Get to User Centric IT Faster! AppSense and Centrix Partnership Accelerates Desktop Transformation

September 22, 2011

I am pleased to write that AppSense and Centrix Software today announced a strategic partnership to provide organizations with a comprehensive, user-centric transformation program.  AppSense and Centrix Software have been successfully working together with joint partners on large desktop transformation projects for our enterprise customers, and are proud to formalize this partnership and methodology to benefit many more enterprise IT strategies and projects.

AppSense embraces a full partner community and eco-system comprising other leading vendor/solution providers , platform partners, reseller partners, system integrators and consultancy partners, and are very excited to partner with Centrix Software.

Why? Corporate IT strategy is at a tipping point; we have entered a period of transformation, a new generation of virtual desktops, application delivery methods and multiple accessing devices are being used by an increasingly demanding and mobile workforce, coupled with migration projects such as Windows 7 adoption has paved the way for replacing static, infrastructure based computing to that of IT as a Service, orchestrated around the user and their requirements at any point in time.  AppSense and Centrix Software enables enterprise desktop transformation projects and facilitates the move to a user centric computing strategy by delivering on the requirements at each stage of the desktop life-cycle and providing both the insight and management options to seamlessly adoption new technologies such as Windows 7, Application and Desktop Virtualization, Cloud Computing and Bring Your Own Device initiatives.

The press release can be read on AppSense News Pages here.

Together, AppSense and Centrix Software will be hosting a joint webinar, “Transforming the Enterprise Desktop″, on Wednesday, October 5th at 3 p.m. GMT. The webinar will be hosted by Richard Pegden, Director of Product Marketing at Centrix Software and myself. To register please visit the webinar registration page here.

Like all of our partners, thank you Centrix Software for your continued support and enthusiasm, we look forward to even greater success in making the move to user centric computing a simple, low-cost process.

Gareth Kitson
Director of Product Marketing | EMEA.


Windows 7 challenge equals opportunity for IT services firms

September 20, 2011

Last week, I touched on how user virtualization can remove friction from OS migration by shifting IT teams from a point-in-time migration mindset to one where each user’s ‘digital personality’ becomes portable across any operating system or deployment method.

But just as Windows 7 migration provides an opportunity for AppSense technology to take on a more strategic role, it is also an opportunity for IT services firms to step up and provide strategic counsel on how to overcome difficulties parting ways with Windows XP.

AppSense’s Helen Major made this point in a CRN article by Caroline Donnelly today:

“Large-scale migration projects can be costly, time consuming and disruptive,” [Major] added. “Unless companies are given options that minimise these three things, we will definitely see a continued reluctance from IT managers to move off XP.”

The compelling event of XP support sunset offers IT services firms with the right mix of skills a tremendous opportunity to build a more strategic relationship with customers. Moreover, CRN’s Donnelly cites Microsoft numbers that peg the migration-related services opportunity at $400m (£251m).

Resellers and service providers? This could be your finest (and most lucrative) hour, and AppSense can and should be the centerpiece of the strategy you bring to your customers.

IT pros? You’re not alone. In fact, you can find some of the most talented experts in the business among the ranks of the AppSense Certified Solutions Providers.

Doug Lane
Director of Product Marketing


Building the IT team of the future

September 20, 2011

Yesterday, Forbes published an article by our own Harry Labana entitled “Does IT still matter?” In it, Harry highlights how the unprecedented IT transformation on the near horizon is about more than shifts in technology. Equally impacted are the legions of IT pros for whom “business as usual” will no longer cut it.

In the future that Harry sees, the most effective IT teams will be the ones that shed their low-level system administration roots and develop new, more business-focused competency bridging in-house and cloud-based resources:

This new breed of corporate IT pro will also have to be open to becoming “masher uppers”, people who can connect external and internal services to drive business solutions with sensible governance, protecting the enterprise as opposed to the command and control that represent inertia in so many IT organizations today. This would also help mitigate against the very real threat of the best talent migrating away from corporate IT to service providers.

It’s an interesting perspective. As an industry, we spend quite a bit of time articulating to customers how enterprise IT infrastructure will be transformed through developments such as virtualization, consumerization of IT, and cloud computing. Less attention is being paid to how IT skills and management priorities must be transformed as well.

Visit Forbes.com to read Harry’s full article.

Doug Lane
Director of Product Marketing


BYOD calls for a shift to a user-centric IT mindset

September 9, 2011

In an eWeek article earlier this week, Jeffrey Burt highlighted the increasing pressure that the BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, trend is placing on enterprise IT teams. In a departure from the days of a single, uniform PC on every employee’s desk, Cisco Systems research cited by Burt points to a world where by 2015 the average U.S. citizen will have a whopping seven network-connected devices:

The ongoing consumerization of IT has been a focal point for several years of analysts and vendors alike, who say the adoption of personal mobile devices will continue to grow. According to Cisco Systems’ annual Visual Networking Index Forecast released in June, by 2015, there will be almost 15 billion network-connected devices—including smartphones, notebooks, tablets and other smart machines—more than two for every person on the planet. By 2015, the average U.S. citizen will have seven connected devices.

