Working from home has become second nature to many of us over the last few months. Organizations have learned that remote work can be productive for a lot of job functions, but some roles require people to be physically in the office. Workspace ONE is helping organizations quickly setup distributed workforces using virtual desktops and apps, providing secure access to any app from any device and enabling unified endpoint management on iOS, Android, Windows and Mac devices.
Most organizations that offered flexible work options have formed cross-functional “return to site” committees that are sifting through the many legal, compliance, privacy, culture and experience challenges as they are planning for safe return to the office in phases. To support the safe return to office needs of customers, VMware is thrilled to announce new workplace solutions for the Future Ready Workforce. Powered by the Workspace ONE platform, these workplace solutions include two new privacy-centric mobile applications: Workspace ONE Proximity* and Workspace ONE Campus*, designed to help customers bring employees back to the office and enable office experiences of the future.
These workplace solutions along with existing features in Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub help align teams across IT, physical security, crisis management, legal, HR and operations to support
• Automatic exposure notifications based on proximity to beacons
• Manual contact tracing efforts through integrations with partners
• Occupancy limits and physical distancing
• Omnichannel communication strategies
• Digital badge for entry, kiosks, printing and more
• Desk and conference room booking
• Office navigation
Introducing Workplace Solutions
The initial rollout of VMware’s workplace solutions, beginning with Workspace ONE Proximity and features available today in Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub, are designed to help customers support a safer return to office for employees during the pandemic.
As organizations consider what the “new normal” for offices will look like, many customers we’ve spoken with are already planning to support a more flexible approach to the office which paves the way for a rethink in how things like desks and meeting rooms are organized and how offices are generally designed. To support these new ideals, Workspace ONE Campus will be designed to support modern office requirements such as advanced desk/meeting room booking and office wayfinding.
“In the post COVID world, we anticipate more distributed workforces. As more employees work remotely, they will not need a permanent office space but will need the ability to quickly book a desk for personal productivity or a conference room for collaboration. Organizations are already rethinking their physical office layouts. We believe we can help provide the technology for the campus of the future with our Workspace ONE Campus solution.” said Hemant Sahani, Senior Director of Product Management at VMware.
Workspace ONE Proximity for Return to Office During the Pandemic
Available for Beta testing today, Workspace ONE Proximity is a privacy-centric mobile application designed to keep employees informed and improve workplace safety as they return to the office during the pandemic. Through Workspace ONE Proximity, employees can privately notify admins and colleagues through the application should they test positive for the virus after being in the office. The application securely stores physical beacon interactions, helping an employee recall their whereabouts, which can support an organization’s manual contact tracing solutions. This helps collectively reduce the spread of exposure for employees returning to office and helps admins prioritize deep cleaning in necessary spaces.
“As the world faces an unprecedented crisis, we feel fortunate to be able to help customers safely re-open their offices while ensuring colleague safety, privacy and information security,” said Hemant Sahani. “We are proud of our colleagues that built the Workspace ONE Proximity solution as part of our tech-for-good initiative. Our Workspace ONE platform enabled us to quickly bring this solution to our customers.”
Workspace ONE Proximity uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to record beacon interactions with end-user mobile devices at any given time. Should a colleague test positive for COVID-19, the employee can review which beacons they’ve encountered to recall whereabouts and privately self-report in the Workspace ONE Proximity app.
If an employee self-reports, Workspace ONE Proximity will then upload a list of affected beacons (beacons which have been in close contact with the employee who self-reports) to the Proximity server and notifies admins as well as other employees who encountered the same beacon as an impacted colleague during a pre-configured set of time, all without revealing the identity of the initial reporter.
Workspace ONE Proximity uses geofencing to scan for physical beacons within the bounds of your designated office and does not track or trace individual locations. The purpose of leveraging beacons is to ensure maximum employee privacy. The app utilizes the Workspace ONE security SDK providing industry-leading mobile app management (MAM) security capabilities. The app is also built with the Workspace ONE Privacy SDK, which walks the user through built-in privacy screens, helping employees understand the permissions are required for the app to work and clearly stating the information collected.
As part of our tech for good promotions, Workspace ONE Proximity will be offered at no additional charge for Workspace ONE customers.
Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub for Communication and Digital Badge
Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub already gives employees everything they need to access corporate resources and be productive anywhere. For admins, Intelligent Hub also offers a notification framework that enables organizations to design omnichannel communication strategies to communicate with employees which is especially imperative during these times.
Beyond access to enterprise resources, Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub can be extended to physical spaces with our digital badge capabilities. This eliminates the need for physical badges and gives employees mobile entry into physical rooms and buildings and digitally authorizes employees for devices like kiosks, printers and more. This is accomplished by integrating HID Global mobile access technology within Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub to provide a seamless digital passport to the user. The user simply holds their smartphone device near a reader and the door opens – it’s magic. For added security, the app can be configured to request the user to authenticate using biometrics authentication in Intelligent Hub.
These features are available today and are just a few examples of how to leverage Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub to support employees in this current state of work and in the future.
With a rapidly evolving landscape of challenges, a single solution will not be able to solve for everything perfectly. By leveraging existing infrastructure to enable solutions for the future workplace, Workspace ONE customers can arm both remote and in-office employees with the tools, resources and support they need to be productive.
For more information on VMware’s new workplace solutions and see Workspace ONE Proximity in action, watch this technical overview.
To sign up for the Workspace ONE Proximity Beta, visit https://beta-ea.vmware.com/key/getbeta.
* Disclaimer: Beta program is open to select customers. Note that there is no commitment or obligation that a beta feature will become generally available