I was presenting to our sales teams at the Liquidware Sales kick off recently and was fascinated by the following response I received.
“Why wouldn’t you leverage FlexApp in your environment? At this point enterprises have virtualized infrastructure, desktops, networks, and storage but still continue to install applications natively.”
After reflection, it is kind of amazing how far we have come in just a few short years. Enterprises think nothing of leveraging vMotion to “live” migrate an exchange server to another host for maintenance, (while users are actively sending mail through it I might add). One of my colleagues would tell stories of migrating the primary corporate internet gateway with vMotion during a webex demo with customers. While the entire company was browsing the internet. That is called confidence in the technology. Advances in Desktop, Networking and Storage virtualization have really shifted IT optimizations light years ahead of where we were.
With applications, I think the hesitancy for optimization is more complicated. For example, users often take applications for granted because they just work and often don’t change for years at a time. They come to lean on them, like they would a cell phone or any other daily use tool. Subconsciously, desktop users experience is often tied to the individual applications, despite the general complaint that “my desktop is slow”. That was one of the original adoption barriers for VDI, until it slowly got better. The unspoken challenge enterprise IT has always faced is the fear of change. Combine this with the notion that enterprise IT is graded on how satisfied the end users are, and that becomes a recipe for “Status Quo”. So enterprise IT often makes infrastructure decisions based on how the users might react as opposed to how they can optimize.
I spent many years in the application virtualization space, ironically supporting both major players. I have always tried to pay attention to the positive feedback, as well as the negative. Of late, the negative feedback around application virtualization technologies has been daunting at best. So once again as customers experience failures with these tools, they default back to what they know, native installs within the base image.
Now that application layering has gained momentum and mainstream attention this is a critical time in the evolution of the platform. The reason this time seems different comes down to the nature of the technology. At its core application layering redirects the native install of the application into the virtual disk. At which point the application becomes “portable” and can follow the user around, which is a very compelling use case for enterprise IT. Each of the vendors in this space take different approaches when presenting the new application layers to the users, but often leverage filter technologies as a common theme. Through these filters, the host operating system thinks the application layers are natively installed, when they are not. This cuts down on application lifecycle management challenges and increases efficiencies which lead to greater user satisfaction and experience. Additionally, administrators and users can’t tell the difference between natively installed applications and application layers. This one aspect could signal shift in the application lifecycle management approach for the enterprise moving forward.
With FlexApp from Liquidware, the Filter is an actual driver as opposed to a filter process encompassed within the host operating system. This gives FlexApp an edge, when presenting layers to the users, essentially handling or processing more requests in a condensed amount of time.
As stated above, enterprise IT did not trust the various application solutions because it would often do more harm than good and effect user experience negatively. Recent customer interactions indicate that FlexApp is starting to break through that trust barrier. During a recent POC, a Liquidware engineer packaged two or three FlexApp Layers within the customer’s environment. A few days after the POC, the engineer contacted the customer as a follow up to the POC. On their own, the customer had FlexApped a significant portion of their home-grown applications and had already begun user testing. Software vendors always claim that “our software is easy to install and work with” but in the end the reality faced by the customers is a different story. What stood out to me is that the customer was successful with a minimal amount of training from the engineer. You could hear the excitement and confidence in their voice.
As we move into 2017, enterprises have typically virtualized everything else in the datacenter. Evidence now suggests that FlexApp can help optimize the last remaining application piece of the enterprise puzzle. So why would you not at least try FlexApp for yourself?
- Simple, intuitive interface
- Ability to switch between VHD and VMDK from one console and infrastructure
- Can seamlessly integrate with any physical, any VDI, any Private and Public cloud platform
- Create FlexApp Layers in minutes as opposed to hours
- Tight integration with the ProfileUnity UEM platform, an industry first
- Seamlessly integrates with any enterprise application lifecycle management workflow
For more information on how FlexApp can integrate with your companies enterprise application strategy, click here
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