Coretek Named Citrix Cloud Partner of the Year

2019-02-08T16:40:07+00:00February 8th, 2019|Azure, Citrix, Cloud|

Coretek Recognized as Citrix Cloud Partner of the Year

February 8, 2019 – Farmington Hills, MI.– Coretek Services (Coretek), an industry-leading IT professional services and consulting firm, has been named Citrix Cloud Partner of the Year, for their achievements in 2018. The announcement was made at Citrix Summit 2019, in Orlando, FL.
The annual Partner of the Year awards identify partner contributions by product, area, and other specialty awards for North America, Latin America/Caribbean (LAC), and Citrix Solution Providers (CSPs).

This distinction comes on the heels of Coretek Services being named the Global Citrix Innovation Award for Partners winner for 2018. This rewarded the company’s cutting-edge work at Wolverine Worldwide, where Coretek architected Citrix Virtual Apps running in Azure.

2018 was a pivotal year for Coretek as the company continued to exponentially grow their Citrix Cloud practice, pioneering the way for Global Citrix on Azure solutions for their clients. Coretek’s expertise and experience puts Coretek at the top of the field for Citrix Cloud implementations.

In addition, 2018 saw Coretek named Microsoft Azure Expert MSP, one of fewer than 40 worldwide. The Azure Expert MSP program is a new global initiative from Microsoft to highlight and promote only the most capable partners and to make their services and expertise discoverable.

Ray Jaksic, Chief Strategy Officer at Coretek, said, “The Cloud is our future and Microsoft and Citrix are our two most Strategic Cloud Partners. We believe there isn’t an organization in the world that has our expertise in BOTH Citrix and Azure. The awards we have achieved the past two years validate our beliefs. In a workplace that continues to be more globally dispersed but still needs secure access to centralized systems we believe the Cloud momentum with Citrix and Azure is just beginning!”

“Our award winners set themselves apart by aligning with Citrix, learning our cloud story, creating engagement, and driving ‘net new’ opportunities to sell Citrix solutions,” said Efrem Z. Stringfellow, VP, Americas Partner Sales. “These award winners provided sales and technical excellence to our mutual customers as we continue our move to the cloud. We are extremely pleased to honor this distinguished group.”

About Coretek Services Coretek Services is an industry-leading Systems Integration and IT Consulting firm that delivers high value and innovative solutions. Coretek works with clients to custom-design an IT architecture based on each clients’ unique requirements. The solution encompasses server and desktop virtualization, optimization of a virtual desktop environment, cloud desktop, mobile device management, and infrastructure consulting and project management. Our goal is to help our clients achieve Project Success. No Exceptions! For more information, visit Readers can follow us at @coretek using #coretek.


Coretek Services

Paula Gwyn, 248-684-9400 X211

Chief Marketing Officer

Win10 – How to Turn a Windows 10 Migration from a Sunk Cost to a Positive ROI Business Enabler

2019-02-20T12:42:31+00:00January 17th, 2019|Citrix, Cloud, Microsoft, Microsoft Infrastructure, Uncategorized, Virtual Desktop Enhancement Suite|

Full Article – Part 1: VDI – How to Turn a Windows 10 Migration from a sunk cost to a positive ROI Business Enabler


Windows 7 migrations were ugly.  Many organizations are still recovering from the experience which is leading to an overall procrastination to move to Windows 10.  Who wants to repeat that experience?  The cost overruns.  The time overruns.  The complexity of matching machine to user to application set.  The applications that we finally got to work and are full of legacy data that we still can’t retire.  Can we just poke ourselves in the eye instead?

In addition, we still have so many IT issues that we can’t seem to get ahead of:

  • Half-baked DR strategies that we can’t find the money to complete
  • User experiences that lack in mobility
  • Data Center overload and CAPEX expenditures, and yet still lacking in capacity
  • Security perimeters that are a moving target that leave us vulnerable and exposed
  • An IT staff that only has time for run and maintain efforts which leaves the organization vulnerable to a lack of strategic vision and growth

With these issues still plaguing us since WIN7, it’s no wonder WIN10 looks like the IT project that will put the final nail in the coffin of our IT careers.

