Meet us at HIMSS 2022! Liquidware Showcases Healthcare IT Solutions.

We’re delighted to be attending HIMSS again! Come and chat with our team of digital workspace management experts during the 5-day show (14-18 March, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL.)  You can find us on our partner IGEL’s booth #5443. You can also receive an Apple AirTag just for making and keeping a one-on-one meeting.

Liquidware delivers a digital workspace environment ideally constructed for healthcare clinicians, that includes:

  • Anytime, Anywhere Workspaces – delivered to clinicians, regardless of where they login, with ProfileUnity™.
  • Accelerating Logins – Stratusphere™ UX and ProfileUnity reduce login times to near instantaneous access to workspaces, saving precious patient care time.
  • Security – Liquidware solutions help healthcare organizations meet US-CERT recommendations to protect their workspace environments from malware and ransomware attacks.
  • Imprivata Integration – ProfileUnity integrates with providers such as Imprivata for secure single-sign on authentication, eliminating multiple logins.
  • Applications on Demand – FlexApp™ is Liquidware’s leading application layering and delivery platform enabling healthcare applications – like the ones from Epic Software – be delivered on demand without the need to be in the system’s base image.

Working in partnership with IGEL, we are helping organizations to reduce their cost of ownership by repurposing PCs with a free assessment powered by Stratusphere UX to extend the life of existing hardware assets. You can read more about the program in this solution brief.

Liquidware’s healthcare solutions are utilized across many organizations to enable next generation workspaces that meet the growing demands in healthcare IT. You can read more about the significant benefits we deliver in this white paper. And read how other healthcare organizations are using Liquidware solutions here.

We’re also co-hosting a fun go-karting evening on Tuesday March 15 – you can register here to attend.

For further information on our solutions focused on healthcare IT, please visit https://www.liquidware.com/solutions/vdi-solutions-healthcare.

Zero Day Vulnerabilities Greatly Mitigated with Pristine Desktops

The scary thing about Zero Day Vulnerabilities is that they are either unknown or there is a systematic delayed response to counter the threat. Virtual workspaces, such as those from Microsoft, Citrix, and VMware, are answering this challenge with workspaces that can easily be set to self-reset at user logoff or other interval.

Resetting virtual workspaces to the last known good image without vulnerabilities is an excellent way to rid workspaces of emerging threats such as Zero Day Vulnerabilities. It sounds easy on the surface but there is a little more strategy involved to keep your workspaces uninterrupted and users productive.

Two additional items are key in restoring pristine workspaces at login: 1) the user should be able to instantly recognize their desktop with persona settings that persist from session to session and, 2) the applications they need should be readily available.

The basics of restoring user personas’ is possible with profile tools but they have their shortcomings – often user profiles can still become corrupt and Windows user profiles are locked to a Windows version. There is also a lot of cached “junk” that typically goes along with the profile too that can increase your vulnerability risk and needlessly take up valuable storage. Liquidware’s ProfileUnity overcomes all of these challenges with enterprise ready “smart” user profiles that only contain mission critical user data, readily adapt to new Windows OS versions, and automatically restore in the event of a profile corruption.

Likewise, Liquidware’s FlexApp solution securely restores applications to user workspaces in seconds at login. When a virtual workspace is dynamically created by VMware Horizon, Citrix, etc., FlexApp automatically reattaches applications. This approach automatically deploys known good versions of the applications that users’ need to do their job. Applications are also easy to update as well and can be done at next user login (with a new pristine workspace) to avoid any user downtime. The big benefit is that base images stay pristine and clean and that’s a good way to stay ahead of Zero Day Vulnerabilities.

Zero Day Vulnerabilities are a challenge and one that looks like we’re going to be forced to live with. You can incorporate workspace strategies that will greatly mitigate and minimize your organization’s risk, including the following:

  • Deploy pristine workspaces at every login or reset them at short intervals such as every evening
  • Leverage “Smart” and flexible user profiles with ProfileUnity to ensure users’ mission critical user data is always readily available to your restored pristine desktops
  • Invoke FlexApp to reattach apps that are securely restored to the last good version to keep users productive

Reach out to our team today and we’ll assist you with a methodology that will get you started with mitigating Zero Day Vulnerabilities with dynamic workspaces.

