Category Archives: End-User Computing

What’s New in Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac Business Edition

We are very excited about this year’s release of Parallels Desktop® for Mac Business Edition, the most secure and powerful solution for your employees and team members to run Windows and Windows applications on Mac®. The Business Edition, as always, includes all new features from Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac Pro Edition, plus exclusive business […]

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The Shifting Needs of Cloud-Era End Users

Help Desk Cloud

Click here to download our recent webinar:

How the Cloud Is Killing Traditional Help Desk

As we enter the cloud era, most people are focused on what, where, and why when it comes to cloud. They want to know; how do I architect it? How do I migrate to it? And how do I operate it? Once the transition is made, the question is then, how does it affect how I support my users? Also, what is the impact to my Help Desk team? Given a cloud framework, operations people need to be considered differently. Their positions were created to deal with issues IT already knew about. However, cloud changes the game. Since so much of the cloud is hidden, you can’t just refer to a guidebook to get some help, thus you do lose some sense of control. For example, if Office 365 rolls out a new update, when users connect it will look different because it updates automatically, and the users might not know what to do.

The issue is that today the traditional structured tiers of Help Desk aren’t the same. The old model won’t work anymore. In a traditional help desk model, Tier 1 handles the simpler questions while Tier 2 handles the more difficult, escalated challenges. But with the cloud, if the Help Desk cannot solve the issue, then they become the user and must open a ticket with the vendor or cloud provider, thus making coordination more difficult and less efficient.

That is not to say that transitioning to the cloud doesn’t have many perks and can greatly contribute to efficiency. But it’s crucial to plan for the impact that your company’s cloud strategy will have on your Help Desk and end user support.  There are a variety of variables that must be considered when moving to the cloud, including more training, re-architecting the way Help Desk is built, and turning it into a Help Hub. Help Desk is changing drastically: it is the hub for communications and you need to be able to provide that conduit to other, additional help avenues and take incident ownership to maximize your users’ productivity. During our recent webinar, How the Cloud Is Killing Traditional Help Desk, we dove deeper into this and provided you with the questions that should be asked and the solutions to common cloud-era Help Desk challenges.

Cheap and Simple MDM for the Masses!

The post below was written by GreenPages’ Advanced Virtualization Consultant Sean Thulin. It was originally published on his blog.

As businesses expand, IT staffs often do not.  When more and more people are added to the company, you will need a way to manage everyone’s devices.  Whether you have corporate secrets to protect, a BYOD policy to enforce, or you just want people to stop asking you for the Wi-Fi password, mobile device management is becoming a bigger part of day to day operations.  Today, VMware is proud to announce the addition of a new product, Airwatch Express!

Airwatch Express is the MDM-as-a-service offering that allows companies to manage mobile devices without going through a major investment in time or resources.  At only $2.50/month/device, this offering allows a 100% cloud based management of devices that comes in at almost half the current pricing.

To read the rest of the post, visit Sean’s blog!

CRN’s “Power 100: The Most Influential Women of the Channel 2016”, Why Smart IT Leaders Connect with Maria Dinallo and Parallels

CRN’s “Power 100: The Most Influential Women of the Channel 2016”, Why Smart IT Leaders Connect with Maria Dinallo and Parallels Maria Dinallo, Parallels’ Senior Director of Channel Sales has been honored in CRN’s “Power 100: The Most Influential Women of the Channel 2016”. CRN Power 100 honorees were selected on the basis of their […]

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VMware Announces General Availability of Horizon 7

Yesterday, VMware announced the general availability of VMware Horizon 7. There are a number of new capabilities that are worth catching up on. According to our CTO Chris Ward, the biggest one is Instant Clone, which is a big architectural change vs. having to use View composer. A few other changes that VMware highlights are:

  • Transformational user experience with Blast Extreme
  • Applications with Modernized Lifecycle Management
  • Smart Policies with Streamlined Access

For more information, here is VMware’s blog post from yesterday that covers what’s new with Horizon 7.



