What It’s Like to Onboard While Everybody is Working Remotely

Apr 16, 2020
Jack Madden

Author:

Jack Madden is part of the VMware Workspace ONE product marketing team. Prior to joining VMware, Jack spent 9 years covering the end user computing industry as a blogger at BrianMadden.com. Jack is the author of nearly 1,500 articles, as well one of the first books on EMM, “Enterprise Mobility Management: Everything you need to know about MDM, MAM, & BYOD.”

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Last week, I started a new role at VMware, where I’m now part of the product marketing team for Workspace ONE. After almost a decade of blogging about the end-user computing space, I am beyond excited to start digging in from a new perspective and to be working with so many great people.

In the coming weeks and months, I want to write about all sorts of topics related to EUC and Workspace ONE. But to start off, I’m going to write about my first week as an end-user at VMware. One of the questions that I have been asked over and over is, “You’re joining during the middle of a pandemic when everybody is working from home? What’s that like?

The answer is, thanks modern end-user computing technologies, it feels completely normal!

This isn’t something that I take lightly in a time when many aspects of our lives are the complete opposite of normal. And every day, I’m thankful for and inspired by all the people out there that are keeping things running during the pandemic. In addition to all the healthcare workers, grocery store employees, delivery people and countless others on the front lines, I also think of all our colleagues in the EUC industry that jumped into action to help millions of people work from home and help flatten the curve.

In my case, my onboarding felt completely normal thanks to the human resources and IT staff that adjusted the processes in response to social distancing. Starting a new job is always a momentous occasion, and I was glad that onboarding was so efficient.

So, how did the process actually work? At a company of VMware’s size, countless employees are onboarded remotely and in offices around the world every week. Normally, a bunch of us would show up in person for our first day on campus in Palo Alto, but of course, now it is all happening through Zoom. Through video chat, colleagues from VMware’s HR and IT departments walked us through typical Day 1 information like company culture, where to get help with technology, when to choose a health plan and how to access our apps. Staff members talked us through logging in to our accounts for the first time, and from there, we were off and running.

Because most offices are closed for non-emergency purposes, many of the new employees (including me) were logging in from our personal laptops. But with SaaS apps and virtual desktops, BYOD was no problem at all. I logged right into Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub on the web, and I saw all of the apps that had already been provisioned for me. On the first day, I was able to be immediately productive in multiple ways:

• All my apps were enabled with single sign-on. In fact, I think I only had to authenticate on my laptop once or twice during the entire day!

• Soon enough, I was using my email, connecting with coworkers via Slack and setting up meetings in my personal Zoom, all without having to submit a ticket to access anything.

• I also had instant access to files across several different apps and repositories.

• For apps that required network access, rather than using a VPN, all the new employees had immediate access to a Horizon virtual desktop as well.

• Next, I went to my phone, enrolled it in Workspace ONE UEM, and got Boxer installed.

• One of the key apps this week has been the People tab in Intelligent Hub, which I’ve used multiple times every day as I’ve met new colleagues.

Let’s review: From the very first day, I had access to all different types of apps and data, on different types of devices, all while remote and with SSO. I was productive, right from Day 1. It helps that I was already comfortable working with geographically disparate teammates and using tools like Zoom and Slack, but I wouldn’t have been able to do all that on my first day without VMware’s internal Workspace ONE environment.

As a blogger, I’ve been writing about the EUC technologies that can make a great employee experience for years now. In other words, I knew what to expect. But still, that didn’t prepare me for just how cool it felt to go through my own onboarding process and start being productive right from the start.

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