Unified endpoint management solutions from VMware help to reduce management costs and deliver a consistent user experience.

Despite reports to the contrary, the PC is not dead. Organizations continue to provision and maintain desktop and laptop computers, even though employees use mobile devices for many business activities. According to data from Gartner, business PC sales fell 6 percent in the first quarter of 2016, but the analyst firm expects the market to pick back up as organizations begin making the transition to Windows 10 in 2016.

Despite continued advances in mobile technology, employees often need a PC for certain tasks — it remains the platform of choice for crunching numbers, manipulating data and working with many business applications. While business users prefer highly portable form factors, they also want large screens and substantial performance.

At the same time, organizations are investing in enterprise mobility. A Harris Poll survey conducted in October 2015 found that 73 percent of enterprises expect to mobilize their entire workforce, and 61 percent said investments in mobile solutions yield the greatest returns.

At the intersection of these trends lay two challenges: the maintenance of a diverse set of endpoints and the delivery of a seamless experience to users. Organizations need an end-user computing strategy that effectively integrates PCs and mobile devices and provides centralized access, management and control.

“Today, PCs and mobile devices are managed in silos. Most organizations have distinct sets of tools and expertise for managing the various categories of endpoints,” said Konstantin Cvetanov, Principal Architect, ProSys.

“The digital workspace is emerging as a simplified approach to managing, delivering and consuming applications. It aggregates all devices, applications and services while securely managing them through unified common access and identity. VMware has taken a leadership position in this space with a suite of solutions that deliver consumer simplicity with enterprise security and control.”

Extending Windows 10

Gartner predicted that businesses would require only nine months, on average, to evaluate Windows 10. The transition is taking closer to 18 months but still exceeds previous upgrade cycles by a year. Windows 10 is attractive because it provides a consistent platform and experience across a wide range of devices. However, the challenge of scaling Windows 10 desktops and applications, supporting legacy applications, and integrating an ever-expanding ecosystem of mobile applications and devices will further the need for a secure digital workspace as the solution.

“We believe there is an incredible opportunity to push identity-driven secure digital workspaces for the delivery of any app on any device, especially as businesses shift to Windows 10 and increasingly offer cloud-based productivity suites such as Office 365 to employees,” said Sanjay Poonen, executive vice president and general manager, End-User Computing and head of global marketing and communications, VMware.

VMware recently released new technology that extends Windows 10 management with capabilities such as configuration management and provisioning, software distribution, patch management, and client health and security management. It enables IT to deploy security patches and OS updates faster, install software more reliably and consolidate operational processes across all devices — on or off the domain.

“The ability to manage Windows 10 PCs and mobile devices using the same tools is facilitated by the new mobile device management functionalities of Windows 10 itself. By integrating PC lifecycle management with modern enterprise mobility management, the VMware unified endpoint management technology can lower the cost of managing Windows deployments, and secure endpoints and data on any network across any application,” Cvetanov said. “It also helps solve the challenge of supporting an increasingly mobile workforce that demands a highly consistent experience and anytime, anywhere access to all applications from any device.”

The Digital Workspace

New enhancements in the VMware Horizon desktop virtualization suite further simplify desktop and application management and support today’s mobile workforce through a digital workspace. The VMware Blast Extreme protocol — which enables administrators to deliver a high-quality desktop experience to any endpoint — offers increased performance and a rich user experience by reducing bandwidth consumption by up to six times. An expanding list of Blast-enabled devices enables organizations to reduce the overall cost of providing and managing desktops by using more affordable hardware to deliver Horizon 7 or Horizon Air desktops and applications.

Workspace ONE with VMware Identity Manager helps overcome the deployment and management challenges of Office 365. Enhancements to the solution enable administrators to automatically provision and de-provision end-users based upon existing Active Directory group membership. Updates to the VMware Verify mobile push-application will also offer a consumer-simple registration workflow that eliminates the need for end-users to download and register a two-factor authentication application.

Legacy on-premises models for endpoint management are difficult with disjointed management and complex processes designed for fixed desktops and client-server applications. Gartner reports that, “The future of endpoint management lies in consolidation of management tools that manage traditional PCs and mobile devices as a common management framework evolves across the two.”

“As workforces become increasingly digital, VMware is enabling companies to provide access to personalized desktops and applications anytime, anywhere using a digital workspace,” said Cvetanov. “VMware is delivering innovative new solutions designed for the mobile-cloud era, with a focus on helping organizations drive down the cost and complexity of delivering applications and managing both desktops and mobile devices.