By Ben Stephenson, Emerging Media Specialist


Citrix Summit 2016 Pt 3: HDX RealTime Optimization Pack 2.0

The final part of my series on the Citrix 2016 Partner Summit summarizes the notes Citrix provided around HDX RealTime Optimization Pack 2.0. Part 1 recapped news around XenApp and XenDesktop and part 2 covered XenMobile and PVS 7.7. As always, please reach out if you’re looking for any more information.


HDX RealTime Optimization Pack 2.0

  • Native Skype for Business 2015 UI – Provides the full Skype for Business UI experience and eliminates the limitations of a hybrid UI. Examples of features that were not supported in HDX
  • RealTime Optimization Pack 1.8 but are now available through the native Skype for Business UI include:
  • Call Delegation – Enables setting up a Skype for Business meeting on behalf of someone else. For example, an administrative assistant setting up meetings for a manager.
  • Voicemail access, playback, and delete – Ability to access your voicemail, play it, and delete from Skype for Business.
  • Response groups – Enables the response group feature, which routes incoming calls to groups of people called response group agents.
  • Team call groups – Set up a team of people who can answer your calls. You add and remove members and specify when they can answer calls for you. Members phones ring and once someone answers the call, the other phones stop ringing.
  • Authentication and SIP signaling  handled exclusively by the Skype for Business client – This release introduces architectural simplifications that improve robustness and user experience (for example, initialization time).

Fallback mode controlled by the following registry setting:

  • Warning: Editing the registry incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Citrix cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk. Be sure to back up the registry before you edit it.
  • Key: HKLMSoftwareCitrixHDXRTConnector or HKCUSoftwareCitrixHDXRTConnector
  • Value: DWORD DisableFallback
  • If the value is present and has a nonzero value under either registgry key, disable fallback mode; otherwise, enable fallback mode.
  • Web proxy support – Enables external access using a web proxy with limitations. For more information, see Limitations in 2.0.
  • Click-to-Run – Devices where Microsoft Office applications have been installed using Click-to-Run support HDX RealTime Optimization Pack.
  • Pairing Status Indicator – Icon that displays these status states:
    • Connecting – MediaEngine.Net is trying to establish a RealTime Connector connection.
    • Connected – There is a RealTime Connector connection over a virtual channel and the version of remote RealTime Media Engine matches the version of mediaEngine.Net exactly.
    • Fallback – There is a RealTime Connector connection to a local RealTime Media Engine process.
    • Disconnected – A registry setting (policy) prevented MediaEngine.Net from running RealTime Media Engine locally.
    • Version mismatch – Same as Connected but the version match is not exact (different patch or build numbers)
  • Improved audio-video quality – Improvements to the RealTime Media Engine:
    • Improved resilience to packet loss
    • Improved echo cancelation
  • Skype server settings – HDX RealTime Optimization Pack obeys the Skype for Business Server settings that control whether or not the endpoint can do audio and/or video calling.
  • Active speaker identification – Displays a photo of the current speaker.
  • Call and video call buttons added to the contact card – Enables calls and video calls to be started with a click of a button in the contact card.
  • Automatically join meeting audio controls – You can use Settings to specify how you want to join a meeting:
    • Use Skype for Business (full audio and video experience)
    • Use a phone number
    • Don’t join audio

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.


By Peter Crepeau, Solutions Architect

Citrix Summit 2016 Part 2: XenMobile 10.3 and PVS 7.7

Here’s part 2 in my series of recap posts of the most important updates that came out of the Citrix 2016 partner summit. In this post, I’ve gathered notes from Citrix around XenMobile 10.3 and PVS 7.7. Yesterday, I posted about what’s new with XenApp and XenDesktop in case you missed it. If you’d like to talk about any of these updates in more detail, feel free to reach out.

