Business Continuity

Challenges & Benefits of Digital Workspace Transformation: Q&A with VMware’s Shankar Iyer

Have questions about the biggest challenges facing IT today when it comes to workspace transformation and end-user computing (EUC)? You won’t want to miss watching this great video interview from VMworld Europe.

Shankar Iyer, vice president and general manager of desktop products for VMware EUC, dives into the top challenges sparking IT to investigate workspace transformation and the major benefits early innovators are seeing from digital workspace enablement.

Q: As you are meeting with customers, what are the key points you’re really trying to drive home?

Shankar: The biggest attraction for customers is what we call workspace transformation. It’s a facet of every business. It’s something that spans anything in an enterprise that touches a user. Most customers are looking to fundamentally transform the way they deliver applications and data to their users. Part of the reason is that there have been tons of things that have transformed the landscape of the enterprise in terms of the multitude of devices, the heterogeneity of applications and the move to the cloud. It has forced customers into thinking how they can change. Why? It is to drive more productivity for the user base, to make their users more equipped with information, to make it easier to do their jobs and also the transformation of the demographics in their user base. This has led to many workspace transformation projects. Windows 10 is another big driver.

What we have been focusing on a lot with customers is really helping them on that journey. To us, that journey means moving to something we call the digital workspace through our end-to-end digital workspace solutions called VMware Workspace ONE.

[Related: Windows 10 Adoption Trends: 5 Vital Things You Need to Know NOW]

Q: How are you seeing customers start to deploy this vision? And how, as they bring about change and changing the way users do their jobs, are they overcoming the natural hurdles that come up in that process?

Shankar: That’s a great question, because when you do things like a big transformation, you do not do it all at once. Otherwise, you are stuck with a two-year long project with no returns. digital-workspace-for-dummiesThe nice thing about the digital workspace solution is that you can start from multitudinous points. For instance, many customers today need to allow users to go access Windows applications across a multitude of devices. The only way to do that is delivering in virtual desktops either from a data center, the cloud or a hybrid model. That’s a great sort of project starter.

The beautiful thing about our desktop solution is that it comes with multiple deployment options. You can start purely from the cloud by subscribing to a service—no infrastructure needed. You can get going in literally a couple weeks. If you wanted to do it within your data center, you can start with a product called VMware Horizon 7 and the many, many partners we work with that can jumpstart those projects. Or you can go with a hybrid model.

Another way people can get started is (by saying), ‘Listen, I’ve got multiple users on a slew of devices, some of them managed, some of them BYOD (bring your own device). I just want to deliver a workspace-like experience.’ We have our Workspace ONE product, and the basic version allows you to deploy very easily to hundreds of thousands of users. You can start from that experience standpoint, or you can start from a mobility standpoint.

Maybe we already have VMware AirWatch or you’re deploying AirWatch for mobile device management (MDM). You start from there, and then you build out your mobile-centric workspace from that beachhead and then expand to the broader vision of the digital workspace.

We have multiple entry points for customers to begin their journey. Regardless of where they start from, they can get to that Workspace ONE vision.

Q: Over the past two years, VMware has done a tremendous job to not only get feature parity with competitors, but really to drive innovation. What are you really proud of for the team over the past 6-12 months, and what are you excited about over the next year?

Shankar: I’m really proud of some fundamental differentiators that have true business impact.

The first is what we call just-in-time desktops or what sometimes our customers call stateless desktops. It’s the ability to build out these desktops on the fly as users log in, attach the applications, attach the user profiles, get the user data and deliver that to them in real time. That’s a very powerful concept, because it gives you the best of user experiences combined with the lowest cost and the greatest simplicity. We will continue to refine it, and that’s a direction where it’s going to become pretty much the default way in which customers do virtual desktops.

Second, we announced a new protocol called VMware Blast Extreme, which is built for the mobile-cloud world. We’ve announced a slew of partnerships with client vendors, including Dell, HP, Nigel and so on, which has really driven the availability of low cost in clients in the market, so that’s something we’re proud of. We believe this is the protocol for the future. It probably the best protocol in the market today.

The third thing is this whole model of move to the cloud. We are unique in the fact that we are the only ones that can offer the ability for a customer to do pure desktops as a service from the cloud. We also recently announced a partnership with IBM with SoftLayer. We’re excited about the cloud journey and what this will allow us to do at greater scale and across the world.