Workspace suites 'take a load off' IT

Organizations that want to simplify device management and access are interested in workspace suites, such as VMware Workspace One.

ATLANTA -- Workspace suites are a relatively new concept, but their management and security capabilities have turned heads in IT.

VMware Workspace One allows users to access all their business apps in one portal from any location on any device, in accordance with policies that administrators enforce through its authentication and identity management features. Those are all major selling points in IT departments, according to attendees at VMware's AirWatch Connect conference here this week.

"The security and management aspect will take a load off the IT side for sure," said Greg Peters, technology engineer for the state of South Dakota.

Workspace One includes VMware Identity Manager, Horizon Air for cloud desktop delivery, AirWatch enterprise mobility management and secure productivity apps. The suite's authentication and identity management features can control access to apps based on where users are geographically, what devices they are on and other assigned policies. For example, IT can use AirWatch to set a policy that says only devices enrolled in mobile device management can access a certain app or groups of apps. Another example is a policy that allows users to only access an app from certain locations, such as the office.

Workspace One makes access to multiple apps easier for users with single sign-on, and it uses multifactor authentication for extra security when necessary. When users want to share data with other people, for instance, a second authentication layer kicks in, and Workspace One asks them for a password before they can continue.

The product also has a privacy aspect; when users sign on, it tells them what admins can and can't see on their devices.

One-stop shopping with VMware Workspace One

The security and management aspect will take a load off the IT side for sure.
Greg Peterstechnology engineer for the state of South Dakota

The South Dakota government uses multiple VMware products, including AirWatch and Horizon Air, so it makes sense to adopt Workspace One, Peters said.

"It'll be a nice combination to bring all their different products together," he said.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., a pharmaceutical company based in New York, is looking at VMware Workspace One as a way to provide one-stop app access to its users.

"The approach of getting all apps on any platform is key, whether it's Windows, iOS or whatever else," said Mark Shimer, service assurance manager at the company. "Mobility is a huge part of any business, and it's important."

Workspace One supports integration with software from other vendors, including some of VMware's competitors. For identity management, for example, organizations may use Okta, PingFederate Federation Server or other products instead of VMware Identity Manager. And for Windows application delivery, Workspace One supports Citrix XenApp in addition to Horizon.

"I don't think having to rip out something to do more is a good, viable strategy," said Noah Wasmer, VMware's senior vice president of mobile products.

Workspace One takes a different approach from VMware's original Workspace Suite, which simply packaged the company's virtualization and mobility products into one license. Workspace One includes more advanced policy and controls, such as mobile application management and identity management, said Sumit Dhawan, a VMware senior vice president.

"The foundation of Workspace One needs to be a platform that enables you based on conditions that are based on device and environment," he said.

Next Steps

A deeper look at Workspace One and its related products

Deep dive into Workspace One

Take a look at Citrix's workspace offering

Dig Deeper on Endpoint security management tools