But what if we looked at WIN10 differently than WIN7?  Are there better strategies to take advantage of when moving to WIN10?  The answer is yes!  And you will be surprised to know it’s nothing new, but it is better: VDI.

For the purists out there, let’s first clarify that when referring to VDI in this article, we are not referring to the purest form of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, which is persistent desktops in your data center.  Rather, throughout this article we refer to VDI loosely as any remote virtual desktop; whether it is a shared, hosted, remote, or presented – pick your flavor desktop from your data center, a hybrid data center or the Cloud.  In other words, any sort of desktop, including presented applications, that is NOT your own personal desktop tied to a physical device.

Deterrents to VDI

We’ve been helping organizations justify their move to VDI since 2005 – successfully.  There are zero customers who – after having deployed VDI – ripped it out because they determined that they did not achieve the benefits they hoped for; including better security, higher resiliency, enhanced user experience, lower overhead, better IT management and eventually, a cost payback.  The keyword in the last part is “eventually”.  That’s assuming you did VDI right.  We’ve seen botched deployments of VDI, but we haven’t seen an environment we can’t optimize (a.k.a. fix).

There is no doubt that the deterrent to VDI is the upfront cost.  But there are also upfront costs moving to WIN10.  We’ve done the math and can tell you that the cost of staying on physical endpoints and moving to WIN10 is far more costly – both up front and within 5 years – than moving to VDI as a strategy to migrate to WIN10.

Benefits of VDI

If you are considering VDI, it is usually because you hope to achieve these key benefits, which can also be seen as key success metrics:

  • Enhanced User experience
    • There are 2 key aspects: First, the VDI user experience must be the same as or better than the experience of the physical desktop.  Second, does the user have the autonomy to work anywhere on any device with the same access to data?
  • Security
    • VDI will inherently improve your security posture by removing sensitive data from endpoints.
  • IT Management overhead
    • The biggest soft-cost savings of VDI is the lessened need for IT resources to manage physical endpoints. It is true that different skill sets are required, but the architecture of VDI means that it takes overall less people to manage more than a traditional environment.
    • It’s true that the IT world is experiencing a 3.5% increase in OPEX spending over CAPEX. There are many financial reasons for this, but perhaps the most compelling reason we see it is because predicting the future is so unpredictable.  By consuming IT services as needed, the business stays agile; and OPEX spending can stay in sync with the business, as opposed to big upfront expenditures for guesstimates that could change.
  • Resiliency
    • VDI – when architected correctly – will inherently provide Disaster Recovery resiliency. In addition, with cloud and hybrid cloud strategies deployed, you gain bursting and elasticity benefits that you just can’t get from a traditional data center/physical endpoint strategy.  A VDI desktop experience also means less downtime than a physical endpoint.  According to the most recent IDC reports, a VDI desktop will experience 1.7 hours of downtime a year, compared to 17 hours of downtime for a physical endpoint.

Exploring your options

You don’t have a choice – you must get to WIN10 by January 14, 2020.  Don’t do the status quo of how you did WIN7; take advantage of the opportunity to do it better.  Let’s lay out the options:

  • Option 1: Status quo – WIN7 to WIN10 on physical device to the same physical device.
  • Option 2: Leverage VDI to migrate to WIN10 from current WIN7 physical devices to the same physical devices via a conversion process such as Igel – OR – onto new thin devices or BYOD.

Both options have the same aspect of assessing the applications for compatibility.  For this article, we will only be discussing the VDI and endpoint strategy.  In future articles, we will discuss the applications.

The pros and cons of these two approaches to get to WIN10 can be summarized as such:

Option 1:  Status quo – WIN7 to WIN10 on physical device to the same physical device.

