By now you’ve probably heard that VMware, Microsoft, and Dell made some pretty big announcements earlier this week. There were a lot of announcements, but the ones I’m most excited about are:
- Joint Microsoft 365 and VMware Workspace ONE customers will be able to manage Office 365 across devices via cloud-based integration with Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory.
- Workspace ONE workloads will be able to co-exist with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)
- We will extend VMware Horizon Cloud (which already runs on Azure) to support Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD), including WVD’s support for multi-session Windows 10, Windows 7 with Extended Security Updates, and Office 365 ProPlus.
- You will be able to run vSphere workloads in Azure via “Azure VMware Solutions”
(You know it’s a big day when running vSphere in Azure is the Number Four announcement. :)
I’d like to share my perspective on these announcements, and what I’m most excited about.
First, as I wrote last month in my post, I talked to 160 customers in the past year about their EUC plans. Here's what I learned., I’ve spent the past year flying around the world meeting customers to discuss their EUC strategies and multi-year EUC plans. (In most of these meetings, I end up drawing VMware’s EUC vision on the white board, and I have a light board video of that if you haven’t seen it yet.)
A big part of my conversation around VMware’s EUC strategy is how the company has evolved to embrace the reality that enterprise EUC estates are going to include best-of-breed products from many vendors. In other words, in 2019, VMware is NOT saying, “you need to be 100% VMware,” since that’s impossible, and instead, we’re saying, “We want to focus on what we do best, while allowing other vendors, partners, and customers to focus on what they do best.”
This was the premise of my Valentine’s Day post where I wrote about how much I love Citrix, Microsoft, AWS, and others, even though I work at VMware.
VMware’s partnering in the EUC space has been aggressive and impressive, integrating Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops with Workspace ONE, integrating Okta, delivering Horizon from Azure and AWS public clouds, our upcoming work with security vendors with the Workspace ONE Trust Network, our integration with Google for G Suite customers, our announcements around IBM Watson integration, etc, etc.
Seriously these partnerships are huge for us and huge for customers.
All that said, the one thing that was always a bit awkward was our story around Microsoft. Everyone wanted to know what our relationship was like with Microsoft, whether we were on good terms or fierce competitors, and how Intune stacked up against Workspace ONE. My answer to that was typically pretty long and drawn out.
So this is why I’m excited about the joint announcements from earlier this week. To me, it’s not about the specifics of the announcements, rather it’s the bigger picture of both Microsoft and VMware taking a step back and saying, “What do we need to do that’s the right thing for our customers, and that can help everyone involved (customers, partners, VMware, Microsoft)?” While we may still compete in some instances, this week’s announcements are a testament to our mutual commitment to our customers.
To me, it’s all about giving customers choices and letting people pick which products and services they want to use in which parts of their business, and then knowing that the vendors they pick are happily working together to support them. It’s nice to know that if a customer wants to use Windows Virtual Desktop, they will be able to do that, yet still use VMware Horizon to deliver the specific workloads they need from it. If they’re currently using SCCM and thinking about how they’ll get to modern management, it’s cool that they will be able to choose Workspace ONE as the modern management agent on Windows 10 while continuing to leverage their 20+ years of experience and processes around SCCM, and they can know that SCCM and Workspace ONE can peacefully co-exist. It’s cool to know that Workspace ONE customers will be able to secure Office 365 apps and data through integrations with Intune and Azure Active Directory, meaning customers can do what they need to do and what’s right for them.
If you take a step back and look at what we’re doing at VMware around EUC, you can see that partnerships like this are important to us (and to Microsoft!) These integrations will allow us to continue to focus on what we do best, for Microsoft to focus on what they do best, and for you, our customers and partners, to focus on what you do best!