I’ve been attending Microsoft Management Summit this week and hearing a lot about “people-centric computing”, a phrase we like very much at AppSense. Another phrase used by Microsoft on this topic is “Enabling users to be productive, responsibly”, which is closely related to the AppSense mission statement: “To enable a world where people can choose how they want to work”. It seems that both AppSense and Microsoft have a similar vision of enabling flexible work styles and greater user freedom, while maintaining corporate security and governance.
Of course, as a Microsoft partner we look to add value above and beyond their solutions, and in this case there is a clear distinction between management of the user’s workspace and management of the underlying devices and platforms they are using. For example, we don’t provide patch management or operating system deployment for Windows desktops – that is best left to products like System Center Configuration Manager. We look to deliver user-centric policy and experience control on the Windows desktop once it is in place: enhancing and simplifying the user’s experience while securing the device against exploits and optimizing performance.
Taking this a step further, many of our customers already use our Environment Manager, “personalization” technology for abstracting the user’s experience from the device so that it persists between virtual and native Windows desktops and applications. With our new products MobileNow and DataNow, we are extending this user-centric approach across many more devices – iPhones, iPads, Android tablets and phones, and more to follow – so that IT can fully protect its data and network without interfering with the user’s device or native experience.
This user-centric approach is applicable across all desktop and endpoint ownership models:
- Fully managed desktops and tablets, where IT owns the complete provisioning and support lifecycle. A user-centric approach layers on top of the device management platform to deliver a consistent and secure workspace on every endpoint.
- BYOD (user-owned, user-enabled device) and COPE (corporate-owned, user-enabled device). A user-centric approach doesn’t require IT to manage the whole device because they can secure corporate assets in a sandbox within it.
We expect that the desktops of the future will employ a mix of these two models: some heavily managed and others unmanaged, but a user-centric approach can solve security and experience challenges on all of them from a single management center.
What does people centric computing mean to you?