VMware Explore 2022 Insights

First impressions of VMware Explore 2022 Europe

VMware Explore 2022 Europe wrapped up last week in Barcelona, Spain. It was a busy event, and the VMware end-user computing (EUC) team had lots of news to share. So today, I will briefly recap Explore and share our impressions of the event. 

Overall, the event had a very energetic feeling, thanks to the high attendance numbers, as well as the excitement of getting together in person. As in the United States, there was consensus that all the conversations VMware and our partners had with customers were very targeted and of high quality. Everyone who was there was very focused, and I even noticed this in sessions — it seemed like attendees were listening more intently than at pre-2020 events. 

Our EUC announcements

In EUC news, some of our most talked-about announcements were support for unmanaged and third-party managed Windows devices in Digital Employee Experience Management (DEEM); the expansion of Workspace ONE Mobile Threat Defense to include phishing and content protection; the next step for our Horizon Cloud next-gen platform, which will support connected Horizon 8 workloads; and the expansion of Freestyle Orchestrator to integrate with Workspace ONE Intelligence and, by extension, third-party apps. On the partner side, we announced the next step in our collaboration with Microsoft, by bringing new experiences to Windows 365 with VMware Horizon. And lastly, Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure has achieved FedRAMP High Authorization

For more details on all these announcements, as well as our announcements from VMware Explore US, you can watch the replay of our solutions keynote, “Setting the North Star for a Hybrid Work World” and then head to the recording of EUC CTO Shawn Bass’s session, “What’s New in Anywhere Workspace.” From there, check out the entire VMware Explore video library, which is free for anyone to watch, including those who didn’t attend in person. 

Our announcements built on several key themes, and we had many opportunities to discuss these during the event. 

Digital employee experience

One of these themes was sharing our definition of a digital employee experience (DEX) solution. While many DEX offerings focus on measuring and analyzing employee experience, our solution also includes the ability to deliver experiences, as well as remediate any issues when they do arise. We use the diagram below to illustrate our DEX solution. To learn more, see our digital employee experience solutions page. 

Digital Employee Experience Diagram

Workspace security

Another message that you might have noticed is that we are now referring to our security offerings — including Workspace ONE Mobile Threat Defense, Workspace ONE Tunnel, and authentication and conditional access capabilities in Workspace ONE Access — as our workspace security solution. This is mostly a matter of exposing some terminology that we had previously been using internally, but I like to make note of things like this just to head off any potential confusion. 

Autonomous workspace concept

Perhaps our biggest topic of conversation across all VMware Explore events has been sharing our vision of the autonomous workspace concept. Here again, this is something we would like to clarify, because it is not a product or a solution. Instead, it is the latest distillation of our guiding principles. For many years, we were guided by the idea of unification; then we were also guided by the idea of automation. Now, autonomous workspaces bring in the ideas of using data science to take in much larger amounts of contextual data, to strive toward a digital workspace that can be described as self-configuring, self-securing, and self-healing. If you were at either Explore event, you may have seen the cruise control and autonomous vehicle analogy illustrated below. We will talk more about this concept and how we are realizing it as time goes on, but for an overview, as well as demos of how it works, head to the article titled “Our Journey to Autonomous Workspaces: VMware Explore 2022 Update.” 

Autonomous workspaces diagram

These product and technical topics generated lots of great conversations, but one of the most ubiquitous conversations was, of course, about hybrid work. In a few sessions, I saw speakers ask the audience who was still working mostly at home, and many hands were raised. Sure, it’s completely un-scientific, so watch out for our annual research for more firm numbers. 

Another pronounced trend was a discussion about environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. These goals and ways of achieving them (especially carbon emissions reductions) are now becoming part of the IT conversation. 

Final thoughts 

Again, we encourage you to spend time in the video library learning more. 

It was great to see so many colleagues and friends in person, and of course the VMware EUC team wants to give our greatest thank you to our community members, customers, and partners who attended and presented at the event!