The scary part for IT is that devices are only one part of the equation. New devices and methods of computing bring more applications, many of which also blur the lines between work and personal life. Under traditional thinking, each combination of user, device, and applications forms another unique configuration that IT needs to manage and secure. As the number of devices and applications explode, this device-centric management mindset becomes untenable.

Don’t get me wrong; there will always be a need to provide some degree of device-level patching and security. However, a better way to contend with the BYOD wave is to shift IT management and policy focus to users rather than devices. If IT can ensure a responsive, personalized experience and define context-adaptive configuration and security policies at the user level, they can worry less about which devices or deployment methods users are making use of.

With a user-centric approach, IT can offer freedom of choice rather than roadblocks to end-users without sacrificing operational efficiency and sound IT governance.

Doug Lane
Director of Product Marketing



Introduction and Microsoft Partner Solutions Center…

August 23, 2011

Hi I am Michael Kleef, Director of Business Development for Microsoft and Citrix at AppSense. I’m a recent addition to AppSense having spent nearly 11 years at Microsoft with my last role being a Senior Technical Product Manager for depth content and knowledge in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 RDS and VDI.

I have had  few interested messages through my email and privately over twitter (@mkleef) asking why I left Microsoft and chose to go to AppSense. Essentially I was really excited by what I saw AppSense doing; transforming the discussion from device centric computing to a world of user centric computing. The interesting thing is that even while I was at Microsoft I was seeing evidence that in addition to Microsoft, many other companies saw great value in AppSense such as inclusion with a number of major players into their reference architectures such as the HP client reference architecture and Cisco VXI. AppSense also won the Citrix Ready Partner of the Year 2010. I did my own due diligence looking at others, though in the end it made it an easy slam dunk move to go to the market leader in the user virtualization space.

Microsoft is obviously a critical partner in multiple areas for AppSense, so it’s important that we are onsite on the Microsoft Redmond campus regularly. To help us support that we are  part of the on campus Microsoft Partner Solutions Center (MPSC).  The MPSC is a facility that showcases some of Microsoft’s partners and their  solutions for business and demonstration purposes. Having been there for almost a year now, we can confirm it’s a great facility with tremendous value to the Microsoft partner ecosystem. We also noticed that RES Software have recently joined the MPSC. The addition of RES Software to the MPSC confirms the importance and relevancy of the user virtualization market that we pioneered which is growing significantly and presenting an exciting challenge to our product leadership.

Demonstration systems on the Microsoft campus are especially important to be able to showcase your product and how it works. I personally developed an integrated Citrix, Microsoft and AppSense demo on the Microsoft campus in Redmond many months ago. It includes Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1,Hyper-V, Windows 7 Enterprise SP1, App-V packaged applications and streamed applications such as Office 2010 all running on top of Citrix XenDesktop 5 and XenApp 6. Overlaid on top of that is AppSense User Virtualization which seamlessly manages the user as they create settings and move in real-time from their XenDesktop managed Windows 7 to a XenApp 6 session. This is available on Microsoft’s corporate network which any Microsoft employee can logon to using their domain credentials making it a very good demo for them to use with existing or potential customers.

We plan to take this demo further forward and place it on the Internet for our partners to also use and see the power of AppSense User Virtualization really delivering value in a variety of Citrix and Microsoft technology scenarios. Watch this space for more on that!

If you have any questions about User Virtualization at the MPSC or would be interested in getting a demo from one of our team in your local area, drop me a line.

Thanks,
Michael Kleef


AppSense Management Center 8.2 – Released to Market!

August 18, 2011

Following the recent AppSense Application Manager and AppSense Environment Manager software releases, we are pleased to say the AppSense development engine continues full steam ahead, today with the release of AppSense Management Center 8.2.

The AppSense Management Center is the framework that enables AppSense Management Suite to scale rapidly throughout the enterprise; it provides IT with the ability to control all aspects of the user from a central location, deploying and managing tailored policy and user personalization settings to hundreds of thousands of physical and virtual desktops across many sites.

AppSense Management Center 8.2 brings greater control with enhancements to existing functionality and also through the addition of customer demanded new features and capabilities. All information contained in this blog update assumes prior knowledge of AppSense Management Center 8.1.

Key Themes of this release:

  • Resource efficiency through polling enhancements
  • Greater flexibility & agility
  • Ease of use and simplified experience

New Features include:

  • Client Communication Agent Poll Now
  • Variable Poll Periods
  • Configuration Installation Schedule
  • Package Naming Enhancements
  • User Interface Refresh

Thanks to the User Virtualization community for feeding into this product, and thank you to the Dev team for making it a reality!

Further information can be found at:

What’s new in AppSense Management Center 8.2 webpage - here

What’s new in AppSense Management Center PDF – here





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