By Kevin Strohmeyer, Sr. Director Product Marketing, Workspace Services
Introducing VMware Workspace Portal 2.0
We’ve all heard the advice, “When you love what you do, you will always be successful.” It turns out that you either fall into the camp of “of course, what else would you do?” or “that’s just for the lucky few.” I choose to be squarely in the first camp.
I have now been at VMware for nearly two months where among my portfolio, I have the responsibility of bringing to market perhaps the single most used, or at least most visible technology that VMware produces, the newly renamed VMware Workspace Portal (formerly Horizon Workspace). Shipping both as an independent product and as a part of the new Horizon 6 Advanced and Enterprise editions, VMware Workspace Portal delivers a wide range of end-user applications including any Windows app using the new app hosting functionality of Horizon 6. Building on existing support for nearly any enterprise applications including Web, SaaS, SAML, Thin Apps, Office 365, XenApp, and complete Horizon desktops, the latest update also improves the flexibility for complex Active Directory SSO integrations and adds new reporting and auditing functionality. This latest version also gets a clean, modern new style based on HTML5 for a fluid and easily customized user environment that allows any IT organization to build their employees a secure virtual workspace with ease.
Meanwhile, The Workspace Portal team is working away on integrations for the newly-acquired AirWatch portfolio. As announced in April, the secure file sync and share functionality in previous versions of Horizon Workspace is being removed in lieu of AirWatch Secure Content Locker. Meanwhile, existing customers leveraging previous editions of Horizon Workspace files functionality may take advantage of special offers to move to AirWatch Secure Content Locker and can leverage migration scripts and best practices to make the transition smooth.
Reflecting on my onboarding experience
With all the growth and excitement here in the VMware EUC organization, my two months almost makes me a veteran, but I can still very clearly remember my first day. I showed up to the new campus with my personal MacBook and was directed to the VMware instance of Workspace Portal. I was prepared for the worst. From previous employer experience, I was used to having a “receiver” that would direct me to various apps and sites, but that receiver just made me re-authenticate to internal apps, or worse yet, was just a bookmark to a third party app that I wasn’t yet provisioned for and just failed. In the absolute worst case, it would just cache my AD password causing failures and even lockouts when my mandatory AD password changes occurred. Like I said, I was a bit skeptical.
In contrast, my Workspace Portal experience was stunningly simple. I opened the catalog, requested apps, (some provisioned instantly and others populated within a few hours as they required an approval workflow) and I never had to re-authenticate. I remember in a past life needing to reset my password for travel booking every time I went to book travel because I couldn’t remember the new complex and unique password I had setup the last time I forgot. No longer. My Salesforce.com, Amex Travel, benefits enrollment, everything just worked – and no logins required.
From that first day I quickly formed an emotional attachment to my Workspace Portal because whenever I was in doubt about how to find something I needed to get done, I could go to my Workspace Portal and find the app I needed.
Next, I wanted to get my iPhone and iPad setup to do the same. In about 10 minutes, I had enrolled my MacBook Pro, iPhone and iPad where I had access to my VMware Workspace Portal, my Secure Content Locker, as well as the mobile apps VMware had produced. One of these apps was a guide to the various cafeterias. Anyone who knows me understands why this is a killer app in my book. More importantly, through AirWatch, I had a secure browser connection to the VMware Source, out internal employee site. Because of the trust established between me, my phone and VMware though the enrollment process, I can get to the VMware intranet site from anywhere without the need for tedious VPN challenge response PINs from a security token, which means I use my tablet more than ever.
My next move was to begin structuring my project folders into the Secure Content Locker to ensure that I could easily access files on any of my devices. With Secure Content Locker, not only could I access and view my presentations and documents, but I could quickly open and edit them with changes easily replicating back to my MacBook Pro.
Looking toward the future
The more I use my VMware Workspace Portal and AirWatch managed application and file sync and share services, the more excited I become about the potential of integrations that make the experience even more seamless and simple while securing intellectual property and corporate networks. The power of the VMware EUC portfolio not only makes getting work done anywhere easier for employees like me, but can transform workflows, and change the way people collaborate and interact with partners, customers, clients, patients, or students. The spirit of innovation is raging here at VMware, it is a great time to be a part of the team and celebrate the release of Horizon 6 and the new Workspace Portal 2.0.