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How important is the workstation for employees?

(And therefore for your organisation)

These days, the workstation is often a topic that comes up during interviews. Younger employees tend to know exactly what IT they want to have and businesses need to show flexibility to attract the top talent. VMware has recognised this and developed innovative virtualisation software and platforms. Ton Hermes, Lead Engineer for End User Computing at VMware, shares his thoughts.

The delivery of IT services has completely changed over the last few years. In the past, it was the IT department that setup the workstation, but now, they work together with the board and HR to better meet the needs of their employees. The biggest change is from a “device with applications” to a “workstation”—an environment that has all the services you need readily accessible. How, where and with which device the environment is used is entirely down to the employee. IT makes sure that there is a portal where the services that can be used are available.

 

VMware is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. From the very start, the company has made waves with its software for data centre virtualisation. Ton Hermes explains: “In the past, a computer had a specific task, such as a mail server. We needed software on the market that could accommodate several tasks on one server. We suddenly only needed ten servers instead of 200. For several years, we were the only company to make that possible. Ten years ago we expanded our portfolio to cover end-user computing, network virtualisation and cloud computing. In the 20 years since our founding, we have grown from five to 20,000 employees and developed the business into a global company with revenues of over $7 billion dollars. Ton Hermes: “VMware has been at the top of its game for twenty years thanks to consistent innovation.”

 

IT service changes.

Employees have high expectation when it comes to choosing when, where and from which device they work. Ton Hermes: “The delivery of IT services has completely changed over the last few years. In the past, it was the IT department that setup the workstation, but now, they work together with the board and HR to better meet the needs of their employees. The biggest change is from a “device with applications” to a “workstation”—an environment that has all the services you need readily accessible. How the environment is used is entirely down to the employee because it doesn’t matter which device is being used or where the employee is. IT makes sure that there is a portal where the services that can be used are available.”

 

Workplace innovations.

When it comes to innovations, improving the user experience is high on VMware’s list. Ton Hermes: “People want to be able to work as easily professionally as they do privately. That’s why we make sure that people have secure and easy access to their business applications. We are also working on innovations to improve work processes and enable apps to work even more intelligently together. We also analyse use, so if we see a recurring task that can easily be taken care of with just a couple of clicks, we automate it. And if we see that an app is becoming slower, we can offer a solution that automatically ensures it runs faster again. In this way, we help to make the user experience ever more enjoyable and productive.”

Identity management.

A growing number of organisations are switching from PC to identity management. “Users receive an ID with which they can login to their workspace and access all related services. The VMware platform supports all styles of working no matter if in the office, on the go or working from home. Even the VPN connection can be launched automatically when the system is booted up so users have fast, instant access to their apps. It’s a one-of-a-kind user experience.”

 

IT-Security.

Easy access might be good for the user, but how do you combine this with data protection within the company? “Data is automatically encrypted and, when necessary, deleted with our software. We can also secure access using conditional access. Think about patient notes, for example, which can be accessed by employees at healthcare facilities, but not from a computer at home. Bechtle/Comsoft consultants can advise businesses on how to configure user profiles and policies. The biggest benefit of VMware software is that there’s always the choice of using it via the cloud, a partner or public cloud, in the in-house operating environment or a hybrid solution.”

 

One platform for all devices.

Of course, businesses need to take into account that the number and variety of devices is increasing. How can they be optimally managed? “Organisations often think up a different solution for each device making management more expensive, complicated, difficult to handle, and above all, less secure. VMware has a solution to manage, configure and protect all devices on one single platform.”

 

Out-of-the-box enrolment.

Another solution businesses can leverage to reduce costs is out-of-the-box enrolment. “Traditionally, it can take a lot of effort to get a new user up and running: The device has to be ordered, software installed, and a network connection and VPN configured. This process can be fully automated. A user receives a notebook, logs in with their ID and everything is automatically installed. It’s not even necessary to be in the office. Workers can even be offered a selection of devices. One person wants a business phone while another prefers their own iPhone X. When there is flexibility, we see user satisfaction increase significantly.”

 

Use your imagination.

Imagine... Let’s say... Creative thinking and pioneering work are crucial for businesses, says Ton Hermes. Keep in mind that every solution is ultimately about the value it can offer, whether that’s saving costs or boosting employee satisfaction. It’s all about the mindset. Be open to opportunities and listen to your business. Only then will you find the right solution.”