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This VMworld, the Force Is Strong with Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)

  • Jeff McGrath By

Let’s face it. Digital transformation is getting more urgent—and more difficult.

Enterprise mobility has come a long way. Ten years ago, this was about giving users secure access to email on their devices. Mobile device management (MDM) was good enough then—but not today!

What we are seeing today is that every aspect of the workplace is evolving. People are getting more work done remotely, outside of the company premises. Smartphones now form a bulk of the connected devices. Cloud is getting kosher with services such as Microsoft Office 365. Organizations are embracing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) workstyles. Purpose-built endpoints and “things” are making their way into the enterprise. And a surprising shift is happening in desktop apps and operating systems, which have evolved to be mobile-like.

For Fortune 1000 companies, employees are mobile 50–60% of work hours.
Source: Global Workplace Analytics

With these rapidly changing requirements, many IT organizations continue to add incremental capabilities, tools and even new teams into the mix. This creates platform-specific silos that focus on managing discrete things, rather than empowering employees and experiences. This approach is not scalable and costs businesses time and money. Every new operating system (OS), every new device and every new app adds to the marginal cost of diversity.

Unified Endpoint Management Fuels the Digital Workspace

VMware AirWatch unified endpoint management (UEM) technology puts an end to IT management silos and helps tame the marginal costs of diversity. As an integral technology powering VMware Workspace ONE, UEM enables a consistent, user-centric approach to managing any endpoint including desktops, mobile devices, rugged devices, wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT).

It takes a modern, cloud-first architecture to provide IT a single pane for real-time, over-the-air lifecycle management and security across any OS, any app and every use case. The comprehensive awareness and manageability across all endpoints helps IT reduce costs, improve security and deliver a superior IT and end-user experience.

At VMworld 2017, we are excited to announce new innovations in UEM to offer platform depth unlike any other solution:

  • VMware is now the first and only UEM to support all major desktop operating systems including Chrome OS, macOS and Windows 10.
  • By partnering with Google and Infinite Peripherals, we are streamlining management of purpose-built and rugged endpoints.
  • We are simplifying the user and IT experience with a single pane of management and access controls across all apps, including Microsoft Office 365 and other Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps.

Extending UEM Management Across Any Desktop

Chrome OS

Last week, Google launched Chrome Enterprise and announced a collaboration with VMware that makes AirWatch the first UEM to manage and secure Chrome devices from the same console as the rest of enterprise devices. With Chrome OS device management, Chrome devices can be easily onboarded for work right out of the box and configured for a desired use case (e.g. standard user, multi-user, kiosk mode), and policies and apps can be delivered over the air.

IT will be able to deliver consumer-simple access to all apps, including virtual Windows apps and desktops, to users via an identity-enabled, consolidated app catalog. UEM will also allow customers to take advantage of the many enterprise-grade Chrome security features, including auto-updates of the OS, tamperproof hardware, conditional access polices, data loss prevention (DLP) and even remote wiping a lost or stolen device.



With the introduction of macOS High Sierra (10.13), Apple changed the game for how Mac devices will be managed and deployed. For example, legacy deployment techniques like imaging are no longer a long-term option, as management will be largely driven via MDM APIs. With the new UEM capabilities, customers will be able to leverage the Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP) as the default way to streamline onboarding and get users into management with an easy out-of-the-box experience.

To help accelerate the move from legacy imaging for Macs, we are introducing Bootstrap Package to make it easier for customers to deliver install packages immediately upon enrollment and to customize the DEP onboarding experience. Further, we are revamping Mac management to make the admin experience for uploading, updating and distributing software as simple as an iOS app.

Windows 10

We continue to build upon our robust Windows 10 management capabilities with new features that help reduce the burden on IT and get companies to a better security posture. Customers deploying Dell Windows 10 devices will be able to take advantage of a zero-IT touch cloud provisioning of pre-configured Dell hardware (including devices joined to on-premises AD) straight from the factory to the user. This ensures a true drop-ship experience, saving IT time and money associated with device deployment, setup and asset tracking and inventory.

Ransomware attacks increased 250% in 2017.
Source: Newsweek

Powered by Workspace ONE, users also get a unique first boot experience with the right work profiles, OS customizations, security policies and the apps they need deployed over the air. This enables instant end-user productivity without having to wait on IT.

UEM also extends new use cases for firmware management, including the ability to manage battery charging cycles during peak shifts, proactively report on hardware failure and enable new hardware-level security features. Integration with the Adaptiva OneSite content distribution engine will allow UEM customers to leverage peer-to-peer distribution capabilities and eliminate infrastructure, bandwidth, costs and complexities associated with large software distribution. New Windows Update analytics and automation capabilities provide real-time visibility into patch compliance and help protect Windows PCs against the increasingly complex threat ecosystem.


Streamlining Management for Purpose-Built & Rugged Endpoints

Android Enterprise on Zebra Devices

Mobile experiences raise the bar for IT to deliver the same level of ease when working with corporate-owned devices purpose built for business-critical operations. We are partnering with Google to enable Android Enterprise for Zebra mobile computers and barcode scanners. This will help IT streamline rugged device management, silently install apps and push updates and ensure unparalleled security via the ability to remotely lock down devices.

Support for Infinite Peripherals iOS Peripherals

Peripheral add-ons or sleds increase a device’s functionality with an additional layer of protection, as well as scanning and payment processing capabilities. We are partnering with Infinite Peripherals (IPC), which manufactures peripherals for iOS devices, so organizations can now consolidate management of any IPC peripheral alongside their current mobile and laptop deployments.

Simplifying Management & Access Control Across All Apps

In our last release, we made it easier for IT to roll out VMware Identity Manager via a unified installer that combined installation of AirWatch UEM. We are taking this IT simplicity to the next level by giving admins one place to manage devices, context, apps and identity.

Admins can effortlessly manage SaaS apps and configure single sign-on (SSO) and access policies from within the AirWatch console. Microsoft Office apps can be deployed and security policies configured across platforms through the unified console. UEM also extends support for Office DLP capabilities (e.g. copy/paste restrictions, save-as controls, etc.) via Microsoft Graph API integration (in beta and pending GA by Microsoft).


These UEM enhancements are only a subset of the many capabilities announced at VMworld this year. As we continue to ride the wave of our market leadership in enterprise mobility, we are excited to bring to our customers the industry’s first unified end-user experience, management and security solution for all endpoint platforms through our innovations in Workspace ONE, powered by AirWatch UEM technology.


Jeff McGrath

Jeff McGrath

Jeff McGrath is senior director of product marketing for VMware End-User Computing (EUC).

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