The concept of “work” has dramatically evolved over the past five years. Shifting away from a physical location, employees want to be able to work anytime, anywhere – whether it be at home, or in a cafe. Today, businesses need to support users’ access to services, applications and data on any device and in any location, and this poses many challenges.
Our mission is to solve these challenges and work with our partners to help transform their customers’ End User Computing (EUC) environments. With 2016 marking an important year for VMware’s strategy with the final integration of Airwatch into VMware, we spoke to Phil Croxford, VMware’s Director of EUC Alliances and Channels for EMEA, about the opportunities for VMware EUC partners in bringing their customers’ digital workspace vision to life.
What is the state of the market right now?
We’re going through a transformation in the way we interface with applications at work – driven by employees’ experience of consumer applications. Being able to book a taxi or access boarding passes all through a mobile device is creating high expectations among employees to see the same thing in the workplace.
It’s these employee expectations that are challenging employers, who in turn are challenging vendors, to deliver a consumer simple workspace, but with the levels of security that enterprise customers need. They expect to be able to dispense with a raft of different passwords and access their apps with fingerprint or facial recognition, which can be more convenient and more secure. The GDPR, the EU’s General Data Protection, active from 2018, will up this ante for strengthening and enforcing security.
But that’s only part of the story. As end point devices multiply in terms of number and diversity, it becomes another access point for hackers. The complexity and breadth of multiple attack points makes it difficult to fight this threat. Unsurprisingly, the pressure on achieving a true business mobility is mounting on IT leaders. Our recent research revealed that 47% of IT leaders are risking the security of business data to deliver business mobility.
What can partners be doing to make the most of these opportunities?
Partners need to be able to paint a vision of the digital workspace, and then draw their customers a map of how to get there. All customers are at different stages in this journey, so as a partner you need to be able to identify what you can do for them and provide the right advice and consultancy. For example, while virtual desktops (VDI) is a mature market, partners can use solutions like VMware App Volumes to help customers on the way to the digital workspace if the customer isn’t yet ready to fully adopt Workspace ONE. This can even go on in the background whilst the longer-term strategic transformation happens.
What’s more, our partners need to consider all aspects of the digital workspace holistically, rather than taking a traditional siloed approach. Partners should identify how they can shift away from communicating with customers in functional silos – discussing mobility with the mobile teams – to creating a unified vision for mobility in the business. They need to be business transformation partners, identifying productivity gains for their customers and building the business case for investment. Ultimately, they can help customers reap the benefits of business mobility, giving them an edge in today’s competitive business environment.
What do you want VMware’s partners to take with them into 2017?
For partners in 2017, it is crucial that they understand the digital workspace vision and how they’re going to compellingly explain it to their customers. Partners themselves need to work hard to break down the silo mentality in order to make the digital workspace a reality for customers. This also offers a fantastic opportunity to cross sell solutions – there’s a lot more to the digital workspace than a single product. As part of this, mobility offers a chance to speak to senior decision makers beyond the IT department, as mobility is high up the corporate agenda.
Partners also need to think about the security side of things around mobility. We’re living in a world where there are more connected devices than people and every endpoint device is a security vulnerability that needs to be protected and managed. The number of connected devices creates challenges for partners in giving users the consumer experience they want, whilst guaranteeing security.
VMware is the only single vendor who can deliver against these imperatives and help customers achieve a secure digital workspace, so we want partners to grab these opportunities with both hands,
Find out more about being a VMware partner and our award-winning partner network here. Keep an eye on our blog and follow us on @VMware_ZA to keep up to date with the latest partner news and announcements.
For partners attending Mobile World Congress next week – why not pop by for a chat? You’ll find us in Hall 3, Stand 3K10.