Windows 11 – Are You Missing Out?

Microsoft is ramping up Windows 11 messaging in the news, recently claiming the new OS is being adopted at twice the rate that Windows 10 was a few years ago.*  Home and small business users may be the bulk of those early adopters if the pattern follows that of earlier OS versions.

It’s a little early for enterprises to have FOMO. That’s because experts say that most enterprises will likely wait until next year (2023).** These opinions are mostly in line with what our own enterprise customer base told us in a recent survey:

  • 12% are planning to migrate in the first half of 2022
  • 41% are planning to migrate in the second half of 2022 and
  • 41% are planning to migrate sometime during 2023
We

We recently delivered a live webinar on the topic, see and hear the recording here. The session entitled, “Formula for successful deployment and automated user migrations with Liquidware,” will cover what your organization should be doing to prepare for Windows 11. If you miss the live webinar, we’ll also post a recording soon.

What’s New in Windows 11?
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, and Snap Layouts and Groups. Just a few days ago Microsoft also introduced Android app capabilities in the latest preview. Don’t get too excited about Android apps, it’s limited because it relies on the Amazon App Store (USA only). To be clear, this is not the same as Android Apps via Google Play, which would include far more Android apps. With all of these changes, the Windows user profile is also very different between Windows 10 and 11 so upgrades are not seamless for enterprise users.

Never fear though because just this week we announced that ProfileUnity and FlexApp 6.8.4 R2 is now available! ProfileUnity remediates user profile changes from OS to OS on the fly, in seconds, enabling a zero user downtime transition to Windows 11. This version features enhanced support for Windows 11 and Server 2022. Watch the recently recorded webinar now.

Citations and further reading:

*“People are adopting Windows 11 at twice the rate of 10, OS upgrade offer ahead of schedule” January 26, 2022, WindowsCentral.com

** “Windows 11 adoption nears 9%, but businesses are waiting” Dec. 2, 2023, Computerworld.com

Of data and skill

Would you buy a full-blown fire brigade to put out a dumpster fire?

The same applies to Digital Experience Monitoring, if all you are looking for is a solution to put out a dumpster fire perhaps it’s better to hire a specialist who will have a look and help you put out the fire. But when Quality of Service means more to you than just a networking term, when it’s of strategic importance that the IT services you deliver is well received by your customers, when you want data to back up your strategic investments that’s when you start looking for Digital Experience Monitoring.

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“Here’s to the crazy ones”​

I have several inspirational quotes hanging in my office, one is from the 1997 “Think different” campaign; “Here’s to the crazy ones” especially the ending of the statement is what always keeps me going, so call me crazy and I will wear it with pride. Now the world of business is filled with these kinds of inspirational quotes like for instance Henry Ford’s “If You Always Do What You’ve Always Done, You’ll Always Get What You’ve Always Got” and most are from leaders that embraced change to achieve their goals. The IT industry has in the last decades perhaps seen the most of these “crazy ones”, people or companies that dared to think different.

So how does all of this relate to application layering you might ask?

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Layers make everything better

App Layering makes everything better

How would you be able to change in a world where 80% of our budget is spend on “keeping the lights on” ? Furthermore change is being perceived as scary, there might be repercussions on your decision to change so we play it safe and maintain the status the quo. We wait and look in awe at the early adopters and whenever one fails you use this as a proving point of your own fears.

It could be you’ve dared to try something new, but the first iteration was very disappointing. We’ve learned our lesson and try to categorize everything in the hype-cycle waiting for technology to pass the through of disillusionment. But after the through of disillusionment comes the 2nd generation. And this is where we are today when we look at application layering. A technology which was first broadly introduced by VMware with App Volumes, sure there were obviously others before them, but I believe VMware made the concept of layering “mainstream”. One of those early companies was Liquidware, founded in 2009, who believed their solutions should not be tied to 1 specific eco-system. That organizations should be able to benefit from their solutions no matter which choices they make when it comes to a workspace delivery. This customer and user-centric focus is the reason I chose to work here. Putting customer value over shareholder value. A wise lesson I’ve learned from one of my former CEO’s.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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