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This article is part of our Essential Guide: VMworld 2018 conference coverage

Get users on board with your VMware Workspace One deployment

Users are the crux of a Workspace One enterprise implementation, but it takes a lot of work to get them excited about new processes.

LAS VEGAS -- IT shops must overcome a few challenges when adopting Workspace One, including gaining user acceptance...

and trust.

A VMware Workspace One deployment can help IT manage all the different devices, applications and operating systems users work with. It can also be useful to deliver resources to users after an acquisition or across a family of organizations. At VMworld 2018, Texas Health Resources and Western Digital shared the Workspace One adoption hurdles they had to jump.

Texas Health Resources, a healthcare company in Fort Worth, Texas, uses Workspace One to enable quick sharing of resources across partnerships and joint ventures with other healthcare organizations. The company merges resources across multiple Workspace One deployments to enable users to access the applications and data they need.

Western Digital, a storage provider in San Jose, Calif., has a VMware Workspace One deployment to enable users across the company's subsidiaries to work with the same resources.

"Workspace One is about bringing all our acquisitions together, bringing together the collaboration," said David Schira, director of IT at Western Digital, in a session at VMworld 2018. "It's much easier to show everybody a single icon that takes them where they need to be."

Building cohesion across the board

Both organizations faced a need to merge resources across different organizations or partnerships. The biggest challenge was to make it seamless for users in one organization to access resources from the other organization without IT having to duplicate user profiles or applications.

Workspace One is about bringing all our acquisitions together, bringing together the collaboration.
David Schiradirector of IT, Western Digital

Western Digital, for example, had three major brands -- HGST, SanDisk and Tegile; the entities those brands had acquired; and 16 authentication domains to account for. The goal for Schira's team was to reduce it all down to one united Western Digital with its VMware Workspace One deployment.

"We had to get everyone to normalize the same platform, which meant giving them a portal where they could get to the applications they need," Schira said.

For Texas Health Resources, compliance with data privacy standards was critical. The team had to find a way to grant access to different data across different organizations, which was tricky particularly with intellectual property.

"[Workspace One] was something that would allow us to do more business with other customers in a quicker fashion," said Lon Pelton, manager of end-user computing at Texas Health Resources, in a session. "We have to make sure we're not breaking any rules, we're not giving this kind of access [where we shouldn't]."

Getting users on board

Users almost always prickle at the notion of changes to the way they work, especially if they think it will hinder their productivity. A VMware Workspace One deployment makes significant changes to user workflows by channeling everything through a single portal.

"It's challenging to get people to think outside the box and getting them to understand that it's [their] stuff, [they] don't have to go to another portal over here," Pelton said. "It's about getting them to trust you."

To show users the value of Workspace One, IT pros have to act as marketers, selling the new portal-based method. This approach could include sending out tutorials and other resources to help users understand how to work with Workspace One. Schira worked with IT-friendly users -- dubbed change champions -- to test the technology and receive feedback.

"We get real feedback to find out, 'Is this going to meet your needs?'" he said.

This approach also empowers users to feel like they have a say in what's going on with the technology they use. The intuitiveness of Workspace One enterprise deployments helps sell it to users, Schira said.

"If you give a user a 16-page document of, 'Here is what we want you to do and how to do it,' it's a little harder to get behind," he said. "Users saw that [Workspace One] was one click and all my stuff was there."

A VMware Workspace One deployment can also help IT as it makes changes to the basic ways it does business.

"You're going to start adopting cloud, you're going to need a brokering platform to put those things together so user identities can come into it, so mobility can come into it," Schira said.

This was last published in August 2018

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