Since the acquisition of AirWatch, VMware End-User Computing made tremendous investments in expanding beyond mobile device management (MDM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM), notably in two main directions. (There are certainly others we’ll save for another blog!)
A lot has been made of integrating into VMware Workspace ONE, our digital workspace platform that enables any app—cloud, web, native, virtual—on any device with a consumer-simple user experience. The other main investment direction is in expanding the platform to manage PCs, rugged devices and Internet of Things (IoT) devices alongside mobile devices using mobile management technologies. This expansion to manage all devices from a single management console is called unified endpoint management (UEM).
With VMware AirWatch UEM, the same modern, cloud-based approach that enables phones and tablets to be managed over the air and off the corporate network also provides tremendous efficiencies to traditional PC lifecycle management (PCLM) or client management technologies (CMT) that frankly haven’t changed much in decades.
On that note, I am pleased to share that Workspace ONE, powered by AirWatch, has been named a 2017 EMM Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Mobility Management, Q4 2017. VMware scored highest in the Current Offering and Market Presence categories.
While this report may be titled “Enterprise Mobility Management,” I believe that it really looked at UEM capabilities across most popular mobile, PC, rugged and IoT platforms. We were very pleased to see the write-up state the following:
“VMware was the only vendor in this evaluation to supply three customer references [that were] using EMM tools to manage Windows 10 PCs, including software distribution, patch management, BIOS management, and GPO configuration.”
—The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Mobility Management, Q4 2017
Complete PC Lifecycle Management
If you read my previous blogs on the emerging UEM wave and how it revolutionizes PCLM lifecycle management, it’s here!
Workspace ONE leverages new mobile management APIs in the latest Windows and Mac operating systems (OSs), as well as Chrome OS, as a starting point for over-the-air management—and then builds on this with new innovations to fill in the gaps.
Remember, when looking at moving your PC management to a UEM platform, I have a saying: “Unification for unification’s sake is not a win for IT.” What value is a unified management approach that includes PC management if IT admins lose capabilities that legacy solutions provided?
UEM solutions must enable a “like-for-like” migration that gives IT all the capabilities it has built process and procedures around for years. Otherwise, the efficiencies gained via unification are offset by gaps in PCLM functionality that must be filled elsewhere.
With AirWatch UEM, we built a complete PCLM solution so IT can gain the efficiencies of UEM and maintain their breadth of management capabilities. For example, with respect to eliminating manual and image-based onboarding of new PCs (a frequently cited pain point for IT teams) AirWatch customers have two options to modernize onboarding:
1. Leverage native, out-of-box onboarding through Windows 10 and Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AD) Premium.
2. Leverage the new joint Dell and VMware service, Windows 10 Provisioning by AirWatch, in which Dell Factory Services pre-installs the AirWatch agent on new Dell PCs and drop ships to users.
On macOS, AirWatch provides similar capabilities, leveraging the Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP) and mobile device management (MDM) profiles enabled in the OS to onboard new Macs at initial boot. The OS can be further customized using new “bootstrap packages” that leverage the DEP process to further configure macOS and push additional scripts and tools.
Since Chrome OS is a cloud-based OS optimized to run cloud services, not a lot of OS-specific configuration is required. So the concept of legacy imaging, policy objects, etc. do not apply. But with AirWatch UEM, IT can enable user and device policies on Chrome OS to enable desired configurations.
Windows Software Distribution
Traditionally, distributing large Win32 files, like .MSI, .EXE and .ZIP files, can be costly for IT and painful for users. To move multi-gigabyte Windows files around a distributed enterprise at scale typically requires investment in a software distribution infrastructure that distributes the file sharing load geographically. Because these files are large, there is often a high failure rate, and IT cannot easily discern whether a package has been installed successfully or not.
AirWatch UEM includes unique capabilities built on top of Windows to make this easier and less costly using a modern management approach.
Content Delivery Network (CDN) + Cloud Storage Support
AirWatch supports CDN out of the box and includes 25 gigabytes of free app storage for IT admins to post large Windows application files for optimized internet-based delivery. Customers can choose their own CDN vendors in the AirWatch console.
VMware recently announced peer-to-peer (P2P) software distribution for Windows 10 devices through a partnership with market leader Adaptiva. (Check out this Q&A with Adaptiva CEO Deepak Kumar on the IT benefits of P2P technology.)
For non-headquarters sites (e.g. remote offices like bank branches, retail stores, satellite offices, etc.), first a user downloads a new, required software package. Then all other users’ PCs on a given LAN or remote network segment check in with one another and see that one of these has the file. This initiates a P2P sharing of the file until all PCs have it. This keeps big files from being downloaded over costly, slow WAN links and obviates the need for building out and maintaining a costly software distribution infrastructure.
In sum, we believe that all of VMware EUC’s efforts have been recognized with a Leader position in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Mobility Management, Q4 2017.