in the best way possible.

Gardner: Is this a case of people being distracted by the interfaces? Is there too much information and overload? Are we not adding enough intelligence to provide a contextual approach? All of the above?

Minahan: It is certainly “all of the above,” Dana. First off, there are just too many applications. The typical enterprise IT manager is responsible for more than 500 applications. At the individual employee level, a typical worker uses more than a dozen applications through the course of their day, and oftentimes needs to traverse four or five different applications just to do a single business process. That could be something as simple as finding the change in a deal status, or even executing one particular transaction.
Work Isn't Working for Your Employees.
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And that would be bad enough, except consider that oftentimes we are distracted by apps that aren’t even core to our jobs. Last time I checked, Dana, neither you nor I, nor Adam were hired to spend our day approving expense reports in something like SAP Concur, which is a great application. But it’s not core to my job. Or, we are approving performance reviews in Workday, or a purchase request in SAP Ariba. Certainly, these distract from our day. By doing so, we need to constantly navigate via new application interfaces. We need to learn new applications that aren’t even core to our jobs.
To your point around disruption and context switching, today -- because we have all of these different channels, and not just e-mail, but Slack and Microsoft Teams and all of these applications – just finding information consumes a large part of our day. We can't remember where we stored something, or we can’t remember the change in that deal status. So we have to spend about 20 percent of our day switching between all of these different contexts, just to get the information or insight we need to do our jobs.

Gardner: Clearly too much of a good thing. And to a large degree, IT has brought about that good thing. Has IT created this problem?

Minahan: In part. But I think employees share a bit of responsibility themselves. As an employee, I know I’m always pushing IT by saying, “Hey, absolutely, this is the one tool we need to do a more effective job at marketing, strategy, or what-have-you.”

We keep adding to the top of what we already have. And IT is in a tough position of either saying, “No,” or finding a way to layer on more and more choices. And that has the unintended side effect of what we have just mentioned -- which is the complexity that frustrates today's employee experience.

Workspace unity and security 

Gardner: Now, the IT people have faced complexity issues before, and many times they have come up with solutions to mitigate the complexity. But we also have to remember that you can't just give employees absolute freedom. There have to be guardrails, and rules, compliance, and regulatory issues must be addressed.

So, security and digital freedom need to be in balance. How do we get to the point, Tim, where we can create that balance, and give freedom -- but not so much that they are at risk?

Minahan: You’re absolutely right. At Citrix, we firmly believe this problem needs to be solved. We are making the investments, working with our customers and our partners, to go out and solve it. We believe the right way to solve it is through a digital workspace that unifies everything your employees need to be productive in one, unified experience that wrappers those applications and content, and makes them available across any device or platform, no matter where you are.
A workspace that's just unified but not secure doesn't fully address the needs of the enterprise. We believe the workspace should wrapper in a layer of contextual security policies that know who you are.

If you are in the office, on the corporate network using your laptop, perfect. You also need to have access to the same content and applications to do your job on the train ride home, on your smartphone, and maybe while visiting a friend. You need to be able to log on through a web interface. You want your work to travel with you, so you can work anytime, anywhere.

But such a workspace that’s just unified -- but not secure -- doesn't fully address the needs of the enterprise. The second attribute of what's required for a true digital workspace is that it needs to be secure. When you have those applications and content within the workspace, we believe the workspace should wrapper that in a layer of contextual security policies that know who you are, what you typically have access to, and how you typically access it. The security must know if you do your work through one device or another, and then apply the right policies when there are anomalies outside of that realm.

For example, maybe you are logging in from a different place. If so, we are going to turn off certain capabilities within your applications, such as the capability to download, print, or screen-capture. Maybe we need to require a second layer of authentication, if you are logging on from a new device.

And so, this approach brings together the idea of employee experience and balances it with the security that the enterprise needs.

Gardner: We are also seeing more intelligence brought into this process. We are seeing more integration end-to-end, and we are anticipating the best worker experience. But companies, of course, are looking for productivity improvements to help their bottom line and their top line.
Want Employees to Perform at Their Best?
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Is there a way to help businesses understand the economic benefits of the best digital workspace? How do we prove that this is the right way to go?

Minahan: Dana, you hit the nail on the head. I mentioned there are three attributes required for an effective digital workspace. We talked about the first two, unifying everything an employee needs to be productive with one unified experience, and secondly securing that to ensure that applications’ content is more secure in the workspace than when native. So that organizes your workday, and that’s a phenomenal head start.

Work smart, with intelligence 

But, to your point, we can do better by building on that foundation and injecting intelligence into the workspace. You can then begin to help employees work better. You can help employees remove that noise from their day by using things such as machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), simplified workflows, and what we call micro apps to guide an employee through their workdays. The workspace is not just someplace they go to launch an application, but it is someplace they go to get work done.

We have begun providing capabilities that literally reach into your enterprise applications and extract out the key insights and tasks that are personal to each employee. So when you log into the workspace, Dana, it would say, “Hey, Dana, it’s time for you to approve that expense report.”

You don't need to log-in to the app again. You just quickly open a review. If you want, you can click “approve” and move on, saving yourself minutes. And you multiply that throughout the course of the day. We estimate you can give an employee back 10 to 20 percent of their workweek. So, an added day each week of improved productivity.

