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VMware Adds Windows 10, Office 365 and Mac MDM to Workspace One

VMware has upped the stakes in delivering unified client and application enrollment and management with broad extensions to its Workspace One platform. In addition to configuring mobile phones and tablets, Workspace One can now enroll and manage Windows 10 devices and Chromebooks with Mac support coming this fall, VMware announced at the company's VMworld 2017 conference in Las Vegas this week. VMware also revealed that Workspace One will enforce Office 365 data loss protection policies, peer-to-peer distribution of policies and patches via the Adaptiva software it licensed earlier this year, along with automation of Windows desktops in its Horizon offering.

Employees can now enroll their own or company provided Windows 10 PCs the same way they configure their mobile phones and tablets using the Workspace One's AirWatch mobile device management (MDM) rather than joining them to an Active Directory domain. AirWatch last week also became the first third party to support the new Google Enterprise option for managing Chromebooks, scheduled for release by the end of September.  The Mac client support will come this fall when Apple releases the next version of its operating system, known as Sierra.

"What we are trying to do is give our customers and users a great experience to access all of their applications on any device in a consumer-simple and enterprise-secure way," said Sumit Dhawan, senior VP and general manager of the company's End User Computing business in his keynote address Monday afternoon at VMworld. "We do this with two things: disruptive innovations in our product and those partnerships in the ecosystem. The reason is, today's environment that most customers have are siloes. Siloes of our desktop, mobile and line of business applications. And with the product innovations and partnerships we believe we can stitch together [them] into a platform."

That common user and management experience gives Workspace One a much broader capability than existing MDM offerings including Microsoft's Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) suite, said Mitch Berry, VP of Unified Endpoint Management at Mobi, which provides managed mobility lifecycle management services and software. "I think their technology is a lot more advanced than a Microsoft, or a MobileIron or Citrix in that the experience they are able to provide across multiple device types really gives them the lead," said Berry, whose company has partnerships with all of the major MDM providers including Microsoft.

"Few vendors provide the breadth of Workspace ONE's offering, and VMware did a good job of telling a comprehensive EUC transformation story at VMworld," said Gartner Analyst Andrew Garver. Enterprises looking to shift to this more holistic approach to system and applications management, which Gartner calls "unified workspaces," will find the Workspace One appealing, according to Garver, because it provides "modern management across traditional and mobile endpoints, tight coupling with Horizon VDI and Apps and robust set of gateways for both cloud and on-premises."

The unified MDM capability is now possible because Microsoft, Apple and Google have released their management APIs for Windows, Mac OS X and the Chrome operating system. Microsoft did so earlier this year when it released the Intune portion of its Graph APIs. Google said it would do the same when it made its partnership announcement last week with VMware to enable Chromebook management with Workspace One and Apple came on board during Dhawan's VMworld keynote when Matt Brennan, head of global enterprise strategy at Apple, joined him on stage.

"Within VMware, we have leveraged those public APIs extensively," Dhawan said. By "extensively," Dhawan explained that their use goes beyond just enrollment and providing policy management; it's about integrating identity management and applying context, while striking a balance between providing user control and privacy and ensuring that corporate data remains secure.

Dhawan said Workspace One has evolved to meet its mission of bringing mobile, desktop and application management together. The company has added the VMware Identity Manager into its AirWatch console, which it said will provide a common interface for managing devices, context and identity. It also has a simplified mobile single sign-on interface and, using the Microsoft Graph API, it can apply Office 365 enrollment and management, as well as support for other SaaS apps. The new Workspace One release will manage and enforce security polices and provide Office 365 data loss prevention (DLP) upon release of the Office APIs by Microsoft.

"It gives you one way of unifying the experience across all applications and one place to unify your management across all devices," Dhawan said. "This we believe is a massive change and we think is a great opportunity for you."

Workspace One will enable administrators to control how policies, patches and upgrades are pushed out to branch offices using the Adaptiva OneSite tool that VMware licensed earlier this year. By distributing the updates on a peer-to-peer basis using a content delivery network (CDN), organizations don't need to have servers at those branch locations, said Jason Roszak, VMware's Windows 10 director of product management.

In addition to enabling PCs, Macs and Chromebooks to be configured and managed like mobile devices, VMware also said that the Workspace One Horizon 7 VDI and virtual application platform will be available on Microsoft's Azure cloud service in October. VMware, which announced its plans to offer Horizon 7 on Azure back in May, released the technical preview last week. The company, which first extended Horizon beyond vSphere to the IBM Cloud earlier this year, said the Horizon Cloud service running on Microsoft Azure will start at $8 per user, per month.

VMware also plans to enable automation of Windows desktops and applications using its Just in Time Management Platform (JMP) tools, which include Instant Clone, VMware App Volumes and User Environment Manager, by bringing them into a single console.

That will let administrators more easily design desktop workspaces based on a users' needs, said Courtney Burry, senior director of product marketing for Horizon at VMware, who gave a demo of the new capability during the keynote. "The underlying JMP automation engine [will] build those desktops for you," she said. The integrated JMP console is now in preview.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 09/01/2017 at 1:32 PM


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