Liquidware’s Customers are Prepared for Windows 11, are You?

Windows 11 is now generally available. How ready is your organization for Windows 11? Some will say that Windows 11 is just an update to Windows 10 but we’ve done our testing and that’s not altogether true.  Remember when Microsoft said that Windows 10 was “the last OS” and the “forever version of Windows”?  Well, now we know it clearly was not.

Windows 11’s interface is being called “Mac-like.” This new look comes with many changes. The Start Menu and task bar are notably different and there are also new capabilities called Windows Widgets, Snap Layouts and Groups, and Android apps are also coming to Windows 11 OS a little later. With all of these changes, the Windows user profile is also very different between Windows 10 and 11. If your profiles today are reliant on basic profile tools such as roaming profiles or FSLogix, they will not work seamlessly between Windows 10 and 11.

Windows 11 is GA and features a new Start Menu and other UI updates.

Before your organization moves even one workspace to Windows 11 or Azure Virtual Desktop on Windows 11  you should practice a tried and true methodology for migration success. We’ll be delivering a webinar later this month entitled, Ready for Windows 11? Get the 411 from Liquidware” – be sure to register now. But prior to that, here are some key points to consider as you start planning for Windows 11:

  • Assess – take a complete inventory of the hardware and software your enterprise is running. Then you’ll know which machines are capable of running Windows 11 and what applications you need to make available to users. Liquidware Stratusphere UX will ship an update next month (planned) with new Windows 11 readiness reports that can assess your organization for all key requirements including CPU (≥64bit, 2 cores, 1 GHz), clock speed, RAM, storage, UEFI Secure Boot capabilities, TPM 2.0, display resolution, DirectX compatible graphics, and connection speed.
  • Plan and Design – Given the knowledge you learn in the assessment above, plan on reallocating hardware to specific groups of users and procuring any new hardware you have decided your organization needs. Next, carefully consider your application strategy. How will you deliver applications in the new environment? Which apps will be SaaS? Or require isolation to be compatible? Or which ones can be dynamically attached with Liquidware’s FlexApp layering solution? Liquidware FlexApp keeps base images clean and devices easy to maintain. Unlike Citrix App Layering and others, you won’t have to repackage your apps with FlexApp, they work across Windows OS versions if the app supports the OS.
  • Migrate – leave no user data behind! Ensure that user authored data is not left on old workspaces before they are re-imaged or destroyed. Automate the harvesting of such data wherever possible. Also, be sure that users are kept productive by not destroying their user profiles but make sure they are compatible to flow seamlessly to Windows 11. We’ve tested profiles and, without ProfileUnity’s Portability, you can count on them breaking between Windows 10 and 11. ProfileUnity’s data management and Profile Portability capabilities cover all these points. Don’t let your users and your organization down with a haphazard migration. ProfileUnity supports many features in Windows 11 now and will offer enhanced support in the v6.8.4 r2 release.
  • Validate – just because you moved users over to Windows 11 does not mean it’s a better experience for them yet. Stratusphere UX can baseline user experience on prior OS versions and check it against Windows 11. Ensure you pilot Windows 11 with a select group of users before you adopt it wholesale. Also, be sure you can quickly troubleshoot and diagnose user experience concerns, you’ll be able to do that easily with Stratusphere UX.

Stay tuned for other blogs and guidance on Windows 11. Remember to register for our webinar later this month entitled, Ready for Windows 11? Get the 411 from Liquidware.”

App Packaging Automated! – FastPackaging just got Faster!

This week we launched FlexApp Packaging Automation. The head turning news about our FlexApp One GA announcement is still fresh on everyone’s minds and our development team has already done it again – made news by creating new innovation in the app layering market.

FlexApp Packaging Automation, another Liquidware Innovation.

Our existing FlexApp packaging console has long been noticed by industry gurus as the easiest way to create a FlexApp packaging container for layering and portability. It is straightforward and easy to use for a few dozen apps or a consistent flow of a few apps to package at a time. But what about larger enterprises which can easily have hundreds or thousands of apps to package? This is the reason why FlexApp Automated Packaging was born. We’ve seen competitors attempt to automate packaging with scripts but FlexApp leads with innovation with the most automated bulk packaging options available.

FlexApp Automated Packaging provides enterprises with the ability to significantly reduce application packaging and deployment times. It also provides great integration for DevOps by enabling an organization to deliver applications at high velocity. The new feature enables app administrators to use several VMs at once to create unattended FlexApps from virtually any Windows application. Imagine setting up your packaging and then going home for the night, only to return the next morning with hundreds off apps all ready set for testing and deployment as FlexApps.

