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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 →
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.
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
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.
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.