Citrix XenMobile 10.3

The following features are new in XenMobile 10.3 and rely on an upcoming release of the Worx Mobile Apps and MDX Toolkit to be fully functional:

  • Shared devices in XenMobile enterprise mode. Shared devices is available in MDM mode.
  • Android for Work device owner mode and support for devices earlier than Android L.
  • Retrieval of voice or SMS messages on Android devices.
  • Support for Google Cloud Messaging on Android devices.
  • Fast encryption device policy, VPN policies, and new Restriction policy options for Samsung KNOX.
  • New language support for Korean, German and Portuguese and right-to-left text support in Worx Apps. These languages are available in the XenMobile console with XenMobile 10.3.

New Console Appearance: XenMobile 10.3

XenMobile 10.3 has a new look. The console is updated with new colors, fonts, tabs, and improved functionality.

  • The Dashboard tab in previous versions of the console has been moved under the new Analyze tab, which also includes the new Reporting tab. For details, see Reports.
  • The Manage tab now includes the new Users tab where you manage local users and groups.
  • The Configure tab now includes the new ShareFile tab where you configure settings to connect to the ShareFile account.
  • You access Settings, formerly under the Configure tab, by clicking the gear icon on the upper-right of the console.
  • The Support tab now opens in the same tab as the console instead of in a new tab.

New Platform Support: XenMobile 10.3

XenMobile 10.3 now offers support for the following platforms:

  • Mac OS X
  • Android HTC
  • Android Sony
  • Samsung SEAMS
  • Windows Mobile/CE
  • Windows 10 Phone: Device management in XenMobile MDM and Enterprise modes.
  • Windows 10 Desktop/Tablet: Device management in XenMobile MDM and Enterprise modes.

Citrix PVS 7.7

The following new features are available with Provisioning Services 7.7:

  • Support for Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise and Professional editions.
  • In-place upgrade of target device software. Rather than reverse-imaging, you can install a new version of the target device software without having to manually uninstall the previous version. To do an in-place upgrade from version 7.6 to version 7.7 you must first install version 7.6.1.
  • Support for UEFI pre-boot environments. This enables you to stream at startup time using gigabit network speeds, so users experience faster startups, and to use disks over 2 TB.
  • The licensing grace period for Provisioning Services has changed from 96 hours to 30 days, for consistency with XenApp and XenDesktop.
  • The Provisioning Services API has been enhanced to provide a standard object-oriented PowerShell interface that enables you to integrate your products and tools easily with Provisioning Services.
  • vGPU-enabled XenDesktop machines can be provisioned using the Provisioning Services XenDesktop Setup Wizard, rather than manually or by  using the Provisioning Services Streamed Virtual Machine Setup Wizard. You can provision machines on VMware vSphere 6.0 as well as on XenServer 6.2.
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager Generation 2 VMs can be provisioned through Provisioning Services. Generation 2 VMs are optimized for modern workloads: the operating system does not carry the overhead of legacy drivers, devices and x86 architectures.
    • Note: This feature has received limited testing, may not be present in future product releases and must not be enabled on production systems. Citrix may not respond to support requests regarding this feature.
  • FIPS support. Provisioning Services uses a new algorithm that is compliant with Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS).
  • XenApp Session Recording is automatically available by default on all machines: you do not need to use a manual workaround.
  • Streaming VHDX formatted disks. This feature adds flexibility and efficiency to image and merging operations by letting you stream VHDX files as well as VHD files. Provisioning Services recognizes and uses the file format .vhdx as the extension for base disks and .avhdx for differencing disks (also known as versions). No configuration of this feature is necessary. You perform all image manipulation functions, such as deleting or merging vDisks, or creating new versions, in the Provisioning Services console the same way for both formats.


