Enterprise Mobility & the Connected Worker Blog

VMware Gets in on the Dell EMC World News Cycle

by Eric Klein | 05/09/2017

With Nick Elia

Dell EMC World is underway this week in Las Vegas, and VMware didn’t miss the opportunity to be part of the news cycle at the mega vendor’s annual powwow with its marquee customers, the analyst community, and media outlets.

VMware announced today that it is integrating its AirWatch mobility management suite with Dell’s Client Command Suite—the integration will make sticking with the Client Command Suite more compelling for current customers. By integrating AirWatch’s Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) capabilities, Dell can extend key attributes like service tags, BIOS settings, and battery status to its Command Suite platform. This timing works nicely for Dell, as they have just recently discontinued their mobility management suite, and businesses who once utilized this solution can be transitioned to the VMware AirWatch EMM solution at a discounted price (depending on the type of bundle they want).

The specific use cases that VMware outlined which customers can achieve through the integration are notable, including capabilities such as battery lifecycle optimization, BIOS version reporting and monitoring, BIOS password management, and TPM Module management. While these are table stakes in 2017, additional integrations in the IoT realm (as well as Beacons, and other “headless” devices) will offer new revenue opportunities in the future. The chart below outlines each use case stated above and the benefits they will receive as part of the integration.

Back In 2014, Dell revamped their outdated Client System Management tool into the Client Command Suite you see today, which is the primary tool that Dell utilizes. They practically threw out the old system,  renamed every single tool, and added two new ones as well (KACE K1000 Express, and PowerShell Provider). The revamped version was expansive, and has enabled Dell to accrue (and slowly grow) a loyal customer base. The new functionality will be welcomed by existing customers.

The move signals a significant point in the EMM market’s evolution, and the importance of a UEM strategy. EMM vendors are counting on Windows 10 migration activities and the inevitable modernization of end user computing deployments will bring new revenue opportunities. Platform consolidation will allow IT administrators to improve experiences and uptime, increase security, and reduce costs as well.

VMware also announced that it was expanding its partnership with Google (Google is scoring many enterprise-oriented partnerships as of late) to accelerate the adoption of Chromebooks at Dell EMC World. The company’s Workspace ONE solution will help to enhance application accessibility, which portends new and compelling use cases beyond the traditional education vertical, where these devices have dominated.
While the details weren’t entirely clear, there appears to be some exclusivity to the partnership for VMware/AirWatch. Note: VMware and Google forged a similar deal back in 2014 for Horizon DaaS which did not see much traction with customers.

Azure and Horizon Cloud
VMware has also just announced a new partnership with Microsoft that will involve the integration of their Horizon Cloud with Microsoft Azure, which users will now be able to access through the Azure marketplace. This announcement represents a huge step forward for VMware and their relationship with Microsoft and will place them in a more favorable competitive position with one of their rivals, Citrix. The integration of the Horizon Cloud and MS Azure will allow Enterprises and businesses who utilize the platform to experience benefits that include:

  1. True Multi-Cloud Deployments – Choose between cloud capacity managed by VMware and BYO infrastructure with on-premises HCI appliances or Azure.
  2. Expanded Geographic Reach – Access to Microsoft’s 38 Azure data center regions across the globe
  3. Low-Cost Hourly Billing for Azure Capacity – True consumption-based pricing on infrastructure, with no up-front costs, or termination fees.
  4. Single Infrastructure Provider – Existing Azure users can manage and deliver virtual apps without need for additional cloud infrastructure providers.

This partnership in particular is notable, as VMware was unlikely to see its cloud business expand unless it moved forward with new integrations with Microsoft’s popular Azure platform.

Competitive Outlook:
Now that VMware is officially “off the table” (EMC's partial ownership had the vendor handcuffed), acquisition rumors are (once again) swirling around Citrix. Citrix has been VMware’s key competitor for quite some time, and both have been attempting to create competitive advantages by evolving their partnerships with Microsoft. Citrix still appears to have tighter integrations with Microsoft, particularly with its XenDesktop and XenApp Essentials offerings; today’s announcement definitely provides VMware with an opportunity to catch up.

Incidentally, Dell EMC also revealed the details of its VDI Complete solution at the event; the solution aims to simply VDI scalability and manageability, and is predicated on preconfigured hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) appliances. While Citrix has a more mature VDI offerings, VMware stands to gain some ground now that it is part of Dell Technologies and has a large global sales organization to sell through. Considering that Citrix’s annual Synergy event just around the corner, we expect to hear of more innovative EUC-oriented releases in the coming weeks from both Citrix and VMware.

View the 2017 Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices Research Outline to learn more.