VMware COO Sumit Dhawan
VMware COO Sumit Dhawan takes the stage at VMWorld 2017 in Las Vegas PHOTO: Brian Katz

When VMware acquired mobility startup AirWatch for $1.54 billion in 2015, one thing was made clear — it was serious about endpoint computing.

"Mobile will be the remote control of our lives," predicted Sanjay Poonen, then general manager of VMware's End User Computing (EUC) unit, during the company's annual VMworld user conference that year. Poonen is now COO, VMware customer operations.

Later today at VMworld 2017, Poonen's replacement, Sumit Dhawan and his team will unveil an updated release of Workspace ONE, which they claim is the first unified end user experience, management and security solution for all endpoint platforms.

What's New in Workspace ONE

In other words, with this version an individual worker’s secure workspace can be accessed from anywhere, via any device and any operating system, according to Jeff McGrath, senior director of product marketing at VMware.

Workspace ONE transforms the end user experience and security across all mobile, Windows 10, macOS and Chrome OS endpoints, delivering unified endpoint management.

The solution takes a three-pronged approach to deliver what the company calls "Consumer Simple, Enterprise Secure" results:

  • Unified endpoint management and experience with Workspace ONE, powered by AirWatch
  • Workspace ONE Intelligence to power insights, planning and automation for the digital workspace
  • VMware Horizon to manage Windows and desktop apps.

Traditional Applications as a Cloud Service

The VMware Horizon update aims at empowering IT managers to respond to end user needs. "Customers are embracing new form factors, new cloud apps like Office 365, Salesforce, Slack, Smartsheet, Workday," McGrath told CMSWire. "They want to experience traditional applications in the same way."

IT managers have struggled to deliver Windows applications as a service because the infrastructure and management is frequently in the data center, not the cloud.

The Horizon update promises to integrate VMware Cloud Foundation and Dell EMC VDI Complete with Horizon Apps, creating an elastic infrastructure and bringing compute, storage, networking and infrastructure management together. Enterprises who marry the aforementioned with Horizon Cloud have the option to do so on-premises or in the cloud. IT managers will also gain tools to manage applications and infrastructure more easily.

As part of the solution, Dell will do custom imaging before shipping PCs so all applications and security are in place when an employee signs on. 

Sapho Brings Productivity to Workspace ONE users

San Bruno, Calif.-based Sapho showed up at VMworld to introduce a new integration between its productivity solution and Workspace ONE mobile flows service. 

Mobile Flows create single click integrations into existing enterprise systems, such as Oracle EBS, SAP ERP and Salesforce.

With this partnership, line of business users who use Workspace ONE can take action from any device without the need to log into individual applications or navigate through often complex UIs. The mobile flows break down into what Sapho calls "micro apps," each geared towards specific, simple work tasks. 

End User Computing Shines at VMware

When VMware amped-up its end user computing play several years ago, it was unclear where it would land, especially with all of the chaos around VMware stock prices sliding or even the possibility of it buying its parent company EMC.

Those days are gone, now that Dell has acquired EMC (and owns a significant stake in VMware) and is letting VMware CEO Patrick Gelsinger run his business. And if investors are right, Gelsinger is doing a fine job.

When VMware announced its earnings last week, it beat Wall Street expectations and its shares have risen 28 percent this year. Not bad for a company or a CEO who some had lost faith in.