shift happens

Shift Happens: VMware Targets End User Computing

4 minute read
Virginia Backaitis avatar

Mobile is the new user endpoint, whether we’re talking about accessing applications via desktop, tablet, phone, watch or other device.

Mobile will be the remote control of our lives,” said Sanjay Poonen, general manager of End User Computing (EUC) at VMware during his keynote at VMworld in San Francisco yesterday.

The cloud, public or private, makes this possible. It's becoming the place where more and more content and data is stored.

Addressing Enterprise Issues

If you’re like most of us, you already work off of at least two computing devices; something that probably comes with an external keyboard like a PC or Mac and a mobile device, be it a phone, a tablet, a watch or all three.

In the consumer world, this is convenient and not much of a security issue

But in the enterprise, it’s a different story.

There’s information to protect, app and application access is not universal and devices and data must be secured and governed.

“Users want choice, IT wants control,” said Poonen. But it also has to be “Sesame Street simple” for end users.

These are the challenges of managing the mobile/cloud workspaces and Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM).

Joining the Crowd

VMware wants to lead the charge by delivering solutions that meet the needs of both masters, though truth be told Citrix, Microsoft and others have already thrown their hats into that ring.

“They (Citrix) don’t even come close to what we’re doing,” said Kevin Strohmeyer, senior director of workspace services at VMware.

The Microsoft relationship, on the other hand, seems more competitive.

But today, the two (former rivals) seemed to be buddy-buddy. In fact, Microsoft’s Jim Alkove, corporate vice president of Windows Enterprise and Security, even joined Poonen on stage.

Why? Because VMware is making it easy for enterprises to move to Windows 10, on physical devices and via desktop virtualization.

Squaring Up

Deploying Windows 10 as quickly as possible and in as many places as possible is Microsoft’s big push at this moment.

This will be made possible via VMware’s Project A², which shifts from a focus on endpoint management to a focus on application management.

“You can see how we’re optimizing our entire stack for the virtual and the physical and for Windows 10, and I think customers will benefit,” Poonen said during his keynote.

Learning Opportunities

It’s worth noting that that the product doesn’t yet have a ship date.

New IDaaS

VMware also unveiled a new Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS), which it claims is the industry's first such offering integrated with a leading, enterprise mobility management and security solution.

Until now it has been available as part of the AirWatch Blue and Yellow Management Suites.

Now the VMware Identity Manager Advanced Edition will be available as a standalone IDaaS solution through the browser on any Chrome, Mac or Windows device.

Does this threaten Okta, OneLogin, Centrify and others? It could, given that its now available as a standalone service versus attached to VMware as it has been.

Big Steps

When Poonen took the helm as VMware’s EUC boss, he liked to joke that if VMware didn’t get a mobility play in short order, the company would be out of the end user computing business.

They then acquired AirWatch; it’s VMware’s largest acquisition to date, and it seems to be paying off.

Burying the hatchet with Microsoft is another big step, but one that probably speaks more to each company’s self-interest than any great love.

Al Hilwa, an analyst with IDC, told CMSWire that VMware’s investment in mobile management both at the front-end and the back-end with partnerships like Kinvey to support rapidly growing enterprise mobility initiatives is a good move, especially given that up until now, it has been hugely vested in traditional data center software.

The challenge now is action and delivery.

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