Oct 08 2021

VMworld2021: With Hybrid Work Here to Stay, VMware Touts Its Unified Response

Anywhere Workspace combines SASE, endpoint security and the company’s existing Workspace ONE solution.

Throughout its history, VMware has been known as a leader in building the tools that enable employees to securely gain remote access for their workplace applications.

“When the data businesses were trying to protect was all inside their data centers, we invented virtual desktop infrastructure, and when the growing heterogeneity of devices that employees require to do their jobs needed trust and modern management, we built the Workspace ONE platform,” Shankar Iyer, VMware’s senior vice president and general manager of end-user computing, recalled.

Iyer was reminding attendees of VMworld 2021, the company’s annual event for customers, analysts and partners, of its history, as it highlighted its latest efforts in the space, coming at a crucial moment for businesses as they contemplate how, when and whether they will welcome employees back into shared workspaces.

“Conventional wisdom holds that physical proximity is crucial for good workplace communication, creativity and productivity,” Iyer said. “Personally, I believe this proximity concept is hopelessly old school and has only persisted because we have not had other choices, or sufficient time to evaluate other choices. The last two years have given us both, and I believe we are moving — forever — to a hybrid workspace model.”

To support that model, VMware is rolling out its Anywhere Workspace concept, which is not a new product, but rather the unification of several existing products and an enhanced partnership with Intel.

What Is VMware Anywhere Workspace?

Anywhere Workspace brings together several existing VMware solutions under a single banner: Workspace ONE, which provides unified endpoint management, desktop and application virtualization, plus a variety of employee experience and productivity solutions; Carbon Black Cloud endpoint security; and secure access service edge, which secures software-defined WANs.

The idea is to deliver a unified solution that provides organizations with everything they need (except for videoconferencing technology, still the domain of other technology providers) to create a seamless work-from-anywhere experience for employees.

Iyer said the solutions are built to address IT decision-makers’ three greatest concerns — security, ease of use and ease of management — as identified by research conducted by the Modern Computing Alliance, a consortium of technology companies led by Google that includes VMware.

With respect to security, Iyer noted separate internal research finding that 75 percent of organizations believe their concerns about protecting data have been holding them back from embracing hybrid work. That, and the fact that 80 percent of workers say they already use their own devices for work, led VMware to conclude that it would have think differently about security as it built out its Anywhere Workspace offering.

LEARN MORE: Explore the solutions from CDW that support remote-work environments. 

“To solve the problems of the hybrid workforce in a multicloud world, we knew we needed to go to the edge, where workers are,” Iyer said. Accordingly, VMware put all of  its Anywhere Workspace security controls at the edge.

Its partnership with chipmaker Intel supports that objective. Under the partnership, IT administrators will be able to manage all endpoints remotely. That includes waking a device, patching it, putting it back to sleep, and even wiping it of all data when necessary, regardless of the operating system the device is running, according to Gregory Bryant, executive vice president and general manager of Intel’s Client Computing Group.

Hemant Kumar, vice president of IT for professional services firm Genpact, said VMware’s existing Workspace ONE solution was invaluable in helping the organization shift 100,000 employees to remote work practically overnight.

“Workspace ONE really helped us enable all of our workers to work remotely, 100 percent, and all of that was done in a very short span without impacting productivity,” Kumar said.

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