But it’s not just about streamlined tasks. It’s also about improved insights, of making sure that you understand the information you need. Maybe it’s that change in a deal status and presenting that up to you so you don’t need to log-in to Salesforce and check on that dashboard. It’s presented to you because the workspace knows it’s of interest to you.

To your point, this could dramatically improve the overall productivity for an employee, improve their overall experience at work, and by extension allow them to serve their customers in a much better way. They have the resources, tools, and the information at their fingertips to deliver a superior customer experience.
The Miami Marlins have a very sophisticated approach to user experience. They look at heir employees and their fan base across multiple ways of making the experience exceptional.

Gardner: We are entering an age, Tim, where we let the machines do what they do best and know the difference, so that then allows people to do what they can do best, creatively, and most productively. It's an exciting time.

Let's look at a compelling use case. The Miami Marlins have a very sophisticated approach to user experience. And they are not just looking at their employees, they are looking at the end-users -- their fan base across multiple different ways of entertainment and for intercepting the baseball experience.

Baseball, in a sense, was hibernating over the winter, and now the new season has played out well in 2019. And your fans in Miami are getting treated to a world-class experience.

Tell me, Adam, what went on behind-the-scenes that allows you in IT to make this happen? What is the secret sauce for providing such great experiences?

Marlins’ Major League IT advantage 

Jones: The Marlins is a 25-year-old franchise. We find ourselves in build mode coming into the mid-2019 season, following a change in ownership and leadership. We have elevated the standards and vision for the organization.

We are becoming a world-class sports and entertainment enterprise, and so are building a next-generation IT infrastructure to enable the 300-plus employees who operate across our lines of business and the various assets of the organization. We are very pleased to have our longtime partner, Citrix, deploy their digital workspace solutions to enable our employees to deliver against the higher standards that we have set.

Gardner: Is it difficult to create a common technological approach for different types of user experience requirements? You have fans, scouts, and employees. There are a lot of different endpoints. How does a common technological approach work under those circumstances?

Jones: The diversity within our enterprise necessitates having tools and solutions that have a lot of agility and can be flexible across the various requirements of an organization such as ours. We are operating a very robust baseball operation -- as well as a sophisticated business. We are looking to scale and engage a very diverse audience. We need to have the resources available to invest and develop talent on the baseball side. So, what we have within the Citrix environment is the capability to enable that very diverse set of activities within one environment.

Gardner: And we have become used to, in our consumer lives, having a sort of seamless segue between different things that we are doing. Are you approaching that same seamless integration when it comes to how people encounter your content across multiple channels? Is there a way for you to present yourselves in such a way that the technology takes over and allows people to feel like they are experiencing the same Miami Marlins experience regardless of how they actually intercept your organization and your sport?
Want Employees to Perform at Their Best?
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Jones: Like many of our peers, we are looking to establish more robust, rounded relationships with our fans and community. And that means going beyond our home schedule to more of a 365-day relationship, with a number of touch points and a variety of content.

The mobility of our workforce to get out into the community -- but not lose productivity -- is incredibly important as we evolve into a more sophisticated and complex set of activities and requirements.
Gardner: Controlling your content, making sure you can make choices about who gets to see what, to protect your franchise, is important. Are you reaching a balance between offering a full experience of interesting content and technology, but at the same time protecting and securing your assets and your franchise?

Safe! at digital content distribution 

Jones: Security is our highest priority, particularly as we continue to develop more content and more intellectual property. What we have within the Citrix environment is very robust controls, with the capability to facilitate fairly broad collaboration among our workforce. So again, we are able to disseminate that content in near real-time so that we are creating impactful and timely moments with our fans.

Gardner: Tim, this sounds like a world-class use case for advanced technology. We have scale, security, omni-channel distribution, and a dynamic group of people who want to interact as much as they can. Why is the Miami Marlins such a powerful and interesting use-case from your perspective?

Minahan: The Marlins are a fantastic example of a world champion organization now moving into the digital edge. They are rethinking the fan experience, not just at the stadium but in how they engage across their digital properties and in the community. Adam and the other leadership there are looking across the board to figure out how the sport of baseball and fan experience evolve. They are exploring the linkage between the fan experience, or customer experience, and the employee experience, and they are learning about the role that technology plays in connecting the two.
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They are a great example of a customer at the forefront of looking at these new digital channels and how they impact customer relationships -- and how they impact values for employees as well.

Gardner: Tim, we have heard over the past decade about how data and information are so integral to making a baseball team successful. It’s a data-driven enterprise as much as any. How will the intelligence you are baking into more of the Citrix products help make the Miami Marlins baseball team a more intelligent organization? What are the tools behind the intelligent baseball future?

Minahan: A lot of the same intelligence capabilities we are incorporating into the workspace for our customers -- around ML, AI, and micro apps -- will ensure that the Marlins organization -- everyone from the front office to the field manager -- has the right insights and tasks presented to them at the right time. As a result, they can deliver the best experience, whether that is recruiting the best talent for the team or delivering the best experience for the fans.

We are going to learn a lot, as we always have from our customers, from the Miami Marlins about how we can continue to adapt that to help them deliver that superior employee experience and, hence, the superior fan experience.