In-Depth

VMware End-User Computing Q&A

End-user computing (EUC) is a primary focus of VMware's, from virtual desktop infrastructure products to cloud computing. Sumit Dhawan, GM of VMware's EUC group, answered questions about the group's vision and goals.

Q: How has the Dell acquisition changed things regarding VMware End-User Computing (EUC)? Are there different/changed EUC priorities as a result of the integration?
A: Our vision and priority of helping customers with their digital transformation journey remains unchanged. We continue to stay focused on giving our customers a digital workspace platform that enables employees to have the choice of using digital tools with consumer-like simplicity and enterprise grade security. The Dell acquisition of EMC has helped us build a tighter relationship with Dell, giving us the ability to offer more comprehensive solutions to our customers. At the same time, VMware operates as an independent company with the autonomy to partner with others in the industry.

How has the Dell deal helped the EUC group?
Working together, Dell and VMware have been able to bring more comprehensive solutions to market that accelerate our customers' journey to a digital workspace.

For example, at Dell EMC World in May, we announced two integrations with Dell that showed that the two companies are truly "better together." First, Dell VDI Complete is a new Dell offering that delivers a turnkey VDI solution by offering VMware Horizon with VMware vSAN ReadyNodes or Dell EMC VxRail. Second, VMware AirWatch integration with Dell Client Command Suite extends the management and remediation capabilities of AirWatch into the bios of Dell PCs and laptops.

This integration gives our customers the ability to manage their Dell PCs and laptops from the bios to applications. Both of these integrations are examples of how customers can benefit from our partnership. And we built those integrations in a way where similar integrations can also be done with other providers of infrastructure and PCs.

Was there any concern about the "VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure" deal? The partnership -- for Horizon-based delivery of virtualized desktops and apps on the Azure public cloud -- could have ruffled some Amazon Web Services (AWS) feathers. After all, VMware has called AWS its "primary public cloud infrastructure partner."
Our cloud philosophy is that we want our customers to have the freedom to implement cloud-based solutions that support their unique business with flexibility and control. VMware has since delivered on that promise through partnerships with AWS, IBM and Microsoft. We are aware that this can lead to sensitivities among partners. Our approach is to be transparent with all our partners regarding our intent and ensure that none of them are ever surprised. With the commitment to be a digital workspace platform that gives our customers the choice of using any application, any device or, in case of Horizon, multiple clouds, we have taken the responsibility of working across the ecosystem with as much transparency as possible.

Is the "VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure" agreement an ominous sign for Virtustream or its customers?
Virtustream is a great solution for certain mission-critical enterprise applications and that hasn't changed.

How close is Workspace ONE to achieving its goal of "anytime, anywhere access to all applications, services and resources across all devices"?
If a customer has Workspace ONE today, their workforce and end users already enjoy anytime, anywhere access to all their applications, including Windows physical or virtual, Web, Software as a Service (SaaS), native and content across all devices. At VMware, we use Workspace ONE across our entire fleet of applications and devices -- every employee at VMware can go to a Workspace ONE catalog of applications and through self service pick the applications they want on any device and access them with a single set of credentials with single sign-on (SSO). The platform is able to enforce the required security and compliance rules for whom, when and where applications are accessed, along with the required authentication rules as needed.

Workspace ONE customers tell us that the platform has a profound impact on people. It enables every person in the organization to do great work and be an innovator by using the technology of their choice, truly driving digital transformation.

Can you give an overview of "Dell EMC VDI Complete," and what it could mean for customers?
The virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) industry has come a long way over the years and VMware has made a lot of progress during this time with our VMware Horizon VDI solution. We've driven down costs, made it easier to deploy and significantly improved the performance of virtual desktops and applications. Implementing VDI still requires putting software and hardware together and there is some uncertainty in costs.

The Dell EMC VDI Complete Solutions offering puts the complete stack of Horizon software and Dell hardware, including servers/storage and optionally thin clients, with the right level of sizing and configuration so customers can embrace it quickly with predicted costs. The solution is jointly engineered between the two companies so customers get the benefit of cost and time savings for the ongoing lifecycle management of the complete solution.

We offer multiple configurations so customers can start small and predictably pay as they grow. The solution streamlines the entire experience for the customer -- from procurement, adoption and ongoing support.

How soon will we see integrations from the Apteligent acquisition? What form do you see some of those integrations taking?
Organizations are increasingly building mobile and cloud applications as part of their digital transformation journey. As they embrace these applications to conduct business and perform mission-critical processes and tasks, negative end-user experiences affect engagement and productivity, which can directly impact revenue.