The cost options vary depending on if you are doing an in-place upgrade versus “wipe and load” to the current devices.  With this option, there will have to be an assessment of the current devices for their ability to support WIN10.  If you choose to stay with physical devices there may be a contingency of endpoints that will have to be replaced.  Many organizations have a 3-to-5-year device replacement lifecycle, which could happen organically during this migration process.

An additional point of consideration is the compatibility of the current physical device.

Of the options being discussed in this article, this is the most costly option – both upfront and over 5 years – regardless of device replacement or not.  And the benefits are the least desirable.  This is the status quo option that does not offer any leverageable changes in the way you do business that would give you a competitive advantage.  IT Management overhead stays the same, as does user autonomy, security, and resiliency.

Option 2:  Leverage VDI to migrate to WIN10 from current WIN7 physical devices to the same physical devices via a conversion process such as IGEL– OR – onto new thin devices or BYOD.

The upfront costs between this option and the first status quo option are surprisingly close.  However, when comparing the 5-year TCO, this option is the clear winner; by about a 40% advantage.  In addition, the key success metrics of VDI make this a far-superior path that will pivot your organization onto a new and better path filled with competitive advantages.

To VDI or not to VDI – that is the question for your WIN10 Migration.

The takeaway is that you have options.  You can stay the course with a traditional upgrade path, or you can explore VDI as a viable path.  Please join us for a webinar on Thursday, January 31 at 2:00 pm EDT, 1:00 pm CDT, or 11:00 am PDT where we will take a deep-dive in the into the TCO and ROI of VDI and work through real-world scenarios compared to industry published standards.

This is the first part of a 4-part series around various aspects of VDI.

JANUARY 31, 2019
2:00 PM EDT

What the Citrix + Microsoft Cloud Alliance means to you.

2018-12-06T10:11:29+00:00December 6th, 2018|Announcements, Azure, blog, Citrix, Cloud, Microsoft, Micrsoft Cloud Solution Provider, News|

Ray Jaksic, Coretek CTO, was interviewed for this Citrix blog post… 

Want to help your customers solve key challenges and streamline their cloud journey?

That’s the bottom line on the Citrix and Microsoft Cloud Alliance, which we’ve built to help you close Citrix Workspace and Citrix Cloud deals with customer workloads in Azure. When you help meet the overwhelming customer demand for Citrix Cloud solutions in Azure, you can grow your business and your margins while solidifying your role as a trusted advisor in the era of cloud and digital transformation.

“For us, our strategy is cloud and moving customers to cloud. When you tie Citrix and Microsoft together, we’re able to solve some unique use cases within the marketplace that you can’t solve any other way. Cloud Alliance makes it incredibly attractive and profitable for us to transition customers to the cloud.” – Ray Jaksic, CTO, Coretek Services

Why Cloud Alliance is great for your customers

Everyone knows how valuable cloud is. You can increase business agility, respond more quickly and cost-effectively to new business needs and opportunities, reduce waste, shift capex to opex, increase workplace flexibility—we all know the script by now. One of the most obvious customer questions to consider is: why aren’t they already running Citrix Cloud services on Microsoft Azure? What’s making them hesitate about cloud adoption? They’re afraid, worried that it’s all or nothing, or that it will be complex and expensive. You can help them understand they can dip their toes in and move at a pace that works for them.

This is the “aha!” moment: there’s no need for them to take their entire Citrix infrastructure and put it in Azure on day one—or ever. We think Azure is the best place to put Citrix workloads, but not every customer can get there overnight. Customers might not choose to put all their workloads in Azure for many reasons, including regulatory compliance, pre-existing deployments in other clouds, or a desire to keep some things running in an on-prem datacenter. The Citrix Cloud management plane lets customers securely manage Citrix workloads in any combination of on-premises and public cloud infrastructure. This puts choice back into the hands of the customer, where it belongs. Particularly when used with Citrix Networking, the Citrix Workspace app allows your customers to seamlessly access all workloads, including virtual, SaaS, and mobile apps, whether the customer wants them in Azure, on-prem, or anywhere else.

