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Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) goes mainstream

As you might have heard, Amazon recently announced a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offering on AWS called Amazon WorkSpaces. It’s always exciting when new vendors enter into our market since it validates our vision so I’d like to take the opportunity to quickly touch on their announcement and offer my perspective.

VMware’s history with DaaS

VMware has been offering on-premise and hosted virtual desktops using VMware Horizon View for many years while others have struggled to get started. Most recently, we acquired Desktone (now Desktone by VMware), a trusted partner, pioneer and industry leader in offering multi-tenant, DaaS solutions. We did so because we believe virtual desktops are the future of enterprise desktop computing in a mobile-cloud era where users demand anytime, anywhere and anyplace access to corporate desktops, applications and data.

Desktone invented the term and category, DaaS and the Desktone by VMware platform has incredible technology for delivering desktops through the cloud with the most complete and proven blueprint for enabling service providers to deliver DaaS. Through its industry-leading technology, operational expertise and global network of roughly 40 established and highly reputable partners such as Cisco, NetApp, Dell, Time Warner Cable, NEC, Fujitsu and Dimension Data among many others – VMware offers an ecosystem of partners that puts it way ahead of others in the market.

Not all DaaS are created equal

It is important for customers to evaluate a DaaS offering in its entirety and there are several things to consider when comparing new and proven offerings.

Do users want a server-based OS or a client OS
The Desktone by VMware platform supports all current Windows client OS versions (Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8) required by any organization with existing desktop investments that needs to ensure consistency of management. In addition, the virtual desktops we deliver through the cloud support touch-screen capability on mobile devices, unified communications and other peripheral capabilities that customers tell us is critical to mobile users but is lacking in server-based desktops.

We have service provider partners such as Dell, Navisite and Quest who are DaaS price leaders offering a full Windows client desktop for equal or less than the price of a server-based desktop that delivers a limited user experience and capabilities better suited to SMBs than the enterprise. A DaaS solution with dependency on the Windows 2008 Server OS will make their virtual desktops incompatible with many enterprise applications and desktop management tools.

What does support look like?
Support for mobile users is critical since problems tend to arise at the most inconvenient times. VMware and its service provider partners offer a full set of wrapper services to fully offload the task of managing the entire enterprise desktop ecosystem such as image management, OS patching and help desk among many other things.

Is public DaaS the right delivery model for the enterprise?
A public DaaS offering offers a limited use case to customers. The customers we have spoken with want a hybrid approach – one that allows them to mix on-premise VDI with DaaS. With VMware’s proven experience and expertise in virtual desktops, we can support all delivery models – public, private or hybrid DaaS.

Conclusion: What this means for customers

At VMware, we welcome Amazon’s entry into the DaaS market since we share a common vision for delivering desktops through the cloud. Their entrance is a strong validation for the DaaS approach and the use of VDI as a cloud services delivery platform. However, we believe customers get a better value, a superior product and a comprehensive, long term strategy with VMware.

VMware continues to be committed to providing innovation, choice and enterprise-ready solutions to meet IT needs and end-user demands. We are excited about the growth opportunities that lie ahead of us for DaaS and we look forward to partnering with new and existing customers to deliver the best DaaS product and service available in the market today.

Erik Frieberg, VP Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

Telligent Acquires Zimbra from VMware

Today VMware announced that Telligent, a leader in enterprise social software for customer support, digital marketing and employee collaboration, acquired Zimbra, which VMware acquired from Yahoo! Inc. in February 2010. Telligent is acquiring the assets of Zimbra, including product IP, existing customer and partner relationships and the core team, and following the closing will merge into a single company under the Zimbra brand.

In 2013, VMware is executing against three priorities – software-defined data center, hybrid cloud and end-user computing. In order to continue focusing on these areas, we determined that the collaboration and communication features of Zimbra as a standalone product would be best delivered by a partner such as Telligent in order to continue enhancing the Zimbra technology platform and growing the business.

Telligent, headquartered in Dallas, is a global enterprise collaboration and customer-centric community software company that is transforming the way organizations listen to, engage and measure interaction with customers, partners and prospects. Given its focus and complementary technology, we believe Telligent is ideally suited to enable continued growth for the Zimbra community and help deliver an even more robust collaboration platform for Zimbra customers.

Of note is the success delivered by the hard work of the Zimbra team during the course of the last few years. Since it was acquired, Zimbra has experienced significant growth in its email and collaboration business, adding more than 2,600 net-new customers and growing its footprint to more than 85 million mailboxes. VMware has also made significant technology investments in the platform through major product releases, including improvements to the end-user experience, addition of sync client support, enhanced security and compliance capabilities, and new administration and operations features.

It was important to VMware to find a buyer that would be a good home for Zimbra’s people, customers and partners, and we believe Telligent is a great fit. VMware will continue working with Telligent as a strategic partner to maximize customer and partner continuity, which includes maintaining a minority equity investment in Telligent along with a number of other investors. In transitioning Zimbra to Telligent, we are confident that customers will be in good hands with seamless product support, further technology innovation and go-to-market investments.

For more information, please refer to the Telligent news release, Telligent blog and Zimbra blog.

- Erik Frieberg, VP, product marketing, End-User Computing