By adding Apteligent's capabilities to our digital workspace platform, our customers will gain the ability to enhance application performance and improve user experience through actionable application insights.

The Apteligent platform enables both mobile app developers and IT organizations to analyze mobile application performance in real time, enabling them to understand user behavior to address the issues that matter the most and that directly impact business and revenue.

There are many other exciting opportunities as the underlying Big Data engine of Apteligent is extremely flexible. You'll hear more at VMworld. Stay tuned!

Is VDI dead, or merely evolving?
VDI continues to power the key business processes and use cases for our customers. It's more dominant in certain industries than others, but almost all customers use the technology for certain office-based workers. The value proposition of security continues to remain extremely high for VDI and virtual applications. In the past, customers have struggled to justify the cost of VDI against physical desktops. VDI has evolved to where its cost, performance and deployment are comparable to physical enterprise PCs. It has also evolved to offer Desktop as a Service (DaaS), making it even more simple, easy and cost-efficient.

At the same time, mobility and cross-platform support has become even more important as companies are faced with employees who are truly accessing their apps anytime, anywhere and from any device due to changing workplace cultures such as flex schedules and work-life integration. And with the continued expansion of security threats, we're seeing more customers look at virtual desktops and applications, even if they turned away from it in the past.

What are the top priorities for EUC going forward?
When I took over the role of general manager for VMware EUC this year, I had three distinct goals in mind.

1. Continue to deliver on our vision for the Digital Workspace Platform, with a consumer-simple experience for end users and enterprise grade-security for IT. Customers tell us that digital transformation in their businesses are driving a rapid pace of innovation. There are more and more applications and use cases using all possible technologies, with traditional Win32 apps to new modern native mobile-cloud apps all being consumed from desktop PCs, laptops, tablets/kiosks or BYO phones. Customers simply cannot afford to create a vertical technology stack for each use case.

We believe the future is for customers to have a platform that can deliver any app to any device and that customers can enable these new use cases at the speed their businesses need, without significant incremental costs. We are continuing to make Workspace ONE the best platform to help our customers and take them to the future that does not include silos for their desktop, mobile, cloud, BYO, virtual and so on. Our customers love our vision and our platform. My objective is to make adoption of our platform as simple as signing up for Gmail -- and I believe we're getting there.

2. Partner ecosystem. We like to think of VMware as Switzerland, where we work with all platform vendors so we can deliver a unified solution that can truly manage and deliver any app. The way to do that is to continue to partner with industry leaders and expand our partner ecosystem. So far this year, we've announced new and expanded partnerships with companies such as Samsung, Oracle, Google and Microsoft, among others. We will continue to stay true to our objective of enhancing the value of our platform with more partnerships so our customers can get even more value out of it.

3. Innovate on top of the platform. I know the word is used a lot, but we have an ambitious roadmap ahead. Halfway into the year, we've already introduced many key advancements to our portfolio and the Workspace ONE platform.

It was great to see VMware named a Leader in the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) for the seventh consecutive year. This is the second time in the history of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for EMM that AirWatch has placed highest on both axes -- vision and execution. As customers embrace Workspace ONE as their digital workspace solution, we have the ability to offer more innovation that continually enhances the end-user experience and security. There are many such innovations in our pipeline that we intend to unveil!

What's the best part of your job?
My passion is to see the technology that I'm involved in put to use by people. With the EUC products and platform that we have, it's great to see how our customers are using the technology. Businesses are using our technology to empower their most strategic asset -- their people. People use our technology to do great work, which inspires them, fulfills their ambitions and gives them more flexibility and opportunity to spend time with their loved ones. I love hearing stories from our customers and the impact our technology is having on people.

What's the worst part?
While I love spending time with our customers and teams worldwide, it certainly takes me away from my family. I recently got the Sleep Number bed, which can tell me how I have slept every day. I don't particularly enjoy seeing the charts because it tells me how many days I didn't get to sleep in my own bed. I need to get the best of both worlds though.

Is there anything else you want to say about VMware's EUC efforts?
I am proud of the EUC team and our culture. I have the best EUC team; it functions as a single unit with a very strong culture. Our operating principles are simple -- we're focused on the long-term goal of our vision for a digital workspace platform, we prioritize and focus on a few things and do them well, and when our customers need us we roll up our sleeves and solve those challenges. This is why our customers love what we do and our employees love what they do.

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