How Cloud Alliance helps you close deals and make more money

Cloud Alliance is good for your bottom line in three ways. First, you’ll get training, tools, marketing support, and other enablements at no added cost, helping your whole organization become more effective. Second, you can earn financial incentives from both Microsoft and Citrix for performing value-added sales activities you’re likely going to do anyway. And third, by leveraging the Cloud Alliance framework, you’ll help customers move those Citrix workloads into Azure, leveraging great technologies from Citrix and Microsoft to drive a modern desktop for your customers. Happy customers buy more, which means more billable hours for you as you help them uncover additional opportunities to cloud-enable their business.

You know what slows down most POCs? Having to build the environment: installation, integration with required services, making sure everything works together, and not missing a critical step. Cloud Alliance partners gain access to a pre-built environment in the Citrix demo center; it’s already built for you, with everything working perfectly. You spend less time installing and configuring, and more time demonstrating value. Even better, when you use the demo center to deliver a personalized proof-of-concept to a qualifying customer, you’ll get a $5,000 incentive as well, even before the deal closes.

For one of our most successful partners, Coretek Services, Cloud Alliance further supports what they’re already offering to customers. Ray Jaksic, Coretek Services CTO explains, “Citrix and Microsoft working together is a dream come true. These are our two most strategic partners working together to offer a collaborative solution. Cloud Alliance comes at the perfect time. Our peoples’ time is money. This initiative is going to help support us and allow us to do more Citrix workloads on Azure. As an added benefit, our salespeople will go after pushing this because of the incentives they’ll personally receive.”

When you close the deal, we’ll further reward you with additional training vouchers for any certification course you choose so you can keep investing in your people and their skills and issue an Azure credit to reimburse you for a do-not-exceed amount of Azure consumed during the POC. That’s on top of the normal incentives you’ll get from both Citrix and Microsoft through programs you’re already familiar with. Remember what I said about getting paid twice on the same deal?

Is Cloud Alliance right for you?

Cloud Alliance initiative is obviously a great fit for Citrix partners with experience selling Citrix Cloud on Azure, but that’s just the beginning. For Citrix partners who’ve been selling our traditional solutions but haven’t added Citrix Cloud services yet, this is a great way to stay relevant in a cloud-first world and add new Azure skills to your practice. Microsoft Azure partners who are new to Citrix are also a great fit. You already know everything there is to know about Azure—now you can extend the solutions you offer to address high-value use cases to help your customers.

Ready to make Cloud Alliance part of your business? We’d love to have you! But don’t wait—the Citrix and Microsoft Cloud Alliance is live right now, with resources and funding available to participating partners. Check out the on-demand recording of our Cloud Alliance kickoff webinar and access our Cloud Alliance page on Sales IQ to learn more. Become a Citrix partner and get in-depth training at Citrix Summit this January 7 – 9, 2019, in Orlando, Florida, to accelerate your success. Talk to your Citrix Partner Account Manager today, start delivering the Citrix on Azure solutions your customers need now, and then come celebrate successes with us at Citrix Summit in January!

Coretek and Microsoft have Paved Your Way to Digital Transformation

2018-11-05T16:26:56+00:00November 1st, 2018|Announcements, Azure, blog, Citrix, Cloud, End of Service, Microsoft, Micrsoft Cloud Solution Provider, News, Office 365, Server Migration|

Wherever you are on your Digital Transformation journey, Coretek is here to help.
And with these FREE offers to get you started…what are you waiting for?

