Back in January (where has the time gone!?) I wrote a blog declaring that intelligence and automation were crucial to a robust and dynamic Digital Workspace.
Following VMworld, I figured I’d share just what VMware has done with their Workspace ONE and Horizon products to further enhance their automation/intelligence capabilities along the very focus areas I mentioned.
As a recap, here are the crucial topics I argued made the list of top items to consider when introducing intelligence/automation into the Digital Workspace (it doesn’t have to end here!). See here for the full blog post:
- Automated Lifecycle Management
- Intelligence Driven User Adoption
- Bringing the Right Workflow to the User
- Securing the Workspace with Intelligence and Automation
Let’s begin with Automated Lifecycle Management.
This topic received a lot of announcements at VMworld, but unfortunately very little detail. I’ve heard some mumblings of a lot of projects in the works, but nothing solid enough to share details around.
But, I can still list where I saw VMware appearing to make great stride in this area. First is simplified application and image management. We heard there will be an Enterprise App Catalog for Windows 32 apps. If VMware can bring in these technologies to streamline and automate the application build, run and delivery lifecycle, that could reduce the bulk of End User Computing-based administration.
Also briefly mentioned was a new Multi-Cloud brokering service for Horizon, which will connect users to on-prem and cloud hosted virtual desktops and applications. If properly developed, this service has the capability to bring another level of intelligence to the user connection process, giving further control in how users are routed to the right location or Horizon environment.
Intelligence Driven User Adoption
The big tech highlight from this year’s Digital Workspace Keynote was an artificially intelligent, IBM Watson-powered, Virtual Assistant. The idea of self-service was practically redefined, and now includes a complete and seamless user onboarding experience – with no reliance on IT support! This will be integrated into VMware’s Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub, meaning it should be relatively easy for the user to access and utilize on a regular basis.
Digital Employee Experience Management is going to bring user experience scoring and predictive remediation to the Workspace ONE platform. Showcased was an issue with Teams on the local machine. After the Teams app crashed, the user was able to navigate to Workspace ONE Hub and gain access to the Teams app as published through Horizon. This provided an instant workaround while support could work on the issue. The demo didn’t stop there. We saw the Employee Experience dashboard highlight the specific issue, correlating it to a recent update to an audio driver.
Good work here VMware. Immediate insights, proactive workarounds for immediate functionality, and automated remediation – these are all crucial to ensuring users adopt and remain on a Digital Workspace platform.
Bringing the Right Workflow to the User
Although not new, Workspace ONE Mobile Flows have been improved, now integrated into Intelligent Hub for active or passive interaction with the user. These notifications allow for common tasks such as expense or purchase request approvals to be bubbled up into the user’s Intelligent Hub and easily completed. Simply put, Mobile Flows brings a greater level of intelligence to the manner in which users complete their workflows.
Mobile Flows are continuing to be enhanced, allowing deeper and wider integration with other services. We will see more custom defined automated actions in response. This is key, as providing just the right information, in the right workflow, at the right time, means more time and focus is given back to the user.
Securing the Workspace with Intelligence and Automation
As mentioned in the previous blog, enforcing security through intelligence and automation is already becoming the primary method used to defend against and prevent emerging threats. Legacy security tools and solutions create noise and oftentimes can’t react in time, relying on definitions to identify threats.
From that perspective, I understand the thought behind VMware’s acquisition of Carbon Black to bolster their endpoint security capabilities. After all, Carbon Black is already a part of the Workspace ONE Trust Network, which as of VMworld, now also includes Lookout and Netskope under GA support. However, I hope that with the acquisition of Carbon Black, we won’t see a reduced effort to integrate with other third party security vendors.
But what does this Trust Network do? It’s all part of Workspace ONE’s ability to consume risk analytics scores and feed those into Workspace ONE Access (formerly Identity Manager) as another basis of context for type and level of authentication requirements (or to simply deny access).
Bringing it All Together
VMware is continuing to focus on the intelligence and automation capabilities of Workspace ONE, and this VMworld definitely demonstrated that. I can’t wait to get my hands on this tech in VMware’s Proof of Concept / Demo environment service, Test Drive. If you also want to have the opportunity to test out Workspace ONE, Workspace ONE intelligence and many of the features listed above, reach out to me or your Entisys360 account rep. VMware gives us the ability to invite our customers into these live, fully functional Workspace ONE environments!