VMware Horizon

VMworld 2012: The Challenge in Transforming End-User Computing

It seems that everywhere I go these days, I find companies and organizations trying to define their future plans for end-user computing. Whether they refer to the initiative as a ‘future workplace strategy’, or simply a ‘desktop roadmap’, there are individuals and groups being tasked with deciding users will work through technology in the short, medium and longer term.

The unfortunate truth is, it’s difficult making these plans – after years of simply renewing and upgrading existing end-user technology, IT organizations now face a bewildering range of options and lack transparent mechanisms for choosing between them. Which user still needs a desktop? Who should get a virtual desktop? What about tablets, or BYOD projects? Everyone has a different opinion and expresses their explanation in different ways.

A Shift In The Focus

At VMware, we often see the flip-side of these issues: our customers know they want to take advantage of desktop virtualization, they just don’t quite know how, when and for whom. It seems they know VMware View is an answer to some of their questions, they just don’t know which ones.

This is why we’ve shifted our efforts over the last couple of years from creating blunt end-user capabilities to delivering pre-validated solutions that focus on real-world business requirements. The Mobile Secure Desktop, the Always on Point Of Care Desktop, the Business Process Desktop and (coming soon) the Branch-Office Desktop – each target different and clearly defined deployment scenarios, described in terms of what the solution does and not the technology it’s built from.

These solutions are already helping many of our customers as they wrestle with the challenge of right-sizing technology to their evolving end-user requirements.  However, it’s not enough – not every user’s working requirements will be met by a solution built on desktop virtualization. Some will continue to need a PC running a full local operating system (OS), others may be able to abandon the desktop OS altogether and shift focus entirely to their applications.

Enter End-User Advisory Services

With this in mind, we began working on a mechanism to support more generic strategic planning for end-user computing late in 2011. We quickly realized that two of the biggest challenges in moving to the post PC-era were the inadequacy of our current means of description (most EUC language is still PC based – for example ‘desktop’) and the absence of ‘time’ in most planning processes: our operational best practices, procurement approaches and outsourcing contracts necessarily try to take a ‘fixed snapshot’ of the end user domain.

The approach we’ve come up with is based on a new way of modelling and describing the end-user domain and, perhaps most surprisingly, not tied to VMware technology. We’ve been quietly testing this new service platform with some of our customers since early this year and will be publically unveiling it for the first time at VMworld this week.

If you want to learn more and see this new approach in action, please join us at VMworld solution ITT1499 on Tuesday August 28th at 3:30 PM.  Hopefully, we’ll see some of you there.