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Business Continuity Series: End-user Computing (EUC)

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Enabling seamless employee productivity is the key to business continuity. End user computing plays a vital role in maintaining — and in many cases enhancing— production. WWT’s Ivan Wintersteiger talks about the components that make up an EUC solution and what the different options are to get remote workers up and running.

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Read the transcript below:

- Hi there. My name is Brian Feldt with World Wide Technology. I'm joined today by Ivan Wintersteiger, global practice manager of our End-user computing segment. Ivan, thanks for joining us today.

 

- Pleasure being here. I really appreciate the opportunity to actually speak to you guys.

 

- Absolutely. So today we'll be talking about EUC End-user computing and the role that it plays in enabling employees who are increasingly working remotely. Ivan from a business continuity perspective. You're not gonna get very far if you're not fostering a productive work environment for employees. So given this huge push for remote working in business continuity, in this current environment, what role does EUC play and can making all that happen?

 

- Well, a very good question. EUC is at the center of this. And then again, I like the analogies and I like the food. So I'm gonna go home with the food analogy. So, if you think of steak dinner, this is, EUC is a steak in the stake dinner without it won't be called steak dinner it would be called potatoes and vegetables. So really that's the importance of it. And the reason why I say this is because if you think about it, what's at the core of EUC. It's actually allowing access, not just access, but a secure, personalized and easy access to applications and data. And if you think about it from a user's perspective, that's all they care, that's their tools to get the job done. So that's why this is so important and it's not unique to any verticals or any special business or whatever really covers everybody. So to give you example, we've, you've mentioned remote working. You and I are doing that. But this is now where this thing stops. You can move it to like a telehealth. The difference there is between us and a doctor is a set of applications and the data that they are looking at remotely. That's it. Or if you look at like remote learning, for example, this is the same thing. How do you enable the teachers, how do you enable the students and parents with the right set of apps and data that they need for this to work properly? That's the underlying thing. And the final piece that our people don't even think about it is really enabling the front line workers people that still have to go to job. And a lot of times those people don't have dedicated machines for them. So they are at times forced to share a workstation. And in a day of viruses and pandemic, that's not a good thing because this is another surface where they can transfer things. So, how about enabling them on their personal devices, a BYOD type of a program where they can get their job done and stay safe. That's really how and why EUC is such a big deal.

 

- So, you talk about kind of the, this mismatch of applications and people using different devices. You or I or any employee probably uses a mixture of devices, whether it's a company owned laptop and their personal phone or a personal tablet to, just to get work done in a single day. So walk us through a little bit about, what exactly we're talking about here, what organizations need to accomplish what they need to do and what the components are that make up this EUC story.

 

- No, yeah, exactly. A lot of times people don't understand or they know part of the story. So this is why this is important to kind of educate them right now on all the holistic binds. And so a lot of times people are familiar with the VDI. That's the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. This is the, for past 10 years or more, we've talked about that. And that's actually still one of the very important components of this presenting that virtual application or virtual desktop to a user and they can consume it on whatever device that they have handy and at the same time and keeping the data in the data center. So really a great tool. It's gonna become again, very important as we maybe transition as in the next few years to more of a kind of a contracting style of work and employment, things like that. But the piece that people don't necessarily know is Unified Endpoint Management, application management. This is something that kinda grew out of MDM or Mobile Device Management solutions when we first started bringing our own devices to work. That's really kinda grew up into now Unified Endpoint Management, enabling IT to manage holistic devices. Everything from PCs to Macs to Chromebooks to mobile devices, et cetera. That's really the idea there and presenting those applications to users in a very easy way to consume. The piece, to give you example, so World Wide Technology has done this already and we actually implemented workspace one for us and it's really been pretty awesome experience. Another piece I wanna bring up with this example is a lifecycle. So just last week I got a new laptop and all I got was still lapped that there was shrink-wrapped originally from the OEM and I don't know, six page, little booklet that has instructions of what I need to do. And within 10 minutes, I was up and running. How easy is that? This is the piece that people overlook a lot. Cause guess what, IT also has to work from home now. How hard is it gonna be to image the device if you have to be doing it from home or probably can't. So this type of enablement is tremendous. So two things, VDI and Unified Endpoint and application management is the two components.

 

- You mentioned the ease of setting up from that laptop and how It was great experience and it allowed you to get productive quickly. But a lot of people don't necessarily have that benefit going. And in times like these, when companies may be scrambling to enable their employees who are working remotely, time is of the essence. So I guess maybe walk me through or us through the setup here and how companies, what type of options they have to get employees up and running remotely.

