Real-world Workspace ONE Intelligence Use Cases

Jan 4, 2019
Ben Ward

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Senior End User Computing SE at VMware. Covered EUC solutions at both Citrix and VMware. Constantly trying to stay ahead of the increasingly rapid pace of change in human-focused technology, and then articulate these concepts to audiences outside of traditional IT.

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I struggle with concentration. I find it difficult to focus on more than one task at a time, and so in my case, Distraction = Low Productivity. One of the things I tend to struggle with is when there are multiple variables that need to be tracked at any one time. I feel very sorry for IT admins who need to keep track of potentially thousands of different devices used by thousands of different users. IT admins need a way to quickly understand what is happening with their devices, their applications and their users in real time in order to secure their environments and deliver great user experience, leading to higher productivity.

VMware’s Workspace ONE platform has been designed to allow management of all devices and applications from one place. It incorporates industry leading Unified Endpoint Management for everything from iPhones to Windows 10 devices, along with the ability to deliver virtualized Windows desktops and applications. Workspace ONE also bridges user experience across multiple device and app ecosystems by using an integrated Identity Management solution.

All of this means that Workspace ONE is in a unique position to give IT admins insights on employees enterprise application usage, their corporate-owned or BYO devices, device context and session information. Nowhere else in an enterprise is there such a single platform which touches all users and devices. This is why VMware created Workspace ONE Intelligence, to help IT admins make the most of this opportunity.

What is Workspace ONE Intelligence?

The Workspace ONE platform consists of three key components:

  • Unified Endpoint Management (previously AirWatch). This component enables the enterprise to manage all deployed devices, and also grab key logs, metrics and real-time contextual values from these devices.
  • Identity Management. A central authentication and authorization point which grants access to all authorized services, including SaaS apps.
  • Virtual Windows Apps and Desktops (powered by VMware Horizon). Windows apps still make up the majority of applications in the enterprise, so the Workspace ONE platform offers industry-leading Windows apps and desktop delivery.

Now, imagine that these were three completely independent solutions, with various logs and data streams. Also imagine that you still had physical desktops and a legacy PCLM system to maintain. It would very quickly lead to an enormous amount of data to gather, store and analyze. The very idea of this makes me start to panic.

VMware has recognized the value of having a single access platform, and so Workspace ONE Intelligence now allows enterprises to put all access, device and applications information into a single data lake. This isn’t complex to set up or configure, as all of the information is readily available through the different components in the platform. From the Endpoint Management side, IT gets access to device information, including hardware and software version, software installed and Wi-Fi info. From the Identity Management perspective, we know when a user logged on, and also which applications they accessed. If we then add in virtual Windows apps and desktops, we have information capabilities that allow enterprises to know everything about user behavior as it related to virtual Windows apps and desktops.

What can Workspace ONE Intelligence do for you?

Let’s say, for instance, that you want a quick look at any security risks you may have across your devices. There is a report for that, listing such key principles as Compromised Devices, Encryption Status and Passcode:

Workspace ONE Intelligence Use Cases

VMware acquired Apteligent, and the innovative capabilities provided by that platform have been integrated into the Intelligence service. With Apteligent, enterprises have the ability to get detailed application-centric information including crash reports, user behavior and app performance. By adding the capabilities provided by Apteligent into Workspace ONE Intelligence, you can now get all of your user information in one location.

Another key report is application launch count. This is very useful for helping an application team understand which applications are being utilized, across which platforms. Think about this in the context of application rationalization. I’ve often spoken to organizations looking to reduce the number of applications they deploy to their end users. The ability to understand which applications are being used and how often is a very valuable metric for this exercise.

Workspace ONE Intelligence Use Cases

Another great example is the ability to quickly create a report to detect specific security risks or vulnerabilities. In the below example, a report has been created to list devices currently exposed to the Spectre vulnerability:

Workspace ONE Intelligence Use Cases

In this case, we’re simply looking at enrolled Android devices which have not been patched since May 2018:

Workspace ONE Intelligence Use Cases

The really cool stuff: Automation

Workspace ONE Intelligence already incorporates many different metrics gleaned from the various components of the platform. Great, but what can we actually do with all of this information? This is where automation comes in.

Let’s say that we have a number of older Dell laptops deployed around the enterprise, and that some of these are beginning to exhibit signs of an ageing battery. Battery age is determined by recharge cycles and general usage, so it’s not efficient to make sweeping generalizations about the general health of your laptop estate. With Workspace ONE Intelligence, you can actually gather data on battery health from your estate, and then use that information to trigger a service desk ticket to get the battery replaced. In this case then, the user could receive a replacement battery before they even realize that there is an issue with theirs. Kudos for the IT team!

Workspace ONE Intelligence Use Cases

The Future

VMware’s Workspace ONE Trust Network enables enterprises to open up even more security capabilities across their digital workspace environments, with integrations into Workspace ONE Intelligence underway with leading security vendors such as Carbon Black, Symantec, McAfee and more. I’ll cover that in the next blog post. Until then, be sure to take Workspace ONE Intelligence for a test drive in your environment, or experience a guided tour in the Workspace ONE Intelligence hands-on-lab.

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