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Digital Workspace End-User Computing
7 minute read

Fast, Flexible Drop Ship Provisioning for Today’s Remote Workforce

Experience with Factory Provisioning for Workspace ONE allows Windows Device OEM and VMware administrators to provide a virtually zero IT touch and virtually zero user downtime experience.

In This Article

For employees to be productive in today’s world, they rely on IT organizations to ensure that their new PC desktops, laptops and other devices come “ready for business,” loaded with the productivity applications they need, powered with the performance capabilities to handle demanding tasks, and protected with the security features to control access and safeguard data. To accomplish that, new devices are tailored to each user’s specific requirements prior to delivery and installation through the process of drop ship provisioning, which is traditionally a time- and labor-intensive process involving high touch by IT staff.

The provisioning process became even more complex in early 2020 as organizations adapted to the emergence of a suddenly remote workforce in response to the pandemic. Now IT personnel were tasked with supporting users and their devices scattered across a broad geographic area instead of what would typically be done on-site at corporate offices.

But now, VMware has introduced a game-changing Workspace ONE Drop Ship Provisioning solution that broadens drop ship provisioning across all original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) leveraging its Workspace ONE unified endpoint management (UEM) solution. This new solution provides fast and flexible drop ship provisioning with modern, over-the-air management of desktops, mobile devices and more – a timely and critical need for today’s remote workforce.

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The challenges of traditional endpoint provisioning 

To appreciate what a leap forward this new solution represents, it helps to understand the high-touch, time-consuming ordeal that traditional provisioning processes demand:

  • Hardware built to spec is requisitioned from the OEM and shipped to the end-user’s IT configuration site, where it is unboxed.
  • IT staff connects the hardware to a dedicated network with a master server containing images for the operating system, applications, drivers, and so forth, in a many-step process that can take hours just for the imaging alone.
  • IT then schedules a time to install the hardware at the end-user’s work site, where additional apps, files, documents and other digital assets are likely to be loaded; for a far-flung remote workforce, this might even entail some travel time.
  • All told, the old provisioning method usually requires four to six hours of IT staff’s continued presence onsite.
WWT and VMware Drop Ship Provisioning saves time, money and resources while providing a good experience for the end user.
WWT and VMware Drop Ship Provisioning saves time, money and resources while providing a good experience for the end user. 

Another issue: traditional provisioning requires a dedicated server to house numerous pre-set, all-inclusive image files. IT staff often will use older tools to create the image files for specific hardware models, but those files cannot be updated; if they’re not right for the user, then all-new files must be created and kept on the server – an inefficient arrangement.

What’s more, hardware shipped from the OEM usually comes with a Windows OS pre-installed. The customer’s provisioning process must remove that OS and then reinstall it for a custom configuration, an added and unnecessary step that consumes time and resources. Still another challenge: remote workers who rely on compute-intensive Windows apps can face bandwidth constraints and consequent downtime when deploying those apps from the cloud at first boot.

These challenges have all been mitigated by the VMware Workspace ONE Drop Ship Provisioning solution, which offers a fast, flexible, cost-saving approach to helping organizations acquire, customize and deploy new hardware.

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VMware Workspace ONE changes the game with drop ship provisioning 

Among VMware’s most significant offerings is its Workspace ONE UEM solution, which has been embraced by numerous IT organizations globally. Its intelligence-driven, cloud-first approach to over-the-air management of all devices and use cases has demonstrated compelling advantages, delivering:

  • A dramatically reduced burden on limited IT resources while delivering a richer end-user experience that’s consistent across all devices.
  • Increased productivity and cost savings with intelligent insights and rule-based automation.
  • Enterprise-grade security that encompasses individual users, endpoints, applications, data and the network.

A critical component of the Workspace ONE Drop Ship Provisioning solution is its unified endpoint management. The Workspace ONE UEM enables IT staff to configure and manage devices across all operating systems and form factors, regardless of manufacturer or model. This capability opens up drop ship provisioning to meet virtually any use case need, using tools that customers already possess.

With Workspace ONE UEM, IT staff can manage Windows devices like mobile devices, using their existing operating systems and freeing personnel from having to implement repetitive Windows configurations. Whereas the traditional provisioning method required the removal and re-installation of the operating systems of new hardware, customers now can simply layer customized apps and files atop the existing OS, making the entire process far more agile.

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VMware and WWT bring new capabilities to drop ship provisioning

VMware and WWT enjoy a close and longstanding collaborative relationship, applying our complementary strengths – VMware’s technology platforms and WWT’s validated service delivery capabilities – to create flexible, scalable, secure digital transformation solutions.

The advancements that VMware has introduced to hardware provisioning cannot be overstated: employing its Workspace ONE Drop Ship Provisioning solution, organizations can complete tasks in minutes that used to take hours or days – and do it with virtually zero IT touch and no employee downtime. The result: immediate productivity at first boot, regardless of app size. What’s more, IT no longer requires a separate imaging tool from its endpoint management tool, reducing capital expenditures.

Leveraging the new level of flexibility VMware brings to drop ship provisioning – wider options for OEMs, device types, applications and more – WWT can help customers find their best solutions and provide for VMware Workspace ONE Drop Ship Provisioning through our North American Integration Center (NAIC)a climate-controlled production environment with advanced networking, secure remote access, and certified procedures specifically designed for staging, kitting and configuring the latest devices. It is staffed with certified engineers with logistical and technical expertise to help reduce the risk, cost and complexity of IT deployments.  

WWT stages, kits and configures and tests devices at scale prior to deployment.
WWT stages, kits and configures and tests devices at scale prior to deployment.

With more than 4 million square feet of warehouse and integration space spread over three continents, this flexible facility possesses the capacity to configure more than 30,000 systems per week – all in constant collaboration with leading WWT engineers and architects as they help customers navigate their countless options to arrive at the ideal feature set. WWT’s consultants and certified delivery engineers help our clients modernize end user access to corporate data and applications.  Our Subject Matter Experts will ensure your Windows 10 management environment and internal provisioning resources are enabled for a seamless transition. In fact, it’s this intimate knowledge of VMware platforms that has led WWT to become one of the first global partners to earn all seven of VMware’s Master Service Competencies – a testament to WWT’s commitment to widespread digital transformation.

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Learn how Workspace ONE accelerates drop ship provisioning

For end-users, organizations and the IT professionals who support them, having the right hardware assets in place is critical to achieving and maintaining a competitive edge. And it’s especially important that those devices be properly provisioned and maintained for optimum performance. VMware has transformed the task of hardware provisioning with its Workspace ONE Drop Ship Provisioning solution, making employees instantly productive at boot-up while freeing IT to focus on higher-level issues.

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