This week I’m attending Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas. Dell Technologies is a company that I cover extensively, and I always look forward to attending the tech giant’s premier annual technology conference. I’ll be covering the event all week with fellow analysts Rhett Dillingham (cloud), Matt Kimball (server and CI Steve McDowell (storage and HCI), and Will Townsend (networking and carrier). But I wanted to begin my coverage focusing on the Dell Unified Workspaces offering announced on Day 1. Let’s take a closer look.
Industry is changing
With the onslaught of different corporate devices like smartphones, PCs, and tablets running different operating systems and apps from different vendors, deploying, securing, managing and supporting them has become an enterprise nightmare at scale. Users also are forced to work on different apps across devices, limiting or confusing them, requiring more training, forcing BYO usage, leading to lower productivity and creating security issues.
Dell Unified Workspace
Dell Technologies Unified Workspace is an offering the company designed for enterprises who want to press an easy button but control themselves. Specifically, Workspace seeks to simplify device lifecycle management for IT, through the integration of hardware, software, and services. It includes solutions that span the breadth of Dell’s massive portfolio of devices and services, including VMware and Secureworks. It’s being touted as the industry’s most comprehensive solution to deploy, secure, manage, and support devices (such as PCs, tablets, and phones) from the cloud, but I will have to do more analysis to affirm that.
Essentially, the solution works like this: it utilizes “big data” enabling data-driven insights about customers’ specific usage and advises them on what specific devices and applications are best suited for their workforce. Imagine using real data to determine the best systems for certain profiled users or knowing what is really driving satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Unified Workspace can deliver these devices directly to the end users, preconfigured, secure, and ready-to-go. This decomplexifies much of what drives the IT department nuts today. Many IT departments would rather spend their time working on revenue-generating projects versus spending time creating and loading images onto phones, PCs and tablets. Dell says Unified Workspace is capable of integrating with any OS, device, or cloud environment a customer may be operating. Imagine an organization with 10,000 PCs, tablets, Chromebooks, phones in their workforce, and how impactful this could be.
The beating heart within Unified Workspace is VMware’s Workspace ONE endpoint management technology, which handles cloud policy management, application delivery, automated patching, monitoring, diagnostics, and more—all through a unified platform. This allows users to utilize every app on every one of their devices, which is an increasingly sought-after ability with today’s highly mobile workforce.
The average organization’s IT department spends a huge amount of its time handling matters like device deployment, troubleshooting, and monitoring. What if that could all be simplified, freeing up IT resources to focus on, in the words of Dell, “more transformative initiatives?” That’s the idea behind Unified Workspace. Dell itself already has a rocking PC-as-a-Service program (read my coverage here), which is related to all of this. To draw a distinction, though, with PC-as-a-Service, Dell does everything, while Unified Workspace is essentially a tool that allows organizations to do all of this themselves.
Unified Workspace utilizes several components to ensure the safety of endpoints. This includes the Dell Safeguard and Response threat management portfolio, which features Crowdstrike threat detection and Secureworks behavioral analytics. Additionally, Unified Workspace includes a new off-host BIOS verification utility called SafeBIOS, which Dell says will provide better visibility into BIOS integrity by moving BIOS info from the hardware (where it can be corrupted) to off-host. While I’d prefer not to get into a religious discussion on what method of BIOS is more secure- connected or not connected, I see fair arguments on both sides of the coin.
I think Unified Workspace looks like a very promising offering that could seriously simplify things for client IT and benefit the user. This sort of offering is the way of the future, and I think we’re going to be seeing more and more organizations turning to solutions like this to manage their increasingly mobile workforce. IT has decided it has more valuable things to do with its time and is increasingly wanting to leave the driving to someone else. I can see customers saving even more time by adopting ProDeploy Client Suite in the Unified Workspace as it truly leaves the deployment driving to Dell.
As a side note, I am thoroughly enjoying the jockeying for position by all those who have a stake in this market. Ultimately, I believe, it comes down to the data, what can be learned from it, and proactively have autonomic decisions made. With Unified Workspace, Dell’s off to a good start at Dell Technologies World 2019—stay tuned for more coverage.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.