 

- No, great. Yeah, absolutely. Let's dig into our platform. I'll share my screen here and I'll show you what we put together for our users and customers. So, if you go to here, so wwt.com hopefully you've already been there, but if not, pretty cool stuff. We spent a lot of our time working on it. Ultimately we are, we just created this business continuity resources. This is really holistic view of how do we as a company approach business continuity. So let me show you this. And if you scroll down, you'll see probably some of the familiar use cases that I already mentioned earlier. Remote work or telehealth or remote learning home agents. All of these, they all have at the core, ultimately the EUC story and the EUC story is exactly the same. As I mentioned earlier, the only thing that changes is the set of applications and data that users will get. I guess they need, ultimately, to do their job. So I'm gonna click on remote working just to kinda go from there. And if you go here, you can kinda see again, holistic set up for an organization a guide if you wanna call it that to get a company working remotely. So End user again, is key piece, but there's other components like collaboration, networking, connectivity, security, all things that you need to consider if you want to enable your users to work remotely. So since we're talking End-user computing, let's click there and I'll show you. Again, like I said, this page is the same across the board. So, here you're gonna find four options that we've put together. They consist of ultimately a VDI and unified endpoint and application management. And really if you boil those down most customers will end up with either one or two or even three of these solutions. Let me explain what I mean. So let's start with a remote operation one. This is a temporary solution. This is not a solution that we're gonna use as a strategic one moving forward. But it's quick to go to market. You can get up and running in two weeks allowing, approximate 2000 folks to start working remotely. And the idea behind it is really enabling you as a user to access your PC or workstation, or whatever you left at work via this VDI front-end, in this case horizon. We're talking about, and really then adds the holistic security component to this. And again, the newer protocols for efficiencies. Again, this is, I call this abandoned, but it's a quick solution that you can get your employees working remotely. On the other side of this token is Unified Endpoint Management. We've talked about it a little bit before. This is a little bit more, a lot more strategic than the first option and it's a little more involved so it takes a bit of time to get things going from that perspective. So, if you haven't started on this, this is not a quick turn around, but you need to get there. And again, we have the holistic briefing just for that specific things. If you click right there at the link, you get to that briefing where you can see a little bit of what we're gonna cover. And all of these actually have links. I didn't click on the one above, but we actually put together a very concise brochure that talks about the details around the solution so you can quickly understand what we're talking about here. So then moving on, desktop virtualization is the next one. This is the traditional one that we've done in, for many years now. This is the on-prem VDI solution in this case. Again, horizon is the player that we recommend. But ultimately the problem with that is if you're starting now, you probably gonna run into issues with getting that hardware required to run this properly. There's a backlog because of this coronavirus, et cetera. So really ultimately strategically we have to look at this, but if you need a quick turnaround, this is not something you can do this unless you happen to have computing storage running, laying around so you can use for this. And finally, cloud hosted solutions. So again, this is the horizon on let's say AWS or horizon on Azure. The benefit here is that you don't have to spin up that harder. Cloud providers actually are doing this in a background for you. So, this is very popular solution today because it enables you to get up and running with the virtual desktop quickly. So again, these four options are key to making this remote working happen or any other use cases that require EUC which happen pretty much to be all of them. So you are, we can absolutely take you down this path and help you figure this thing out. And this last briefing here really is this holistic four options, this page in a briefing form or where we actually go into details and really help you strategize on what makes sense for your organization.

 

- Yeah, that's great. Ivan as you get back to this screen here, let's talk some, some real world scenarios. Certainly since the coronavirus took effect, we've been in constant contact with our customers and even other organizations that are reaching out to learn more about these EUC options. Take us through a little bit about what some of these companies are doing. Is there any common approach or what type, what we're seeing their questions be?

 

- Yeah, absolutely. Ultimately all the customers and companies that I've come in contact in recent days or weeks really are all over the board. Depending on their maturity when it comes to this transformational journey to enable workers to work from anywhere. So, we're seeing bunch of things, but the common theme is that I need to get something done quickly. That's why we were talking about some of the solutions in that solution page that I was just showing you. There are more geared toward quickly responding but not necessarily strategic. And then there is companies like WBT for example. We've been doing this now for over two years kinda leading up to this. So for us, this is almost non-event from a perspective of application access or desktop access, any of this stuff. It's bigger issues. Where do I find a quiet spot at home, for example, to get my work done? That's really where it's at. So and I think what we're seeing is this phase one of panic and getting something done is kind of at the tail end. We're now entering like, how do we make this now a little bit better? Cause there was a lot of duct tape involved. I'm getting people are working from home and now we get to fix it a little bit. And then the final phase is gotta be the one that I talked a little bit about is strategic one. This is not something that's going away and this is not something that you'll have to, you can forget about it. This is now a new norm. And so really, ultimately we need to strategically pull something in a place for a company or customer.

 

- Well, Ivan, those were the only questions I have for you, but I very much appreciate taking out some time and what I'm sure is a very busy schedule these days. Thank you to the viewers for taking interest in this topic. And as you saw Van share from his desktop we have a lot of resources available on EUC along with a lot of other business continuity issues, whether it's telehealth or remote working or networking options. And you can go to wwt.com to get to those. And thank you.

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