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


By Peter Crepeau, Solutions Architect

Citrix Summit 2016: What’s New With XenApp and XenDesktop 7.7

I recently attended the 2016 Citrix Partner Summit event in Las Vegas. I gathered what I felt were some of the most important notes provided by Citrix around what’s new with its core enterprise products. In this first post, I will review what’s new with XenApp and XenDesktop 7.7. In my next post, I’ll share what’s new with XenMobile 10.3. If you have questions around these announcements, please reach out

Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.7

  • Zones
    • Deployments that span widely-dispersed locations connected by a WAN can face challenges due to network latency and reliability. Configuring zones can help users in remote regions connect to local resources without forcing connections to traverse large segments of the WAN. Using zones allows effective Site management from a single Citrix Studio console, Citrix Director, and the Site database. This saves the costs of deploying, staffing, licensing, and maintaining additional Sites containing separate databases in remote locations. Zones can be helpful in deployments of all sizes. You can use zones to keep applications and desktops closer to end users, which improves performance. For more information, see the Zones article.
  • Improved database flow and configuration
    • When you configure the databases during Site creation, you can now specify separate locations for the Site, Logging, and Monitoring databases. Later, you can specify different locations for all three databases. In previous releases, all three databases were created at the same address, and you could not specify a different address for the Site database later. You can now add more Delivery Controllers when you create a Site, as well as later. In previous releases, you could add more Controllers only after you created the Site. For more information, see the Databases and Controllers articles.
  • Application limits
    • Configure application limits to help manage application use. For example, you can use application limits to manage the number of users accessing an application simultaneously. Similarly, application limits can be used to manage the number of simultaneous instances of resource-intensive applications, this can help maintain server performance and prevent deterioration in service. For more information, see the Manage applications article.
  • Multiple notifications before machine updates or scheduled restarts
    • You can now choose to repeat a notification message that is sent to affected machines before the following types of actions begin:
      • Updating machines in a Machine Catalog using a new master image
      • Restarting machines in a Delivery Group according to a configured schedule
    •  If you indicate that the first message should be sent to each affected machine 15 minutes before the update or restart begins, you can also specify that the message be repeated every five minutes until the update/restart begins. For more information, see the Manage Machine Catalogs and Manage machines in Delivery Groups articles.
  • API support for managing session roaming
    • By default, sessions roam between client devices with the user. When the user launches a session and then moves to another device, the same session is used and applications are available on both devices. The applications follow, regardless of the device or whether current sessions exist. Similarly, printers and other resources assigned to the application follow. You can now use the PowerShell SDK to tailor session roaming. This was an experimental feature in the previous release. For more information, see the Sessions article.
  • API support for provisioning VMs from hypervisor templates
    • When using the PowerShell SDK to create or update a Machine Catalog, you can now select a template from other hypervisor connections. This is in addition to the currently-available choices of VM images and snapshots.
  • Support for new and additional platforms
    • See the System requirements article for full support information. Information about support for third-party product versions is updated periodically. By default, SQL Server 2012 Express SP2 is installed when you install the Delivery Controller. SP1 is no longer installed. The component installers now automatically deploy newer Microsoft Visual C++ runtime versions: 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Visual C++ 2013, 2010 SP1, and 2008 SP1. Visual C++ 2005 is no longer deployed. You can install Studio or VDAs for Windows Desktop OS on machines running Windows 10. You can create connections to Microsoft Azure virtualization resources.

Citrix Director – The Director version provided with this release contains the following new and enhanced features

  • Proactive monitoring and alerting
    • You can now configure proactive alerting and notifications when thresholds are reached. This enables quicker responses even when you are not viewing the monitoring console. For more information, see Alerts and notifications.
  • SCOM integration
    • Deployments that use Microsoft System Center 2012 – Operations Manager to monitor deployments can now view alerts provided by the Operations Manager on the Dashboard and in other high level views in Director. For example, if connections to supported hypervisors fail, the administrator can check Director for Operations Manager alerts. After reviewing alert details in Director, the administrator can then switch to the Operations Manager console for additional troubleshooting, if needed. For more information, see SCOM alerts.
  • Windows Authentication
    • Director now supports Integrated Windows Authentication. For single sign-on, a user’s Windows credentials are automatically used to access Director. This support allows users to log on to their machines using any credential provider and supporting hardware, and use that logged-on identity to access Director. For more information, see Use Director with Integrated Windows Authentication.
  • Desktop and Server OS usage
    • The Trends view now shows the usage of Desktop OS by Site and by Delivery group, and it shows the usage of Server OS by site, by Delivery group, and by Machine. This gives you a real-time view of your OS usage, enabling you to quickly assess your site’s capacity needs. For more information, see Monitor historical trends across a Site.
  • Application limits in Director
    • Application limits configured in Studio are shown in existing views and counts in Director. For example, the User Connection Failures on the Dashboard will indicate when a connection attempt fails because it would exceed an application limit. Citrix has also announced that they are going to release version 7.8 in the first quarter and is intended to enhanced application delivery and management.