  • Data Center Migration:
    A Comprehensive Azure Migration Strategy
    Limited Time Offer: FREE Migration to Azure
    Migration  to Microsoft CSP Includes:
    • Assessment of applications and workloads for cloud readiness
    • Determine and plan viability, migration approach, and TCO of running in Azure
    • Design and deploy identity, network, security and sub-scription architecture
    • Migrate your applications and infrastructure to Azure

  •  Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops on Microsoft Azure: 
    Limited Time FREE OFFER: Test Drive Your Cloud VDI in One Week

    Test Drive Includes:
    • Configure One Site-to-Site VPN if necessary
    • Citrix Cloud Subscription Configuration
    • Deliver up to 10 Shared Virtual Desktops
    • Deliver up to 10 Win10 VDI Desktops
    • Office Pro Plus Integration

  • Extend Your Security for 2008 Windows and SQL Servers:
    Limited Time Offer FREE MIGRATION: Lift and Shift Your EOS Infrastructure
    • Free Migration of your End of Service infrastructure to Coretek’s Cloud Service Provider (CSP) instance.
    • Provide day-to-day support, patch and upgrade management.
    • Manage and monitor your consumption with Coretek’s Azure Management Suite (AMS) dashboards

  • Securing your Identity Workshop:
    Limited Time Offer: FREE Half-Day Securing Your Identity Workshop
    What to expect:
    • Discovery session to understand Identity and Security Landscape
    • Technical Deep Dive into relevant topics
    • Recap Session summarizing next steps
    • Recommended follow-up 1 week POC/Pilot 10K cost may be covered by Microsoft

Need help with an Azure project and want to work with the best?

Fill in this form and one of our Azure Experts will contact you.

Coretek Services recognized as Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Service Provider

2018-07-25T12:33:46+00:00July 12th, 2018|Azure, blog, Cloud, Microsoft, Microsoft Infrastructure, Micrsoft Cloud Solution Provider, News|

New program gives clients confidence that they are selecting a highly qualified Microsoft Azure expert with proven results.

July 13, 2018–Farmington Hills, MI– Coretek Services (Coretek), an industry-leading IT professional services and consulting firm, announced today that the company has been named one of only thirty-three Microsoft Azure Expert MSPs.

“In this fast-moving technology environment, it is essential to find experienced partners in the disciplines you need,” said Ron Lisch, Coretek’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “The Microsoft Azure Expert MSP program lets clients and prospects know that Coretek has demonstrated to Microsoft the skills and capabilities to deliver upon our promises.”

Technology focus

As an IT consulting company, systems integrator and “born in the cloud” managed services provider, Coretek delivers high value, innovative solutions to solve our customers toughest challenges when their jobs are on the line.

Ray Jaksic, Coretek Chief Technology Officer, said, “Coretek has made the decision early on to invest in our cloud delivery capability. We assessed the different cloud platforms and made the decision to go all-in with Microsoft Azure. The ever-growing set of services allows us to identify new ways to solve our client’s challenges.”

Provider excellence

As customers move to the public cloud with increasing pace, they need partners with a deep level of cloud expertise and experience to guide them. Inclusion in the Microsoft Azure Expert MSP program is awarded to partners that meet a stringent set of requirements, including verified proof of excellence in customer delivery and technical expertise, and the successful completion of an independent audit of their managed services, people, processes, and technologies. Only the most high-fidelity cloud managed service providers are awarded the Azure Expert MSP badge, intended to give customers confidence when selecting a partner to help them meet their digital transformation goals.

Gavriella Schuster, Microsoft

“We are excited to see companies like Coretek demonstrate a high level of expertise with Microsoft Azure,” said Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president, One Commercial Partner, Microsoft Corp. “The Azure Expert MSP program recognizes some of our top partners.”

Information technology adoption is only as good as it is perceived through the eyes and the hands of the end user. That is why in this mobile-first, cloud-first world, Coretek is obsessed with end users’ experience. The company has seen its clients achieve solid return on investment on their use cases in industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and financial services.

About Coretek Services

Coretek Services is an industry-leading Systems Integration and IT Consulting firm that delivers high value and innovative solutions.  Coretek works with clients to custom-design an IT architecture based on each clients’ unique requirements.  The solution encompasses server and desktop virtualization, optimization of a virtual desktop environment, cloud desktop, mobile device management, and infrastructure consulting and project management.  Coretek’s goal is to help clients achieve Project Success. No Exceptions! For more information, visit


Coretek Services
Paula Gwyn, 248-684-9400 X211
Chief Marketing Officer

Coretek Services recognized as Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Service Provider

2018: The year you migrate to the cloud?

