Yesterday VMware announced its partnership with Microsoft, jumping on the WVD bandwagon. If you are in the EUC industry and/or works for Citrix and still have common sense in your head, you knew this was coming. It was a matter of time. More than that, expect other vendors jumping on the same bandwagon, giving you even more options to get that DaaS going.
The purpose of this post is not to discuss that partnership. As I said it was obvious it would happen. After all VMware was in the AWS ecosystem and they would be stupid not to be buddies with Microsoft. Business is business as they say. And as I do not like to talk about things that are obvious, the whole VMware/WVD/Microsoft story ends here for me.
So why am I writing this? Well as you can see, the title is about the ‘Digital Workspace’. The current buzzword that Citrix loves to chat about. And they are not alone.
The reality in my opinion, regarding a ‘digital workspace’, as of today is very simple: it is a freaking pile of shit. Whatever they are marketing or showing nice demo videos that in many cases do not even work at their own major conferences, is just garbage and let me explain why. And how this whole thing is connected to DaaS and of course WVD.
Where does a digital workspace starts? If I am a business, especially one that is just starting, my digital life starts when I decide to get a domain. An online identity for my company. And that is the exact point where everything starts to go sour with this ‘Digital Workspace’ bullshit.
First I need to register a domain. Find where to go, how to do it. It seems simple for you and I, IT idiots. For real people out there, many do not even know where to start. Then you need a website and with it, probably a certificate.
Now that I have that, I want a decent email system (keep in mind I am using laymen terms here). Next step is probably I will create files and save them. And access them from a desktop.
As of now there is NO vendor that can give me this. They are all selling this idea of a digital workspace but still they cannot even help me registering a domain name. Or getting a mailbox. They let you do all this and the worst part, get all the plumbing to get all these things working together on your own. Great.
What real customers want, especially in the SMB space is simple. They want a one stop shop, a single bill at the end of the month, where they can enter a domain name and from there everything happens. The domain gets registered, a template for a site is created, DNS entries are taken care of, certificates issued, whatever shit has to happen in background to give them an Office 365 account is done, a file service (a dropbox like one, sharefile, whatever it is) is setup and a DaaS environment is created.
The end result? I get a desktop environment in the cloud with my email ‘system’ ready and my repository for files also done for me. All secure with proper certs and all the plumbing and maintenance done for me.
Is this utopia or impossible to be done? I can bet it is totally feasible and a lot of this can be automated as of today (and done).
The reality today is far from that. This ‘Digital Workspace’ promise is utter BS if you ask me. All fancy and pretty during demos and on PowerPoint slides but a major PITA to implement and to get it going with way too many moving parts. Not to mention a myriad of vendors to deal with. From remembering or dealing with the place that issued your certificates to handling where your website is hosted. And with the companies tackling your email. That is probably not the same as the first two. And not the same that hosts your virtual desktop. Welcome to the ‘Digital Work-shithole’.
Sure I do understand that enterprises may already have several parts of this addressed. Or that they do not need all the complexity/steps hidden from them. I get it. But there is a HUGE chunk of the market made of small and medium businesses out there and for them, simplicity is paramount.
So if today you want to get your ‘Digital Workspace’ going, be aware you may end up with a digital mess You have been warned.