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VMware has added a range of new updates to its digital workplace platform, Workspace ONE, including an AI-powered virtual assistant, new multi-cloud support and zero-trust security.

There’s also industry recognition from Gartner, with VMware named in the Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) tools for the second year in a row.

New concierge services

The new AI-powered virtual assistant is part of what is known as ‘concierge services’. Powered by IBM Watson Assistant, the virtual assistant allows users to interact with it using natural language processing (NLP) or text. Workspace ONE is the first digital workspace platform to integrate an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered virtual assistant.

The concierge services also include Intelligent Hub Self-Service, which is a context-aware tool that integrates with existing lifecycle, configuration and management tools. In addition, there’s a Digital Employee Experience Management tool that provides predictive and proactive remediation. This includes the ability to look back and see how applications were performing historically in order to troubleshoot current problems. 

The Workspace One Assist is included as well and it allows you to view and control corporate and personal devices, if users opt into it. This helps with quick troubleshooting, especially when it comes to accessing mobile devices and conducting remote diagnostics.

Other Workspace One updates include multi-cloud virtual desktop infrastructure and application support. Part of this is a desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) control plane, called Horizon Services, that provides access to virtual desktops across a variety of clouds, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and on-premise environments. 

Zero-trust security

On the security front there are several new features aimed at helping customers to adopt a zero-trust security architecture. These include a user and device risk score – a single quantifiable score, based on multiple risk attributes, that can be used to trigger conditional access policies and automated remediations.

Leveraging machine learning, Workspace ONE Intelligence can identify user behaviour anomalies based on variances from patterned behaviour and automatically address these, through actions such as forcing multi-factor authentication or quarantining a device, when suspicious user behaviour is observed.

Growing usage

All of these updates mean that Workspace ONE continues to offer an impressive range of support for device and OS platforms. This is reflected in the growing usage numbers. For example, in just the first six months of 2019, Workspace ONE brought more than a million new Windows 10 devices under management, making it the company’s fastest growing platform. And VMware is continuing to expand its support of Windows 10 management by introducing an AirLift migration tool to help customers accelerate the transition to Windows 10.

On the Apple front, VMware has announced planned support for iOS 13 and iPadOS coming later in the year, including initial support for the new User Enrollment, designed to support personal devices (BYOD) with business applications and services without taking full management of the device.

Industry recognition

It was not a surprise then that, for the second year in a row, VMware has been named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for UEM.

The report makes mention of how Workspace ONE has experienced significant growth from its AirWatch roots, moving beyond mobile device management to enabling an “any app, any device” user experience. This extends from mobile devices into PC and IoT device management, whilst also embracing identity and access services, security tools and IT service management.

Mel Jones

European Product Manager

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