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Ready for Cloud PCs? Make Sure They’re Enterprise Ready.

Enterprise customers are adopting cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to provide modern, flexible workplace solutions that allow users to securely access their corporate resources from any location, on any device, for anywhere-productivity. The pace of change is pretty astonishing! With all of the problems IT teams have encountered with on-premises VDI solutions, those conversations are largely over, and most CIOs are turning to cloud PCs and workstations as part of a cloud-first strategy. If you’re ready to replace your physical PCs and workstations or modernize your legacy VDI by adopting cloud PCs and workstations, there are several considerations that can dramatically impact your success.

Considerations for Enterprise-Readiness

The cost, complexity and poor end-user performance of legacy, on-premises VDI solutions make them a ripe target for migration to the cloud. Similarly, physical PCs and workstations come with a whole bunch of management overhead, including regular hardware refreshes. These days it makes little sense to spend IT resources this way. However, when moving to desktops in the cloud, there are a few different approaches, and IT organizations need to make sure that their requirements are covered with a set of features that are essential for enterprise adoption.
There are many public cloud-based, Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offerings that lack the enterprise capabilities you should demand. Even with DaaS solutions that run on the very largest public clouds, it’s really difficult to deploy Windows 10 virtual desktops. When the whole reason for migrating desktop workloads to the cloud is to simplify IT and increase business agility, why choose a solution that takes forever to deploy and requires complex, ongoing management? Even if you can get beyond those issues, you’ll want to ask vendors about all of the following capabilities to make sure the solution is enterprise-ready.

The Workspot PC in the Cloud solution is comprised of two primary elements: Workspot Client, a secure container that resides on the user’s device, and Workspot Control, the control plane responsible for provisioning and managing all virtual resources and establishing communication with end user devices to push corporate policies to the device. Let’s take a close look at how the solution addresses enterprise requirements.

BYOD, CYOD or COPE Devices

If the new virtual desktop solution requires special training before people can get back to work that’s going to be a tough sell. The right cloud PC solution supports any device whether corporate owned (CYOD: choose your own device, COPE: corporate owned, personally enabled) or personally owned (BYOD: bring your own device). Users can connect via the Workspot Client running on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, or using HTML5 or thin clients to securely access their virtual desktops and applications no matter which device they decide to use as they navigate their day. For GPU workstation users such as CAD and BIM professionals, a multi-monitor configuration is a must too, and Workspot supports that!

Management Your Way

Just as new technology can be disruptive to users, new IT solutions that upend existing processes is troublesome as well, because IT admins have to be totally retrained. It’s time they could be spending on much higher value projects. Workspot Control allows IT to manage all their virtual resources – apps, desktops & workstations – across cloud regions using their existing tools and processes, thereby mitigating the need for retraining and simplifying IT’s world. The ability to integrate with an existing corporate image, with Skype, Teams, GPOs, existing networks, security policies and also use AD & MFA authentication is what you want to look for. IT should be able to use SCCM if they want, or use Intune to manage PC images, patches, and updates. These are all tools and processes that enterprise IT teams typically use, and they should have the freedom to continue doing so. Workspot supports that!

Single Sign-On

Many users need to access multiple corporate apps of all types (SaaS, web, native) and having single sign on (SSO) capabilities makes a huge difference. About 30% of help desk calls are requests to reset passwords, so reducing the number of passwords reduces helpdesk costs. For users, having a single password makes life easier, logons faster, and encourages the use of stronger passwords since there’s only one to remember! Security is augmented and corporate information assets better protected. Workspot supports that!

Robust Security

Security is a top concern for IT leaders, and although single sign-on and strong authentication are necessary security elements, they are not sufficient. Workspot’s innovative architecture separates the control plane from the data plane; that is a fundamental difference between our solution and others, and it means that no application data flows through Workspot Control. This is a unique advantage that makes Workspot solutions inherently secure. Additionally, Role Based Access control (RBAC) ensures that only select, authorized admins access Workspot Control. Workspot on Azure offers you the most robust cloud PC security in the industry.

