VMware recently announced its VMware Horizon Suite. I had the opportunity to speak with Ben Goodman, VMware’s lead evangelist for Horizon about the product and trends in the mobile management space. The Horizon Suite combines updates from VMware Horizon View and VMware Horizon Mirage, with a new product named VMware Horizon Workspace. The idea behind the suite is to provide a consistent experience that allows employees to access corporate applications and data from a wide range of mobile devices without sacrificing security. The challenge with any of these solutions is to provide an experience that doesn’t compromise the usability of the device. The Workspace product places an employee’s data, approved applications, and virtual desktops into a single virtual workspace that can be accessed from smartphones, tablets and laptops. This allows IT to distribute and manage mobile apps from a central console based on attributes such as user, department or role. It enables single sign on for web apps and allows IT to seamlessly revoke access if any employee leaves or changes jobs. VMware Horizon Suite will be licensed per named user with prices starting at $300. The Horizon Workspace products can be purchased individually for $150 a user with no limit on the number of devices.
There are plenty of mobile device management and mobile application management solutions on the market. Why would IT consider another? I believe there are several reasons. First, many best of breed solutions are incomplete. The result is IT has the best solution for one problem but is now faced with the challenge of integrating multiple solutions to get an enterprise mobility management suite that encompasses device, security and content management. Second, it becomes difficult scale disparate these solutions at the same pace. Finally, IT needs solutions that bridge from the PC through the mobile landscape. While ultimately we’ll rebuild apps and business processes to operate in a mobile plus cloud world, the reality is employees still need to use PCs and legacy apps to get their job done today. This means IT needs solutions that bridge’s today’s apps into the mobile world, while providing a platform to support the new mobile operating system experiences. This is where companies such as VMware can excel. A business may already be using VMware for virtualization or may be considering VMware as Microsoft forces IT to move from XP to a more current version of Windows. VMware can help a company can integrate application access, management and security across PC through mobile platforms. This will become more important as businesses get serious about “work anywhere”. It could just provide the wedge that VMware needs to compete with nimble, specialized and increasingly well-funded MDM vendors.
On a separate note, VMware’s Workspace contains “data management” which is the equivalent of secure file sharing. It’s becoming increasingly clear that there many ways a business can purchase secure file sharing and possibly hundreds of specialized vendors. Some of these methods include new entrants such as Box.com and Dropbox, virtualization vendors such as Citrix and VMware and traditional collaboration companies such as Microsoft and IBM. While everyone has an offering, these offerings still feel like individual islands that support data transfer within a company. The ability to easily share data (sensitive or not) across company boundaries was the reason Box.com and Dropbox became so successful. Any service that wants to win in the collaboration space must find a way to replicate the opportunity to easily share across boundaries. There is no remote work. Work is wherever you are on whatever device you desire. There is only isolated secure data. The challenge is how will businesses address this problem? Are you evaluating virtualization, containerization, and or app wrapping? If so, please share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section here or send me a tweet on @MaribelLopez