I spend a lot of my time talking to customers and many invite me into their organisation to talk about virtual desktops, in fact they often mark the subject of the meeting VDI. I’m always interested in what customers are up to and I often learn a lot from what they are doing and how they are using IT to drive their business forward. Be that a large multi-national mining company, a small not for profit care agency or somewhere in between, the conversations are all interesting and everyone has their challenges.
Moving Ore and looking after the elderly present very different challenges when it comes to information management however all want to discuss VDI. In other words all think that VDI will meet a need in their business. Some will argue that this conversation has been happening for some time and is nothing new, I can hear you yawning now and shouting: “its vendor push, its market hype, it can’t be done for less than a gazillion dollars, the user experience is rubbish and technically it’s too hard. Come on people have been blogging about this for years, get with the program and write something about Big Data please!”
So why do customers keep coming back to the topic and where is the common value? I believe the common value starts with the apps, all businesses run on applications. It is applications that allow them to organise and process data into a meaningful product enabling the business to function. Centralising apps, so all information can be processed in one place, i.e. all data is in one place makes a lot of sense. So when I listen to organisations discuss their business needs it is applications we often come round to talking about.
The next stage with any customer is to trial and test our technology. This means I get to spend time on site with my sleeves rolled up implementing products and integrating them into a proof of concept environment. These days I just about always implement a NetScaler VPX for remote access, XenDesktop and XenApp. At the end of every trial XenApp will have met the application requirements as discussed but it is XenDesktop that almost always has the customer most excited about their next desktop roll out. If you get VDI right, then yes apps are as important as ever but virtual desktops is what the customer wants to do. You cannot in my opinion underestimate the value of desktop virtualisation, the ability to rapidly deploy, enable a single user experience from any location and to give a user a desktop that is always available without carrying a device.