Blue Hill attended VMware’s EUC (End User Computing) Industry Analyst Day in Boston on Thursday June 15th. After a morning of presentations, we met in small groups with key VMware EUC executives including Noah Wasmer, SVP Mobile Products, Jason Roszak, Director Product Management, Shawn Bass, VP & CTO for EUC, Courtney Burry, Sr. Director Product Marketing (Desktop), Dave Grant, VP of EUC Product Marketing, and Sumit Dhawan, SVP & GM of EUC.
VMware’s mission of “consumer simple, enterprise secure” was apparent. Despite the relatively complex technical platform enhancements VMware has made – including broadened third party integrations, the inclusion of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing, and a focus on analytics and security – the message overall was one of simplicity and centralization.
VMware aims to transition the majority of its customer base to Workspace ONE – a single, multi-use-case platform for business mobility, workforce mobility, and desktop mobility – by the end of 2017. VMware plans to wrap its Go-to-Market (GTM) integration in the next 3-6 months. Can EUC drive Workspace ONE adoption the rest of the year so that the majority of its customers are in hand? It remains to be seen, as Blue Hill notes that enterprises are at varying stages of device and application management.
Blue Hill has seen that many enterprises are either still fairly new to enterprise mobility (or outright laggards) and are still using early stage solutions such as simple Mobile Device Management (MDM) or Mobile Application Management (MAM) platforms, making the transition to Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) seem some ways away. It will be interesting to watch VMware over the next 6 months to see how this vision plays out.
Companies are beginning to recognize that the security and standardization benefits they achieve for their mobile fleets through an enterprise mobility platform should be applied to other corporate devices such as laptops and IoT equipment as well. Right now, with MDM or MAM solutions, enterprise mobile devices are more secure, standardized, and controlled than laptops or desktop equipment in many cases. VMware’s overarching vision is a move to UEM in which all enterprise IT equipment is managed under its Workspace ONE platform, including support for next generation IT such as wearables, sensors, and IoT equipment. This vision certainly makes sense for where IT and enterprise technology is headed, but how soon VMware will be able to transition its customers away from more familiar MDM and MAM applications remains to be seen.
From a competitive standpoint, VMware is seeing greater threats from players like Microsoft who are offering device and application management solutions built into existing product lines, and thus at a lower price point. However, VMware seeks to differentiate through the strength of its technology to justify the at times higher cost of its platform. Continued enhancements to the platform include support for natural language processing and artificial intelligence to automate much of the process of IT support and issue resolution. Additionally, VMware is expanding third party integration, such as with Salesforce, to offer more seamless workflows in-app, and broadening its cloud support from Azure to AWS and multi-cloud environments. With its acquisition of Apteligent, VMware is placing a much stronger emphasis on app analytics and app performance metrics to drive value.
Finally, relative to my own focus on TEM, an interesting note is where the future of TEM will be considering the moves players like VMware are making into UEM. TEM vendors that are not actively developing strategies around next generation IT, application management, IoT, and centralized, software-first offerings are already far behind the curve and offer limited value to the modern enterprise. The days of call accounting and bill pay as a significant source of IT value are coming to an end as enterprise technology investments scale and the need for a centralized, standardized, and managed device fleet that now includes remote and more complex devices becomes apparent.