If I am not working on Photoshop or creating websites, I am usually just relaxing for the day. But I recently had a new client who wanted me to do a bit of excel work on one of the sites I was making for him. While I obviously have a basic understanding of excel, it is not a program that I use every day for work.

So I turn on my computer to get started and I find out I basically have the oldest version of excel that one could possibly have. So I email the client, letting him know this, and if he would mind me sending files saved in older formats.

He writes back and tells me it isn’t a problem, and he will take care of it. I will admit, I was a bit confused by this statement as I was not sure what he was “taking care of.” Was he buying me the newest version of Excel just for this hours worth of work I was about to do. Was he about to send me to an illegal torrent site to download this software discreetly? I really had no clue.

The client’s solution: XenApp Hosting

So I am assuming most of you have no idea what XenApp hosting is, and that is fine, neither did I. Basically my client sent me over an email link where I downloaded the Citrix client onto my computer, and then I put in a request to this company for a new Excel program.

Then like magic, I am now able to open the newest version of Excel right on my computer. I open up a file, get right to work, save it in the format the client wants, and then I send the completed work on its way. All of this done without having to drop $150 on a new Microsoft office package. The client is happy and I am still confused what in the world just happened.

So what DID happen?

I am not going to try and pretend that I can understand all that XenApp hosting does, but I highly recommend any businesses who outsource most of their work to look into this application with more detail than I am about, to sum up.

My basic understanding is that in order to speed up an application, files that a company loads into Umbee Hosting can be accessed by an employee anywhere, anytime, as long as they put in a formal request for the software. So if I’m at home working, I can get whatever application the client wants me to use sent over instantly. If I am traveling through Europe and a client needs something done, simply put in the request and instantly the software is on my laptop.

What is interesting is that the only thing you seem to need to download is the Citrix client, which takes less than 30 seconds to download and install. Another thing I was not expecting was the fact that I can actually break my internet connection, and still, have the new software on my laptop, so I can continue work from literally anywhere.

My best advice to anyone is to experience the software for yourself, but I cannot tell you how grateful I was that I did not lose a client due to having an old Excel program. What was even better was the fact that I did not have to go and spend my own money upgrading a software that I maybe use once a month. Fact is when you are doing freelancing full time, you need to be prepared to accomplish any task your client may need to be done.  But every now and then when you get a super organized and knowledgeable client, things are just smooth sailing!

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