Continuing on from the recent FlexApp One feature announcement, this further innovation from Liquidware provides the following benefits:

  • Bulk packaging of .EXE, MSI, MSIX etc.
  • Leverages multiple packaging consoles working independently to greatly accelerate packaging
  • Package output is turnkey and ready to distribute via the ProfileUnity console
  • Ideal for integration with DevOps
  • Aids application managers’ workflows by working with major application vendors’ silent install switches

I worked with Jack Smith, one of our talented FlexApp engineers, earlier this week to create a quick feature video to give you an overview and demonstration of the tech. When you get a chance, check it out, you won’t find anything else like it in the industry!

I’ve said it before but it is worth noting again, FlexApp is different, refreshingly different than other app layering approaches. FlexApp makes apps always elastic with the ability to go across Windows OS versions and not need to be repackaged and FlexApp One apps can even go offline! If your organization is not using FlexApp, what are you waiting for? Streamline your base images today, keep apps independent of the OS, deploy apps faster, update them easier – all with innovation you won’t find anywhere else, that’s FlexApp!

FlexApp One, Offline Layers?! Yes we did!

Today we announced the General Availability of FlexApp One, a new feature in FlexApp that revolutionizes the way that app layers are made portable and consumed.

FlexApp One untethers FlexApp applications by containerizing them in a self-sufficient executable. Benefits include rapid application deployment through any means, including popular cloud file sharing services, and optional deployment with Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager. FlexApp One applications remain elastic and can even go offline to support the increased demand in work from anywhere workforces. That’s right, physical PCs and laptops are supported as long as they are well-managed – unencumbered by multiple software packages installed/uninstalled by users.

Remember, FlexApp and FlexApp One applications are never “installed” to the Windows OS, therefore they don’t degrade the PC, virtual workspace, or Server OS overtime. The result is a clean base image that is easy to maintain and apps that are very easy to deploy and update.

FlexApps attached apps never taint the OS or base image the way traditional software installations do.

Since FlexApp One is a feature benefit of FlexApp, customers that have FlexApp are already eligible to add FlexApp one, just reach out to us and we’ll send you an additional license key.

FlexApp and FlexApp One are compatible with all types of software installations including EXE., MSI, MSIX, App-V and others. FlexApp boasts a 90%+ compatibility rating for apps, much higher than other solutions that claim to simplify app deployment and attachments.

FlexApp is different, VERY different than any other layering or app attachment solution on the market today. If you’ve been disappointed by layering in the past, I’d bet you never used FlexApp. See for yourself in this NEW short feature video below, demo included.

To start your trial today, reach out to us at sales@Liquidware.com. For more information about FlexApp and the new FlexApp One feature, visit our FlexApp web page.

First in-Person Conference in over a Year, HIMSS 2021 Vegas Trip Report

HIMSS 2021 just wrapped up and we thought we’d share a few thoughts on the conference.

This was the first in-person event that Liquidware has been able to participate in 17 months due to Covid-19 cancelations. We’ve all been personally affected by the pandemic in many ways and we hope you are doing your best to stay safe while continuing to experience life and work. We were excited to have the chance to see the emergence of a bit of normalcy with an in-person conference like HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society). Strict measures were taken by HIMSS to ensure a safe conference including mandatory individual health checks, masks, and more.

Masks off for the Pic.

We exhibited in the IGEL Ready pavilion and would like to thank IGEL for their leadership in “getting out there” and committing to this event in a big way. More than 20,000 people attended the conference in Las Vegas last week, just less than half of the attendance that the 2019 show in Orlando saw. Still, this was a sizeable conference. While foot traffic was noticeably lighter than in previous years due to the impact of Covid-19, we had many great conversations with healthcare IT professionals.

We shared ways that Liquidware solutions have helped with the Work from Anywhere movement and specifically how we have kept many hospitals’ physical, Citrix and VMware Windows workspaces performing flexibly throughout the pandemic. Many were interested in our Liquidware FlexApp layering solution that will soon be extended to support Microsoft Endpoint Manager and offline use cases through a forthcoming FlexApp One feature. We also discussed the emergence of Microsoft AVD, Windows 365 and Cloud PC and how the entire Liquidware Digital Workspace Management suite already supports these platforms today.

IGEL Ready is now one year old!

Several attendees were interested in how Liquidware Stratusphere UX has been extended to provide many additional endpoint device metrics, including Wi-Fi distance and performance checks to IT help desk staff support work from home users. Many attendees were interested to see our seamless support of thin clients and edge OS solutions such as the IGEL OS. Our built-in Stratusphere “Connector ID” agent is the easiest UX solution to deploy if you are an IGEL customer.

LG provided cool new Curved Thin Client monitors for all IGEL Ready Exhibitors. .