2018-01-23T23:52:54+00:00January 24th, 2018|Azure, blog, Cloud, Disaster Recovery|

Welcome to 2018, where the rush to the cloud shows no sign of slowing down.  New Azure features are being released so quickly that the Azure marketplace seems to show new services every day.  I sometimes see new features arrive between button clicks!  It is probably safe to say that we are in the “majority adopters” phase of the traditional technology adoption curve for the cloud.

The big question for you is whether this is the year to migrate your data center assets to the cloud.

Lift and Shift vs. Application Modernization

The first thing you need to consider is whether you want to “lift and shift” your infrastructure or start an application modernization project to move your digital assets to the cloud.

Lift and Shift Methodology — This method consists of cloning your server infrastructure to the cloud and transferring the data to the new servers.  The new servers are cloned as virtual machines (VMs) operating as they did in your on-premises infrastructure.  The plan detailed below is going to focus on this methodology.

Application Modernization Methodology — This method requires you to refactor your applications for the cloud.  There are significant cost savings available long term using this method; however, the conversion cost will be much higher than a straight “lift and shift” to the cloud.

The “Lift and Shift” Plan

Azure provides several tools including Azure Migrate (public preview) and Azure Site Recovery (ASR) to execute the migration to the cloud, but you need to understand what you are trying to accomplish.  The following is a typical plan for one of these projects:

  • Assessment – Use tools to collect data in manual or automatic ways to perform a documented analysis.  Data that should be collected and analyzed include the server function, operating system, cores (or CPUs), memory, disk sizes, and network performance.
  • Selection and Planning – Once the assessment is complete, you can then select the servers or workloads that are good candidates for migration.  You should also identify any server issues such as unsupported operating systems, large disk sizes, or incompatible disk technologies.  For example, disk sizes over 4TB cannot be cloned using ASR as of this writing.  Items like available network bandwidth, maintenance windows, and business objectives need to be considered before publishing your plan.
  • Environment Preparation – With any on-premises migration to the cloud, network constraints may need to be implemented (such as QoS and firewall changes for future replication). The target also needs to be created in Azure consisting of the new network, storage, and virtual private networks.  If you are using ASR, an on-premises process server needs rollout.  In this stage, I also recommend implementing a monitoring solution where you can watch the process server health and network bandwidth.
  • Replication – This is probably the longest and most tedious part of this entire project.  At this stage, the data is replicated using the selected migration tool.  Like any backup or disaster recovery solution, the longest part of synchronization is the initial data replication.  You do not merely want to replicate all the servers at once because you could significantly affect your available network bandwidth and that could make you unpopular.  When your end users come to find you with their torches and pitchforks, that’s very bad.  I have seen in the migrations that I have managed that doing more than 2-3 initial replications at a time is the limit.  Once a server has completed the initial replication, then you can add others because the completed servers need incremental changes over time.
  • Cutover – You are almost there!  Now comes the maintenance windows where you can migrate to Azure and then disable the original server.  Depending on your project and business needs, you can either do it all at once, or break up the list based on workloads and other factors.  Doing the migrations in multiple, distinct sets reduces stress.

Here at Coretek we do many of these projects every year.  We can definitely help you with your migration to the Azure cloud!  Just give us a call.

Coretek Wins! – 2018 Citrix Innovation Award for Partners

2018-01-10T01:32:24+00:00January 10th, 2018|Azure, blog, Citrix, Cloud, Microsoft, Micrsoft Cloud Solution Provider|

We won the 2018 Citrix Innovation Award for Partners!!

Thank so much to Wolverine Worldwide, all the people that voted for us, and of course all the awesome Coretek teammates that made it happen.  Much more to come!

See the details here:

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