By any measure, VMware AirWatch is the market leader in the enterprise mobility market. To wit, read the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), as well as the recent IDC EMM market share report for 2015. With the largest investments in R&D, the AirWatch team continues to innovate and lead the market into the future.
The EMM market is in the midst of a major transformation whereby PC management support is being incorporated into these solutions, as Microsoft has added mobile management APIs to Windows 10. Most major EMM vendors have added some form of Windows 10 mobile device management (MDM) support leveraging the new APIs, including AirWatch. This combination—mobile device and PC management from a single solution—is increasingly called unified endpoint management, or UEM.
However, AirWatch goes beyond just Windows 10 MDM. We built next-generation PC lifecycle management (PCLM) into our UEM capabilities, which we will be putting front and center at VMworld 2017 later this month.
5 Examples of True PC Lifecycle Management
Many other EMM vendors talk the talk, claiming to do “complete Windows PC management,” but they simply offer what Microsoft enables in the operating system (OS). AirWatch walks the walk.
Here are five examples of how AirWatch enables true PCLM beyond Windows 10 MDM.
AirWatch offers granular Windows 10 patch management, giving IT control over new cumulative updates shipped as business-ready servicing branches. AirWatch integrates with Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) or the new Windows Update for Business service, giving IT added flexibility to deploy and/or defer OS updates and patches based on device priority, sensitivity and desired maintenance windows.
With AirWatch, there is no network dependency for patching, and all packages are delivered over the air (OTA) in real time. Patch compliance can be checked in real time as well, so the next time there is a major ransomware attack, your organization will have a huge advantage using AirWatch to enforce and demonstrate patch compliance as quickly and reliably as possible.
2. Software Distribution
The AirWatch team built an integrated and modern model for software distribution for the mobile-cloud era. AirWatch not only supports modern Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps via the Windows Store or Windows Store for Business, but also provides broad support for classic Win32 applications that are typically large and complex to package, deploy and maintain.
IT can manage both UWP and Win32 applications—including .EXE, .MSP, .MST and .ZIP files—from a single console. AirWatch OTA distribution of large files to PCs leverages CDN technology and is optimized for available bandwidth. Further, IT can consolidate these apps into a single, identity-defined app catalog alongside cloud services, internal web apps and virtual applications through VMware Workspace ONE.
3. Configuration Management
When managing Windows PCs, IT will often have complex automation requirements where they are pushing out complicated scripts, Group Policy Objects (GPOs) and other traditional PC-management settings. For example, companies may want to brand their desktops with a custom wallpaper, remove bloatware and define firewall and antivirus policies.
AirWatch configuration management capabilities allow IT to create “products” that include these files, apps or custom settings. These products can then be delivered to the devices instantly over any network, as well as be associated to a more complex sequence of tasks and installation conditions.
4. GPOs Deployment
AirWatch enables IT to export and import of GPO configurations to and from devices, and to push GPOs to new Windows 10 devices upon enrollment and provisioning. Sample code is available for AirWatch admins to create their own scripts to export and import GPOs.
5. Firmware Management
In partnership with Dell, AirWatch integrates with Dell Client Command Suite hardware management tools to bring hardware-level attributes into the AirWatch console and take appropriate actions.
Systems requiring BIOS updates can be identified, as updates are important to maintaining system health and maximizing the life of the system. Battery health can be monitored and alerts set so new batteries can be sent to a user before an outage. BIOS passwords can be assigned, changed and revoked to ensure compliance to policy. Hardware-based tamper-proofing can be enabled though the system’s Trusted Platform Module.
Want to see more? Check out these videos of PC lifecycle management, including:
- Out-of-box enrollment
- Enrollment via Microsoft Office app
- Bulk enrollment of PCs
- Traditional client functions
- Application management
- Windows update management
- Health attestation
- Enterprise Data Protection (EDP)
- Per app VPN
And if you are coming to VMworld U.S., in Las Vegas starting Aug. 28, or VMworld Europe, starting Sept. 11, take some of the many AirWatch and Windows 10 technical sessions to extend your AirWatch deployment from mobile device to PCs. Let the unification begin!