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Reflections From Microsoft Ignite 2017

The shift in momentum for both Microsoft and VMware over the past year has been dramatic. The response from customers and partners has been overwhelmingly positive across Microsoft Inspire, VMworld and Microsoft Ignite. If stock price alone were an indicator, both companies are up between 25-30% from where they were a year ago.

Nothing articulates this shift from Microsoft’s perspective better than the book released last week from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: “Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone.”

During the opening keynote at both Inspire and Ignite, Satya outlined how organizations can enable digital transformation: Embrace the modern workplace, business applications, applications and infrastructure and data and AI. These four key solution areas then translate into four actions: Empower employees, engage customers, optimize operations and transform products.


Satya went into depth about how Microsoft uses cloud, artificial intelligence and mixed reality across Microsoft’s portfolio of products to help customers digitally transform their business. He also shared “how quantum computers could help solve some of our planet’s biggest challenges” and revealed a first look at the quantum computer Microsoft is working to develop.

The company made a number of announcements at Ignite. Throughout the keynote and sessions related to end-user computing, the company went into more depth about Windows AutoPilot, co-management of Windows 10 devices and the latest on Microsoft Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams, as well as how LinkedIn is getting plugged into products including Bing for business and Microsoft Dynamics.

Microsoft & VMware, Better Together

Our second year at Microsoft Ignite, the theme at our VMware booth was simple but clear: VMware loves Microsoft. While there are areas both companies compete, thousands of attendees at Ignite and thousands of our existing customers tell us they leverage both Microsoft and VMware technology to modernize IT, such as: Microsoft 365 and modern management for Windows 10 with VMware Workspace ONE, VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure and VMware Horizon and Microsoft Skype for Business.

Windows AutoPilot + Workspace ONE First Launch Experience

With Windows AutoPilot, IT can:

  • Configure the out-of-box experience (OOBE) screens for users,
  • Drop ship a device from Microsoft or OEM partners,
  • Automatically join the device to the domain and
  • Bring a device under management once a user connects to the network and enters their credentials.

After the OOBE screens, VMware displays a first launch experience from VMware Workspace ONE. This shows the user the policies, applications and other settings being applied and installed on their device to quickly bring them to productivity.

[Read more about this magical first launch experience here.]

Co-Management of Devices With ConfigMgr + Workspace ONE

Once available, co-management will allow a device to be managed by both System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM, a.k.a ConfigMgr) and unified endpoint management (UEM) with Workspace ONE, powered by VMware AirWatch technology. While some organizations are moving all of their workloads to modern management, co-management will allow the majority of organizations to migrate workloads, such as patch management, to a modern management approach over time. This can help eradicate the pain of managing remote PCs.

Workspace ONE enables organizations to do modern management of not only mobile device management (MDM) APIs for Windows 10, but also Windows Update, Win32 application packaging and delivery through a content delivery network (CDN) and peer-to-peer technology and more.

[Stay tuned for more information as this functionality becomes available.]

Accelerate & Secure Microsoft Office 365 Deployments With Workspace ONE

As customers deploy Microsoft 365, VMware simplifies the journey and experience of provisioning not only Microsoft Office 365 apps but also mission-critical applications and services—whether in the cloud or on premises. Workspace ONE:

  • Enables self-service and single sign-on (SSO) access,
  • Extends conditional access to authorized users and devices and
  • Gives IT the ability to containerize and protect data.

This includes the integration of Microsoft Intune mobile application management (MAM) APIs for certain capabilities, like copy/paste controls, so there is no need for IT to switch between different consoles. Organizations can leverage a single, wizard-driven console through Workspace ONE.

[Read how to deploy and secure Office 365 and other applications with Workspace ONE here.]

Deploy Horizon Cloud for Virtual Apps & Desktops on Microsoft Azure

With Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure, you can bring your own, existing Microsoft Azure infrastructure capacity and pair it with the Horizon Cloud service.

[Read more about Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure here.]

Optimize the Skype for Business Experience in Virtual Environments

Working with Microsoft, we will soon deliver an even better Microsoft Skype for Business user experience. Together, we’ve created an optimized, direct peer-to-peer endpoint virtual channel that offloads media processing to the endpoints.

[Read more about how Horizon and Skype for Business here.]

In addition to working with Microsoft to deliver better experiences for customers, we’ve been hard at work building out our unified endpoint management (UEM) platform. With UEM, we aim to make the management of every endpoint and operating system (OS)—iOS, Android, macOS, Chrome OS, Windows 10—possible from a single console with consistent policy enforcement across platforms.

One key innovation is how we’re modernizing software deployments for PCs through the integration of AirWatch UEM and Adaptiva peer-to-peer technology. During Microsoft Ignite, VMware and Adaptiva hosted a joint party to share with customers how we’re working together to modernize both endpoint management and software delivery.

Microsoft Ignite 2017 was an incredible experience, and we look forward to next year’s event after another year of innovation from both Microsoft and VMware. Click here to learn more about Microsoft and VMware.