Again, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out!


By Peter Crepeau, Solutions Architect


VMware Blog: Top 3 Mobility Concerns for Today’s Healthcare Organizations

This post originally appeared on VMware’s AirWatch blog and was authored by Scott Szymanski. Be sure to check VMware’s blog for more great content.


mobilityMobile devices have been a huge hit for healthcare. In fact, a recent report from Research and Markets expects mobility in healthcare to grow from $24 billion this year to $84 billion in 2020. From accessing medical records to real-time translation services, doctors and nurses are seeing an incredible transformation in how they administer care using mobility.

While this is exciting for patients and doctors alike, healthcare IT teams must reconcile the government red tape and employee concerns inevitable with new technologies. These teams must meet HIPAA compliance and maintain patient trust without creating a labyrinth of security that medical staff find difficult to navigate regularly.

Fortunately, many healthcare organizations, including Florida-based Adventist Health System, have delivered successful mobile transformations across their teams. Watch the Adventist Health System video to learn how mobility is transforming healthcare. Then, take a look at the top three healthcare concerns to consider when researching mobility.


There’s hardly anything more cringe-worthy in healthcare than security. From electronic medical records to staff communications, there is a lot of sensitive client and staff information that needs protecting. And if this information is left in the open, it could have devastating repercussions. According to IDC Health Insights, 50% of healthcare organizations will have experienced anywhere from 1-5 cyberattacks—and one-in-three attacks will be successful.

Luckily, security and mobility can work together. Look for enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions that can track devices, push applications, enforce security policies and more without getting in the way of physicians. Some solutions can even wipe lost or stolen devices remotely, ensuring IT can quickly react when problems arise. Keeping information safe starts with strong security.



While security is primary, don’t forget the importance of simplicity. Mobile devices are redefining how medical staff diagnose, treat and report on patient health, and the last thing doctors need is another “helpful tool” that hinders timely and effective patient care. Devices that are difficult to use generally aren’t used at all, and worse than that, they could be used incorrectly in ways that might circumvent the security you worked hard to put in place.

Remember: sometimes less steps equal greater success. Simplifying the sign-in process to devices and applications might encourage a doctor to check a patient’s records twice before ordering a prescription. Tablets and smartphones could reduce training and the number of troubleshooting incidents serviced by IT, leading to independent but connected physicians across your entire medical network.


Patient Engagement

No matter how you use mobility, remember who physicians care about most: patients. Delivering timely and accurate information to patients is one of the most important elements of quality healthcare. Patients want to know their treatments and why they are receiving them. Unfortunately, according to a study done at the North Shore University Hospital in New York, less than half of patients surveyed were able to state their doctors’ diagnoses, an issue that could affect patient health and trust.

With connected mobile devices, you could deliver up-to-date patient information to physicians in real-time. Not only could this contribute to more accurate diagnoses, patients might feel safer sharing information with their doctors, ultimately leading to better care. Mobile devices are also more interactive than traditional computers and paper charts, and they could help doctors better illustrate medical procedures or conditions in ways patients actually understand. More informed patients are happier patients, and mobility could be the solution in your organization.


GreenPages has strong AirWatch expertise. If you have any questions or need any help on AirWatch projects, be sure to reach out!