With the shift to hybrid work, employers are looking for new opportunities to empower their distributed workforce while finding new ways to engage with employees for them to be productive. Hybrid work demands rely on quick access to applications and a set of tools that employees can use to carry out their day-to-day tasks. As organizations navigate through a work-from-anywhere world, the need for virtual desktops and apps has gone beyond the usual use cases like BYOD, security, and compliance. To cope with the changing workplace of today and the future, customers have been deploying VMware Horizon as the modern platform for secure delivery of virtual desktops and corporate apps across the hybrid cloud.
IT can deliver technologies like virtual apps and desktops to its end users all day long, but without a great user experience in accessing those apps and desktops, adoption and engagement tend to decline. To help empower employees, VMware Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub has been at the forefront of providing access to all corporate apps, including Horizon virtual apps and desktops, through a single portal for many years now. Employees have the flexibility of using either a corporate-owned or BYO device to access their apps, and they can use single sign-on (SSO) for all their apps, leading to fewer “I forgot my password” help desk tickets that IT must deal with.
Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub is an easily integrated digital workspace solution designed to improve employee engagement and productivity through a single app. Employees get a unified app catalog that includes all their apps and a self-service portal so they can rely less on IT for support issues. They also receive real-time notifications, corporate information available at their fingertips, and a directory to search for their peers. Overall, Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub is a one-stop shop for IT to engage with employees, deliver consistent experiences, and increase productivity.
Let’s now take an even deeper look at how these Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub capabilities can help Horizon users.
Unified app catalog
The unified app catalog brings together all of an organization’s web/SaaS apps, virtual apps/desktops, and native apps into a single interface for employees to use. The “Apps” tab in the interface allows employees to view, search, and launch work apps. Employees can add their most used or favorite apps to the “Favorites” tab. The interface can be the Intelligent Hub app that is available for download and installation across mobile devices, tablets, and PCs. The interface can also be accessed through a web browser. IT admins benefit from having a single catalog to maintain and can curate the app catalog settings for VDI users.
Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub can act as an authentication mechanism, and along with Workspace ONE Access, can provide SSO to federated apps. With one click on the app, employees receive seamless access to work apps and see personalized content relevant to them without having to type in a username and password.
Communication channel for Horizon users
Organizations can use the “For You” tab for all internal communications with their employees and keep them engaged by sending appropriate notifications at the right time.
They can send three different types of notifications:
- Priority notifications. Use these to notify users in case of emergency or an urgent situation, such as a power outage.
- Actionable notifications. Send notifications with action buttons that users can click, for example to approve a Concur expense.
- Informational notifications. Let users know about company information, for example a company-wide meeting reminder 15 minutes before the meeting starts, with a direct link to join and more details or web links about the meeting.
A few other common notifications use cases for communicating with employees are:
- IT and support. New applications available, new desktop pool assignments, VDI service outages, scheduled maintenance windows, etc.
- Human resources. New employee onboarding, benefits enrollment, corporate training, etc.
- Physical security and remote early warning. Building access, power outage, emergency response, etc.
The “People” tab can be integrated with the organization’s corporate directory, and it can be used as the landing page for an overview of an employee’s complete team, including their manager, peers, and direct reports. If Horizon users are collaborating with other Horizon users across global teams, finding people is easy with this capability. An employee’s photo and contact information can also be integrated here, which can be viewed by their colleagues.
Imagine if you could reduce the number of times an end user had to contact your service desk to reset a password or connect to a virtual desktop. How many times do end users ask your team for information on where or how to do something?
The “Support” tab links to a brandable support page that displays and provides links to key self-service resources, such as FAQ and knowledge base articles, to help resolve common IT challenges. The content encourages employees to self-service their requests and minimizes help desk workload.
Corporate branding is key to achieving a customized look-and-feel using colors and logos that represent the organization and make your end users feel at home. Organizations can have custom brandings for different business units, full-time or contractor employees, and more. The look and feel can be customized using Intelligent Hub templates as well. The Hub Services settings display a live preview, making it easier for the admin to quickly update the relevant settings. Let’s look at an example where an organization has two separate brandings for different user groups.
Branding A (for full-time employees)
- Branded with the organization logo and color scheme.
- Promotes, recommends, and categorizes applications.
- Provides access to all available Hub Services.
Branding B (for contractor employees)
- Customized branding to match a different business unit or a contractor employee.
- Customized app catalog layout, order, ratings, and more.
- Limited access to certain Hub Services, for example, the “People” tab is absent here.
How to get Intelligent Hub for Horizon deployments?
Workspace ONE Access is the key component behind Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub, adding capabilities like SSO to all apps and desktops with a unified app catalog, notifications, self-service support, and all the other features mentioned in this blog. Workspace ONE Access is already included with all Horizon subscriptions, from Horizon Apps Standard Subscription through Horizon Universal Subscription, as shown in the table.
Next steps on the journey to empowering and engaging employees
Navigating the journey to delivering services to the hybrid workforce is challenging as employees have high expectations and want seamless technological experiences. Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub with Horizon helps employees feel empowered and confident with a technology that delivers secure access to apps and desktops, plus consistent and high-quality experiences that allow people to collaborate and participate when needed. Self-service options make it easier for employees to be more enabled. Putting employees first with high-quality experiences makes remote onboarding faster and easier for new recruits. Overall, with Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub and Horizon, organizations are better equipped to help employees make the transition to a work-from-anywhere world.
To learn more about these Intelligent Hub features and how you can leverage them in your Horizon environment, we encourage you to explore these resources:
- Learn more about Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub.
- Learn more about unified app catalog.
- Learn more about notifications.
- Watch this video to learn more about self-service support with Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub.