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


Thinking strategically about Windows 7 will pay dividends with Windows 8

September 14, 2011

As Windows XP end of support approaches, Windows 7 migration urgency is rising for IT teams everywhere. As the pressure mounts, there is a temptation among IT pros to kick into “brute force mode,” characterized by a desire to get the project done as quickly as possible by whatever means necessary.

As we engage with customers on Windows 7 migration projects, our first piece of advice is that a strategic approach centered around user virtualization will both accelerate the actual move to Windows 7 and realize other key benefits such as:

  • Lower OS management cost through image standardization and more granular user rights management.
  • Seamless roaming between native PCs and new application and desktop virtualization approaches – either as part of the migration or whenever the time is right.
  • Enabling user environment portability – rather then performing a one-way migration – to establish a frictionless path to Windows 8 or whatever else comes along.

This last point has been more theoretical than practical…until today. Take a look at this quick video that my colleague Jon Wallace put together. Mere hours after the first developer preview of Windows 8 became available, you are already able to see user personalization applied on-demand as a user roams between Windows 7 and Windows 8:

Obviously, there is a fair bit of work remaining (by both us and Microsoft) before we will claim production-ready Windows 8 support. However, you can see the power that comes from decoupling the user from the underlying operating system and applications. Migration is replaced by enablement, and enablement becomes very easy.

Doug Lane
Director of Product Marketing

Update: Oh, by the way, it works between Windows XP and Windows 8 too:


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