Greetings from the largest Connect ever! If you have been following us since VMworld in Vegas and Microsoft Ignite in Atlanta, you heard us talk about our new Windows unified endpoint management (UEM) capabilities. At the Connect Atlanta keynote address, Blake Brannon—VMware End-User Computing (EUC) Mobile VP of Product Marketing—showed us how VMware AirWatch is committed to bringing together any device (desktop, mobile, IoT and more) management and security under a silo-less, unified architecture. If you thought that was impressive, I must break the news to you: we just scratched the Surface (no pun intended) of what’s possible!
At Microsoft Ignite last week, Yusuf Mehdi–Microsoft CVP for Windows and Devices Group–revealed the impressive rate at which Windows 10 is being adopted: 400 million monthly active users–2x faster than Windows 7. But a few other stats related to workforce composition and device proliferation by 2020 were more impressive:
5 billion connected devices
These numbers reinforce the importance of a modern, consistent operating system (OS) and management platform that fits a wide-variety of use cases; and addresses needs beyond traditional branch office workers and desktops.
At AirWatch, we already see this transformation happening with our customers. Together with our customers and partners, we solve use cases that are both challenging and innovative. Here are just a few examples to put things in context:
Eliminate need for legacy OS imaging by enabling a leading FMCG company’s field workers with modern, touch-enabled and trusted devices ready for work right out of the box.
For a large financial institution, enable shared collaboration devices that are both productive for the employees and well managed and secure for IT.
Simplify a large retailer’s warehousing operations with zero-IT touch onboarding of their ruggedized hand-held devices.
For a top manufacturing company, deliver a secure workspace on their next-generation wearables powered by augmented reality technology.
For a global brand’s branch offices, go from heavy on-premises management infrastructure with high operational costs to a zero-server footprint, scalable and low OpEx model.
Although spanning multiple use cases, there are two things common across them all:
1. Unified OS
First, all devices above run Windows 10.
With Windows 10, users have a unified OS and apps experience across device types. Kudos to Microsoft, as they saw users quickly moving from traditional PCs and desktops to modern devices and form factors. Thus, a unified OS and a new consumer-centric focus gives users better choice and mobility – case in point: Surface, Continuum, and OEM 2n1, touch and ultramobile devices – seem to have accelerated adoption and made Windows cool again.
2. New Management Approach
But Windows is not just about the consumer. With 680 million Windows PCs in the workplace, Microsoft also had to rethink a fundamentally different security and management approach. This approach is much easier for IT and more aligned to the modern enterprise mobility management (EMM) primitives. Which brings me to the second commonality: the devices above are all enabled with AirWatch.
Yes, these devices:
An OEM tablet running Windows 10 Pro;
A Surface Hub with Windows 10 Team;
A hand-held scanner running Windows 10 Internet of Things (IoT);
A Microsoft HoloLens running Windows 10 Holographic; and
A knowledge worker PC with Windows 10 Enterprise.
…are all configured and secured for enterprise use with AirWatch.
At it’s core, AirWatch manages the Windows OS lifecycle, including configurations and updates, app entitlement and distribution and the necessary security settings and compliance policies. This UEM approach across devices and OS platforms ensures a consistent user experience and results in a simpler, more secure and cost-effective management model for IT.
“The next generation of devices powered by Windows 10—including the [Surface] Hub and HoloLens—offer new ways for employees to collaborate and deliver both intuitive and powerful ways for workplace productivity. At Connect Atlanta, we showed that AirWatch is deeply committed to supporting Windows 10 across any device and use case and; ensuring a secure and well-managed workspace for our customers.”
—Blake Brannon, VP of Product Marketing, VMware End-User Computing
At Connect this week, we take a deeper look at the robust set of capabilities that AirWatch brings together as part of our UEM strategy. Part two of my blog will cover the importance of this UEM approach and the new capabilities. Here are a few recommended sessions to learn more:
Oct. 5, 2 p.m.: A Deeper Dive into Windows 10 Management with VMware AirWatch
Oct. 5, 3 p.m.: Sponsor Session—Microsoft
Oct. 5, 4 p.m.: Cut the Cost with Cloud-First, Scalable Windows Software Distribution
Also, check out our Surface Hub showcase, Windows platform workshops and Windows hands-on labs at the event. Full session agenda is here.