API Integration

As companies invest in their digital transformations they are building interconnected solutions with multiple, disparate systems that all have to integrate and work in concert.

Workspot provides a set of REST APIs for IT Service Management (ITSM), automation and/or scripting tools. IT can leverage the existing ITSM workflows on platforms like ServiceNow or BMC Remedy, or they can build their own scripted solutions to orchestrate the provisioning and lifecycle of user desktops and resources.

Workspot APIs can be used to automate Workspot functionality to add/delete users, create/delete desktop pools, and assign/re-assign users to desktop pools. APIs can also be used to get usage reports on user and resource activities. IT developers can use Workspot APIs with PowerShell, JSON and/or Postman to write automation scripts to integrate with their existing ITSM tools.

The APIs also provide valuable insights for IT to monitor users’ desktops and activities and loop back the feedback into the ITSM platform to get full end-to-end visibility of the workflow for all Azure regions globally.

Modern Disaster Recovery

Traditional DR plans are expensive, complex and risky. Workspot provides a one-click, on-demand solution called Disaster Recovery Cloud. Organizations can have Windows 10 virtual desktops on standby in the cloud, ready and up-to-date with all their corporate images, security policies, GPOs, and applications. The easy to set up, low-cost solution does not require any regular testing – it’s just ready to activate when you need it, in any of the 54+ Azure regions worldwide.

During any disaster event when employees cannot reach the office to access their physical desktops, the standby, virtual desktops can be activated on-demand with a single click, and people can get back to productivity within a few hours. They can securely access their virtual desktops, apps, and data from anywhere using any device, including home PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphones.

Cost Center Charge Back

Workspot Control integrates with a customer’s Active Directory, so users can authenticate using their corporate credentials. Some companies will store additional information in each employee’s Active Directory record, such as cost center information. Then, when Workspot usage reports are run, the reports share the details on users that have consumed various desktops and apps delivered by Workspot and includes each user’s cost center, which is then used for billing back those costs to each cost center.

Auditing & Event Logs

Workspot Events provides an audit trail of and event logs for all end user and administrator activities. It also includes performance, availability and usage reports for networks, devices, geographies & applications.

In addition to collecting end-user actions, Workspot Client also collects the real-time user experience, for example, how long did it take to access an application and whether or not access was successful. Each data point is tagged with location, time, device type, application, user, and network used.

The events are searchable within Workspot Control, and this data can also be pushed to a SIEM system such as Splunk.

Monitoring & Analytics

IT can easily become overwhelmed by the amount of monitoring data generated. Workspot Control makes it easy to configure just how much information is received and can even plug into existing monitoring solutions such as Splunk.

With Workspot Control, IT can configure and control role-based network access policies and also monitor and troubleshoot end users, entitlements & security policies. The deep, system-wide end-user logs can be used by IT and support admins to analyze failure patterns.

Cloud PC SLA, Customer Success & Support Services

Workspot has built a simple, yet enterprise-ready, turnkey PC in the Cloud service for Windows 10 on Azure.  Our cloud PC SLA is 99.95% – there’s no reason to settle for anything less.

Our Customer Success Team provides our unique Deployment Services, and in conjunction with our Support Team, you’ll get answers to all your questions. We’ll also help you take advantage of new features on an ongoing basis. We stay with you every step of the way!

Standard support is included for free as part of your ongoing PC in the Cloud service, and it is available Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm Pacific Time, excluding US federal holidays. More details, including 24×7 premium support plans, can be found here.

Take the Next Step!

Now that you understand how Workspot delivers both simplicity and enterprise-readiness in its cloud PC and GPU workstation service, you can see for yourself how it works with a live demo. Schedule your demo now!

Watch our brief video to hear about how Workspot can help protect your enterprise with Disaster Recovery Cloud. Recovery starts with just one click!