Windows. For all of the critique against it and Microsoft, it still runs the desktops of businesses everywhere. It’s true that Apple has made some inroads in getting hardware on the desktops of many businesses, but the Windows desktop continues to be the standard for application delivery and is at the core of user productivity. Even many of the Apple laptops that have been adopted by businesses in recent years run a virtualized session of Windows to give businesses a level playing field to deliver core applications so business can get done.
Windows is a great equalizer in business, in part because it can be delivered so many ways successfully. Laptops, desktops, RDSH (Terminal Services), VMware Horizon View, Citrix XenDesktop/XenApp and even business grade tablets, all run Windows – and each has a corresponding user.
True “Desktop Management” really has “User Management” at its core. Proper User Management keeps desktop users productive by centrally managing user persona, specific configurations, and access to applications, whether locally installed or virtualized. Comprehensive User Management solutions successfully work seamlessly across any delivery method and version of Windows. This is done naturally because they “decouple” the User persona, configurations, settings, and even applications from the underlying operating system.
True User Management can be used in a physical or virtual desktop environment. Once a user is under management they are able to logon to any desktop in the enterprise. VDI has been a driver of User Management solutions by enabling the seamless on-boarding of users from a legacy desktop, making desktops easier to manage, removing the roadblocks to going with a Non-Persistent (Stateless) design, and by centralizing desktop user management in the same way that VDI centralizes desktop image management.
There are obvious benefits of User Management in daily business such as enabling configuration changes centrally on-the-fly, the delivery of application shortcuts or applications themselves at a moment’s notice, and centralized management of users’ personas. There are also less obvious benefits of User Management that can have an enormous positive impact for any business. These benefits include the seamless ability to transition a user to a new desktop such as a Horizon View virtualized desktop.
There are two approaches to User Management:
1) Cobble together your own User Management solution with a combination of tools, scripts, and consoles. Here is the list of things you need: a profile tool, numerous logon scripts, multiple Group Policies, application virtualization, a migration tool, and application management. You better keep it all documented too, just in case any member of your admin team takes a leave of absence or decides to walk off the job. Be careful of using point profile tools that only work for certain OS environments or certain delivery methods, they usually cause profile corruption too. This approach is messy and usually ends up being held together by bailing wire.
2) Choose a purpose built User Management Solution like Liquidware Labs ProfileUnity that includes every feature you need, all in one place with one central console. No more corrupt profiles, tedious migrations, logon scripts, or challenges with environment documentation. Choose this and you’ll end up with one “Unified” User Management solution with advanced feature like FlexApp User and Department Installed Applications that are not found among competitors.
When you are ready to move users to a new desktop, a comprehensive User Management solution can seamlessly on-board users to the platform of choice when the time comes.
ProfileUnity by Liquidware Labs is a leader in the market of User Management and offers all of the capabilities mentioned here and more. ProfileUnity provides a “tie that binds” user across all types of Windows delivered desktops. Once a user is managed with ProfileUnity they can be on-boarded to Horizon View seamlessly with zero user downtime. User adoption of the new desktop is enhanced because the users’ persona, settings, certain apps, and data, follow the user to their new desktop.
Not everyone is ready for VDI but everyone should be ready for proper User Management. Once a user is under management with ProfileUnity they can be seamlessly delivered to a new physical or virtual desktop when you are ready to make the next move.