Just like the dominance and success of desktop during the client-server era, the whole concept of digital workspace is set to re-define the model for end-user computing in the current mobile-cloud world. In an interaction with Express Computer, Shawn Bass, CTO, End-User Computing, VMware, shared insights into the market scenario for digital workspaces and how the company is helping organizations adopt this solution.
How is VMware disrupting the end-user computing industry?
At the beginning of 2016, we introduced a new solution offering called Workspace ONE, the digital workspace solution that combines enterprise mobility management (EMM) and identity management to transform the delivery of IT services. With this, employees can work anywhere and on any device with our single, identity-defined app catalog i.e. the Workspace ONE App store. It eliminates the need for complex passwords with powerful single sign-on capabilities.
Besides, we have created an industry consortium, called AppConfig Community. Besides Vmware AirWatch, we have leading EMM providers like MobileIron, IBM MaaS360, SOTI, Blackberry, Cisco Meraki, SAP, and JAFM Software as part of this consortium. Working together, the members of the AppConfig Community will create tools, best practices, and educational forums to enable developers and organizations to simplify app development, deployment, and accelerate the adoption of transformational business apps.
How has been the market response towards Workspace ONE?
Enterprises that are adopting our Workspace ONE solution are relieved with the fact that they don’t have to do multiple log-ins. All the applications, be it Windows, web , or mobile, can be accessed with single sign-on. And it works the same way on Windows, iOS, and Android.
Our customers are appreciating the way we have created a unified experience as well as catalogue and self-service access. It’s really delivering on the promise of consumerisation of IT, where everyone knows how to use the Google Play Store or the Apple Store to get the new applications. We are delivering the same experience for enterprise IT with the same simplicity.
And at the top of it, we are also providing security that enterprises need. We have observed a common practice being followed by organizations across the globe that whenever they adopt a new software service model, their employees can easily logon to these web based services from any device and anywhere. For example, people log into the corporate CRM system from their personal devices. However, it is too dangerous a practice as they can easily download all the contacts and then misuse the corporate data. In order to tackle such situations, we give them the ability to control access, so that if the user is logging in from an approved corporate device, the access is allowed straightaway. But if he/she is logging in from the personal device, we can turn off that access.
In a way, it takes care of the whole compliance issues and security risks?
Yes, exactly. And again this is entirely within the company’s control. We do have a few customers who are not governed by regulatory compliance and they don’t necessary care if employees freely access their corporate emails anywhere in the world. On the other hand, we have customers like financial services companies, government, military, or healthcare firms, who comply with regulations and don’t allow the access from personal devices. Looking at what customers want, we can dial up or dial down the security controls based on the user, the device, the location or the application. And make it as granular as the organization needs.
Talking about the India market, do you see any kind of behavioral change in the way Indian consumers think, viz-a-viz the customers from the US or Europe market?
I think India is very different from the US or Europe market. If you compare India to the US, the Indian market is very much born out of mobility, where as, the US market is more entrenched in desktop and laptop technology. In India, every user has a smartphone, which is being used as a primary device for work. This trend has transformed the Indian market, wherein people think mobile first. India as a market has an advantage as most of the mobile applications, software as a service applications, or web-based applications today are born out of mobility.
Having said that, I don’t mean people have problems in dealing with the legacy Windows applications. Currently, there are 60 millions Windows apps in the world, where as at this point of time, there are around 2 to 3 million iOS and Android apps. But the market is shifting quickly where organizations are moving away from legacy Windows apps and either building web based applications or native mobile applications for iOS and Android. And India being the mobile first market is really accelerating this adoption trend.