IT departments today are at a pivotal point – trying to balance shrinking budgets with high business expectations. A recent study indicates 98% of IT teams are now being measured on spending;[i] and at the same time, upwards of 60% are now tasked with transforming security and user experience[ii] This becomes a much bigger problem when we consider that traditional PC management and methods in use today are inadequate for the modern mobile workforce challenges facing IT organizations. Driving transformation becomes a challenge when 80% of your PC costs are management and support[iii] and only 24% of employees agree that IT is providing the apps they need to get work done![iv]
The good news though is that with Windows 10, Microsoft is advocating a “Modern Management” model that challenges the PC management status quo. Modern management allows IT to leverage the built-in OS management APIs, deliver real-time policies and updates from the cloud, simplify device onboarding and more. Similar to how IT has managed thousands of mobile endpoints at scale, at a fraction of a cost compared to PC lifecycle management (PCLM). Clearly, following this same approach for Windows PCs will drive significant cost savings and a better user experience.
However, as customers transition to modern management, we see the journey to transformation is not easy. Customers are looking at moving years of on-premises CapEx investments to a cloud-powered OpEx model; consolidating siloed processes and tools into one unified approach; shifting IT focus from run-the-mill PC maintenance to driving transformation. To proceed with confidence to a modern management solution, customers need a well-defined and pragmatic approach that transitions device management, application delivery, patch management, and compliance; and other traditionally high pain-point PCLM workloads. We have listened carefully to what customers need to confidently move forward and have designed an offering that addresses the challenges this transition presents. We are pleased to announce the introduction of Workspace ONE AirLift.
What is Workspace ONE AirLift?
AirLift is a server-side connector for co-management alongside Microsoft System Center Configuration Management (SCCM) that de-risks and speeds transition efforts to modern management of Windows 10. Customers can take their existing admin framework for Windows management and move it to the cloud iteratively and more efficiently. With AirLift, co-management with SCCM and the transition to modern management is seamless and non-disruptive and helps customers get lower Windows PC total-cost-of-ownership in a much faster timeframe.
IT has built years of workloads and processes into SCCM, which has been the de facto platform for Windows PCLM prior to Windows 10 and modern management. By allowing co-management of the same device with both SCCM and Workspace ONE, customers are no longer required to make a binary transition from one platform to the other. Instead, co-existence with SCCM enables customers to prioritize and migrate (aka “AirLift”) iteratively the high pain PC management workloads to a more cost-efficient and secure cloud-based modern management model with Workspace ONE.
What Makes AirLift Unique?
Workspace ONE AirLift is the only solution to provide co-existence support for all critical phases of the PC lifecycle and across popular prior versions of SCCM (pre-1710) and Windows 10 (pre-1709). This enables customers to accelerate the move to modern management today, without forcing prohibitive and costly OS and management tool upgrades.
AirLift doesn’t just stop with co-management. As the name suggests, it also helps customers target endpoints that are more suited for modern management – because of predominantly offline and off-domain usage – and carry over PCLM workloads flexibly to Workspace ONE. Using AirLift, admins can quickly identify poorly managed clients, e.g. endpoints that are remote or mobile worker use cases, clients not reporting into SCCM, those missing critical OS patches, and others. Once discovered, admins can map these collections to SCCM, enroll these devices into Workspace ONE, and start migrating some the workloads – e.g. app packages – to modern management.
The first release of AirLift will also feature a workflow to selectively migrate applications to Workspace ONE’s modern software delivery platform. This helps admins minimize the otherwise cumbersome effort needed in repackaging apps for modern management. Also, backed by Workspace ONE Intelligence insights into apps usage, admins can treat this as an opportunity to rationalize software investments and only migrate the applications which are being used.
AirLift also provides a project management overview for customers’ transformation journies. It presents a detailed view of the environment that spans both SCCM and Workspace ONE; and summarizes the apps, devices, workloads, and management state of each Windows 10 device within the context of both the SCCM and Workspace ONE.
Flexibly Meeting Customers on Their Path to Modern Management
At VMware, we take customer challenges to heart and we made Workspace ONE powered by AirWatch to flexibly meet customers’ requirements – supporting any device, app, and use case. Staying true to this, Workspace ONE is now able to support customers’ unique path to modern management. Customers can choose to complement their current PCLM tools by using Workspace ONE for specific use cases that are prime for modern management (e.g. remote worker, companion devices, etc.). Or by leveraging AirLift, they can choose to transition only the high-pain point tasks (e.g. onboarding, app management, etc.) to Workspace ONE. And finally, they can follow the path to full desktop transformation today. This is because Workspace ONE powered by AirWatch is the only unified endpoint management (UEM) platform in the market to support modern PC management across all use cases and phases of PC lifecycle.
With our latest console release and the addition of AirLift, Workspace ONE truly reinvents traditional PCLM tasks by combining a modern cloud-based approach with Intelligence insights and automation. Intelligence insights into device state, patch status, and software inventory further simplify IT tasks and ensure PCs are always up-to-date and compliant. This drives significant cost savings, improves security, and drives great user experience. Several recent analyst reports have recognized the Workspace ONE UEM platform as the leader in Windows 10 and documented these modern management IT and user efficiencies.
Learn More About Workspace ONE Airlift
Make sure to join us live at the EUC Launch Event keynote on March 27. We will also have our lead Windows 10 PM preview the AirLift capabilities during the event and a deeper dive discussion on a vForum Online webcast on April 2.
[i] “Optimize Your PC Life-Cycle Management.” Forrester Research. A Custom Technology Adoption Profile Commissioned by Dell, November 2016.
[ii] “Research on Windows 10 Adoption.” VMware Customer Advocacy. An Inner Circle Community Survey Commissioned by VMware, June 2016.
[iii] “Workforce Transformation.” Dell EMC. Workforce Transformation Presentation by Dell, 2017.
[iv] “The Impact of the Digital Workforce: A New Equilibrium of the Digitally Transformed Enterprise.” Forbes Insights. Report by Forbes Insights in partnership with VMware, October 2017