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Digital Workspace Workspace

How VMware Moved to Digital Workspace

by: VMware Sr. Director of Client Services Alexander Price and VMware Director of Client Experience Aju Sukumaran

In March 2020, the entire world came to a halt and all of a sudden, organizations across the globe had to have employees work from home (WFH) almost overnight. VMware was well prepared for the situation. However, teams across the globe, had to work day and night to make the shift happen.

VMware Sr. Director of Client Services Alexander Price said that before 2020, we were focusing on a workspace of the future, with half of our colleagues working remotely. So, we had already conceptualized what it could look like, and simply had to make it a reality. With many of our applications already cloud based, all our colleagues needed was an Internet connection.

When the pandemic hit us, the real challenge was to bring the office experience to colleagues’ homes to create a true digital workspace. While there were physical challenges, like moving monitors, we quickly realized that we had work practice and technical challenges as well, such as how we can work together on a whiteboard, how can we recreate that office interaction culture without physically being there, and what tools and technology can support that? We learned a lot during the transition and continue to learn.

What is digital workspace

The VMware definition of a digital workspace is a technology framework that manages and centrally controls the elements of an organization’s IT assets, including data, applications and endpoints. A digital workspace provides anytime, anywhere, any device access to applications for users, whether those applications reside on-premises or on one or more clouds.

It has been several years since VMware started operating remotely. Interestingly, productivity has increased and a lot of the credit for it goes to VMware digital workspace concepts.

For VMware as an organization, nothing much changed after the pandemic as compared to the previous operating model. According to VMware Director of Client Experience Aju Sukumaran, the VMware modern management approach allowed a smooth shift to the digital workspace and how VMware implemented it.

“We started our journey of moving toward a digital workspace and adopting a modern management framework before the pandemic, and that helped us sail through the it without many hurdles. There were some process improvements for handling the shipment of devices and peripherals.

One of the key aspects of adopting the VMware digital workspace solution is modern management of the devices: Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Our device and vendor-agnostic solution really helped us support colleagues’ device choices by delivering any applications needed.

“Another key aspect is single sign-on (SSO). Colleagues were able to access any application on any device from anywhere without having to key in user authentication multiple times. Our workspace solution provides seamless access to applications.”

Moving to digital workspace

Moving to digital workspace can be hard; what makes it easy is when it starts with the company culture. At VMware, we support choice and flexibility to get work done., From there, we drive the appropriate technology to support that. The digital workspace is incredibly powerful as it removes so many barriers to work that people are accustomed to. From needing access to different applications, to different passwords, to having to be on VPN to work, to waiting days for a new device. All of these barriers to work actually create more work for IT. Eliminating them allows for IT to be future focused and ensure colleagues are doing their best work. It’s a win/win for IT and the business.

Implementing digital workspace

For VMware IT, the major responsibility is to make all applications available to colleagues to access on any of their devices. Using our own VMware technology, we were able to onboard colleagues faster. Now, if we look at how much easier and faster we can achieve this, it depends on our strategy of migrating legacy framework to digital workspace technology. For example, in our case, we were using an old PCLM solution to manage the devices.

We took a phased approach toward migrate all our devices from the legacy management solution to our digital workspace solution in a phased approach. The speed of conversion depends on how aggressively we are preparing to deploy it. It also depends on the scale of the deployment. Another important aspect is that all applications also should be migrated to SSO to get the full advantage of digital workspace.

Security challenges in digital workspace

We are adopting the Zero Trust architecture framework and use multiple product stacks to accomplish the end-to-end security posture to gain deeper insights and reduces cost and complexity and coordinate response across teams. It also ensures Zero Trust security.

Future of digital workspace

It’s all about experience and security. And good security is all about transparency so colleagues can just do their work. If security creates friction points, then colleagues are driven to poor security practices like writing down passwords. So, we always start with colleague experience and then work to find the appropriate balance between the two. 

As we look forward around the digital workspace, we are focused on the digital experience (DEX). So, it’s now about the data and creating a proactive model in which we can address issues and understand behaviors that minimize productivity loss; how are people using applications?; can we recycle licences?; how is the hardware performing?; can we refresh or repair it before there is an impact on productivity?

Put simply, we are moving from a reactionary model (raising tickets) to a real-time, proactive model. To do this, we need a deeper understanding of how our business works and interacts with our applications and devices. Today, regardless of whether colleagues are remote or in the office, we will refresh their machine if the battery is failing; if they have a panic/bluescreen we know about it; If we see their network performance is poor, we provide a VMware SD-Wan device. These are just a few examples of the things we are doing today.

The topic continues to evolve, so contact your account team to schedule a briefing with a VMware IT expert to hear the latest. For more about how VMware IT addresses queries related to modern apps, check out more blogs on the topic. For other questions, contact

We look forward to hearing from you.

VMware on VMware blogs are written by IT subject matter experts sharing stories about our digital transformation using VMware products and services in a global production environment. To learn more about how VMware IT uses VMware products and technology to solve critical challenges, visit our microsite, read our blogs and IT Performance Annual Report and follow us on SoundCloud, Twitter and YouTube. All VMware trademarks and registered marks (including logos and icons) referenced in the document remain the property of VMware.


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