The future looks bright for User Environment and Workspace Management

ProfileUnity is hot, there’s no denying. Everywhere I go partners and (potentially new) customers keep asking for demos, and as soon as I show them a thing or two they are eager to get their hands dirty. In fact, the number of trial licenses I have been handing out throughout the last couple of weeks must be some kind of a new internal record (I’ll make sure to check). Seriously, the demand for a future stable, easy and straightforward to use User Environment and Workspace Manager product has been higher than ever before.

Whenever I give my ProfileUnity pitch and/or show a couple of configuration options as part of my demo it quickly becomes clear that next to End User and Workspace Management, in the broadest sense of the word, we add in a few ‘specials’ as well – all part of the same package, by the way. We don’t do modules, no bronze, silver or gold etc… I think you get the idea. Needless to say, it doesn’t take me much effort to get my audience enthusiastic.

Easing through

I experienced it myself not too long ago. Since I was new to the Liquidware portfolio (I officially joined as of October 1st) I spent some time getting to know the individual products, of course, ProfileUnity was no exception. While running a couple of virtual machines on my MacBook Pro isn’t ideal, I do not need any additional infrastructural components, like a database and/or web server so it only took me 45 minutes to get it up and running, domain controller included.

User Environment and Workspace management are about simplicity and ease of use, or at least that’s what they should be. A single console (preferably) from where you manage everything that matters to your users and their digital workspace/place, whether it’s on-premises, in the cloud, virtual, physical or a combination of all combined, never mind the types of applications being used. The same applies to the backend as well – Installation and first use setup should be straightforward, although skimming through the manual and FAQ’s never hurt anybody.

What is ProfileUnity all about?

I could easily write another ten pages about what sets ProfileUnity apart from others, but for now, I’ll keep it (relatively) short and highlight some of ProfileUnity’s most powerful features and qualities below.

  • No additional infrastructural components and/or licenses needed. Built-in web server and database capabilities. No modules, no gold, silver, bronze packages/license etc…
  • Easy to set up. Ready for first use within 30 minutes.
  • Highly available by nature. By leveraging existing infrastructural components.
  • Profile Portability. One of the biggest challenges when migrating to a new Operating System is dealing with the underlying user profile versions – newer versions of the user profile are incompatible with each other. Even when you’ve migrated to Windows 10 user profile versions keep changing between the different version of Windows 10, read this for more detailed information. By creating a universal Windows profile these issues are easily solved and your users will be able to roam from one Windows Operating System to another, without ever having to worry about their personal settings and/or (application) data.
  • Easy recovery of user persona data. Since we do not alter the data, as part of the Windows user profile, for example, data can be restored with a few simple mouse clicks. All data is stored in a Windows native format.
  • Migrating user authored data. ProfileUnity can automatically migrate user-authored data to a user’s file share or cloud storage in the background without affecting the user’s productivity. Only after all data has been synchronized does ProfileUnity then seamlessly invoke folder redirection.
  • Office 365 caching and indexing. ProfileUnity’s ProfileDisk technology provides seamless Office 365 Outlook Caching and Indexing (once performed the last state of the data will be preserved) for any Windows desktop including Microsoft RDSH and Citrix XenApp. A true killer combination, when combined with our earlier mentioned Profile Portability engine.
  • Active Directory and GPO integration. Import and manage GPO’s directly from the ProfileUnity management console. Retrieve information from your domain controllers about current users’ accounts. Advanced aliases require an Active Directory infrastructure and ADSI support on your clients. The values retrieved are available for use throughout your configuration.
  • Manage machine (HKLM) policies. Our Profile Portability engine goes beyond the user profile and lets you manage, load and save (merge, replace, exclude) machine settings as well. All from the same console.
  • FlexApp Application Layering technology. Is part of ProfileUnity as well and offers some unique and industry first ways of handling and managing layered applications, closing the cap that application virtualization leaves behind while simplifying base image management at the same time. No other EUM platform or vendor can offer the same functionality under one roof.
  • Elevation Rights Management. Securely elevate privileges of standard users to run named applications with Admin Rights or install applications based on Security Rights.
  • Application Rights Management. Save on licensing costs and lower administrative management of base images. Allow/Deny applications from running on select desktops or for select users. Whitelist/Blacklist applications. Like the above-mentioned Elevation Rights Management module, both are part of our standard package, no additional costs or separate licenses needed.
  • Cached mode. ProfileUnity’s desktop client is very lightweight and can be configured to operate in either direct or cached mode, which is ideal for even quicker login times. Both leverage a Group Policy template to apply the .exe, no software needs to be installed on individual desktops.
  • Context-Aware filter engine. Our filter engine offers over 300 different conditions used to limit the scope of an automated configuration. Everything you configure within ProfileUnity can be fully controlled by configuring and applying Context-aware Filters, only limited by your imagination.
  • Trigger Points. Action-based policy and profile updates (pre and post login). Dynamically change location-based printing based on environmental changes such as new WIFI access point. Update applications based on new location. Save to profile based on application open/close and more, for fine-tuned environment management. You decide what happens when, especially powerful when combined with our Context-Aware Filter engine.
  • Environment Variables. Centrally set and clear desktop environment variables by user, group, location, or any other context-aware setting. Environment variables are modified in the environment of current users.
  • And a lot more like… Manage Folder Redirection, Drive and Printer Mappings, INI files, Internet Explorer, Outlook, display message boxes, various Office options and file locations, the Registry, RDP Client, Lockdown Desktop options, Role Based Access and Auditing, modify settings that control the Windows user interface, Summary reports, Shortcuts, Admin defined scripts and more.

More to come

One last thing I want to touch on briefly is our roadmap. Liquidware has always been known for being a highly innovative company and when it comes to ProfileUnity this is no different. I have seen a glimpse of its future and it looks very promising. A good example of this is the upcoming (native) integration with various cloud storage platforms like Amazon’s AWS S3 storage (and Amazon Workdocs) for ProfileUnity and FlexApp shortly after that – have a look here.

And we do not stop there… Think cloud, think on-prem, it doesn’t really matter, there are a ton of great enhancements and additional features coming your way. The next couple of months will be very interesting, to say the least, and it goes without saying that we would love for you to come on board as well since our plans and future vision reach far beyond 2018.

If you have any questions, want access to a trial license or simply want to know/see more please do not hesitate to contact me over at bas.vankaam@liquidware.com.

Thank you for reading.

One thought on “The future looks bright for User Environment and Workspace Management

  1. Pingback: The last write wins – NO, it does not, we do! | Liquidware Blog -- Desktop Transformation

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