If you are interested in repurposing some or all of your PCs to the IGEL Edge OS, you can arrange for a free assessment of your PCs and laptops. We’ll jointly run a background assessment and you’ll have the results in about a week to give you clear next steps on your IGEL Edge OS journey. Engage with us here to get started.

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Liquidware to Exhibit at HIMSS 21 – Meet with Us for Free Amazon Echo Buds!

Liquidware to showcase digital workspace management for healthcare provider organizations.

Liquidware will be exhibiting at HIMSS 21, Las Vegas August 10-12 in booth #2859 in the IGEL Ready Pavilion. While Liquidware has experienced significant growth and demand for digital workspace management in the last year, the event marks the first in-person event that Liquidware has had the opportunity to exhibit at since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. More than 21,000 are reported to be registered to attend. We’re looking forward to seeing many of you!

We will be demonstrating how our solutions provide seamless digital workspace management for healthcare workers. Stratusphere UX delivers end-to-end monitoring and diagnostics while FlexApp layering simplifies desktop image and application delivery. Additionally, we will also demonstrate how ProfileUnity™ integrates with secure single sign-on authentication through solutions such as Imprivata OneSign. You’ll also see how we can facilitate “follow-me” workspaces, allowing healthcare staff to provide better care for patients by having the provider’s profile and group policies follow them from station to station. The use of ProfileUnity also allows admins to select only local printers to deliver to specific user groups which allows them to choose selected printers close to their location(s) instead of an entire list. Then Stratusphere UX™ and ProfileUnity assist in reducing login times allowing healthcare professionals more time with patients.

Liquidware is among a select group of exclusive partners to participate in the first annual IGEL Partner Pavilion at HIMSS 21, the healthcare industry’s information and technology event of the year. Here, alongside IGEL and other key IGEL Ready partners, Liquidware will be showcasing their leading digital workspace management. We’ll also be showcasing how Stratusphere UX can easily assess any organization’s desktops for the IGEL OS, saving money and creating huge ROI. Remember, you’ll find us in a demo pod in the IGEL Ready partner booth pavilion #2859. Meetings are available on August 10-12 during exhibition hours. If you are one of the first several enterprise healthcare organizations to schedule a 20-minute meeting you’ll be given a pair of Amazon Echo Buds (earbuds)! We have a limited supply so hurry! Here’s a link to our online calendar to schedule now!

Liquidware, IGEL and ServiceNow Team Up to Enhance Endpoint Visibility and Performance

Visibility into endpoint metrics and new digital workspace experience management capabilities deliver critical insight to keep work from anywhere productive Liquidware has teamed up with IGEL and ServiceNow to provide unparalleled visibility and insight into end-user experience.  Leading the Charge in Digital Workspace Management  Monitoring the user experience of your virtual desktop environment, regardless if it … Continue reading

Microsoft AVD – Day One Support from Liquidware, Licenses Included!

Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) is the new name for Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD). Microsoft briefed Liquidware internally ahead of the recent public announcement. As a premier Azure Migrate Program member, we’re proud to announce day-one support for AVD across our entire Digital Workspace Management suite known as Liquidware Essentials.

Liquidware , Day-One Support for Microsoft AVD

Microsoft announced other changes, such as the Quickstart initiative, that will be sure to fast-track proof-of-concept deployments of AVD. To complement this effort, Microsoft has worked with Liquidware to offer specially negotiated FREE subscription licenses of Liquidware’s desktop transformation solutions.

Liquidware offers solutions that greatly assist in the movement of Windows desktops and users to Microsoft AVD. Our solutions cover every phase of a desktop transformation to Microsoft AVD including:

  • Assessments and planning with Stratusphere FIT assessments
  • Migrations of user persona and user data with ProfileUnity user environment management
  • Application delivery with FlexApp layering
  • Ongoing User Experience metrics for monitoring and diagnostics with Stratusphere UX

Microsoft customers looking to adopt AVD can request their specially negotiated FREE licenses by visiting the newly updated Azure Virtual Desktop pages on our site to learn more.

Stratusphere UX – First and Always a Digital Experience Monitoring Solution

IT is Making a Major Shift from Devices to Digital Workspaces

There is no question that personal computing has evolved greatly since its mainstream introduction into business. Since Liquidware was born in 2009, we personally have seen the introduction of VDI, the extension of remote desktop delivery technologies,  proliferating SaaS and DaaS applications and cloud.  The nature of personal devices and apps has changed dramatically.  Today, the IT landscape is so altered that  even the term “desktops” has become outmoded.

Liquidware Stratusphere UX Provides DEM Insights
Liquidware Stratusphere UX — First and Always Digital Experience Monitoring

Today, we tend to use the term “digital workspace,” which essentially refers to  an integrated technology framework designed to deliver and manage app, data, and desktop delivery. It allows employees to access their apps and data remotely and in real-time – on any device, from any location, at any time,  regardless of whether the information is stored through cloud services or in the data center.

The Pandemic Pushed the Pedal on Digital Workspaces

The advent of all these  developments were already driving companies to explore the limits of remote work and flexible digital workspaces.   Many organizations wanted to bring applications and data processing closer to the “action,” so industries  like healthcare, education, law enforcement, inventory management and logistics, for example, could access and transfer data immediately in the location where work needed to be performed.

However, the pandemic hitting the globe in 2020, accelerated the push to remote work more aggressively than any other single force.   Mainly because – for many organizations —  it was a matter of survival.   With many more employees working off-site, digital workspaces became the rule, not the exception.  However, managing digital workspaces is very different from managing desktops and requires an IT staff to make a cultural shift in management techniques.   With digital workspaces, pretty much all of the computing and data management is abstracted and stored in data centers or the cloud, not local machines. It runs on shared, not discrete, systems.  The digital workspaces framework needs a purpose-built solution in order to provide visibility into these abstractions and shared systems.   And so, as devices transitioned to digital workspaces, the need for a new breed of monitoring solution called digital experience monitoring has also arisen.

Digital Workspaces Gives Rise to Digital Experience Monitoring

With the use of cloud and SaaS applications dramatically increasing, the focus has shifted from systems monitoring to Digital Experience Monitoring or  DEM, which goes beyond servers and storage to include end point devices, third party applications, infrastructure, and networks.   DEM solutions coordinate metrics data across all of these in order to provide a true and complete picture of the user experience including the local devices and last-mile networks, which are typically outside of IT’s control.

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It’s Possible to Realize Millions in ROI with an Adaptive Workspace Strategy!

Realizing a Return on Investment (ROI) is more important than ever in today’s ever changing business climate. Working closely with one customer last year we were able to show potential ROI savings of more than $6 million.

The business world changed last year. The Covid-19 pandemic saw immediate changes with office environments and users’ workspaces that continue to evolve even today. The uncertainty of business continuity and unpredictable revenue has seen many CFOs scrutinizing every dollar spent. Many organizations immediately mandated that ROI should be forecasted before investing in any new solution.

With agile virtual and cloud-based workspaces that enable working from home, it’s easy to show ROI, if workers can’t effectively work, time is lost and business comes to a complete halt. Since our founding, Liquidware has enabled our customers to quickly transform your users’ desktops to modern desktops such as those from Citrix, VMware, or Amazon. Our solutions have direct positive impacts on user and admin productivity, savings in unused software license costs, expanded hardware lifespans, and more.

Liquidware’s Adaptive Workspace Management suite, known as Liquidware Essentials, indeed helps organizations directly realize ROI in many areas. We work closely with you, using your organization’s unique data and situation, to develop an ROI estimate that will enlighten you and your staff to the money that you can be saving with the industry’s only Adaptive Workspace Management suite.  Here’s an example of the ROI that one organization agreed that they’d be able to realize:

Get started now. We’ve made it easy to get your own ROI estimate from Liquidware with a custom ROI calculator that starts with a quick survey, ROI consulting sessions with our staff, and a new ROI whitepaper.

#WinWithFlexApp – $100 Prize per Week!

Five winners will be awarded!

Starting today (March 15, 2021) Liquidware is running a social media campaign around the number one – according to WhatMatrix – application layering solution, FlexApp. With ten huge innovations over the years, it’s little wonder why FlexApp was chosen as the first place pick.

Once a week, for five weeks, you stand the chance of winning an Amazon $100 gift card for the most viral social media post of the week. That can be your own post, or a re-post of one of our posts, just so long as you use the hashtag #WinWithFlexApp. The full contest rules can be read here.

Perhaps you’re already a FlexApp customer? If so, feel free to share your experience of how it’s delivering value to your organization. Just post on social media, not forgetting the #WinWithFlexApp hashtag!!

FlexApp layering dynamically delivers applications to any Windows desktop environment without affecting the underlying base image or operating system. The solution supports VDI, physical desktops, and cloud-based workspaces such as Microsoft WVD, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, VMware Horizon, Nutanix Xi Frame, and Amazon WorkSpaces. Innovative and industry-first features such as Click-to-Layer (apps on-demand), FlexApp Cache, and seamless support of cloud object-based storage, make FlexApp the number one application layering choice for any organization.

And what do our customers say?

“FlexApp has been a godsend…a basic update would cause me to spend 20 minutes each on 60 machines. Now I spend 20 minutes once, so the time savings are a factor of 60.”
– University Center at Ponca City

So, share our posts on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook over the coming weeks or write your own. Include the #WinWithFlexApp hashtag and encourage post sharing for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card – good luck!