New AppSense Office: Thank You IT Department and Oh What A View :)

January 26, 2011

Just a quick note to say thank you to all of the AppSense IT Staff who helped make our recent Manhattan office move a smooth and seamless process.

IT are often the unsung heroes within an organization, as for the most part they sit silently ensuring systems and processes run smoothly and any changes or upgrades are hidden from the user – in fact, we often only think of or contact the IT department when we as a user want something specific.. so in this case, thank you guys – you did a great job in moving all of our systems!

For those who were not aware, AppSense relocated our US Headquarters in Manhattan (as detailed in this previous blog ) – the new address is:

AppSense Inc
17 State Street, 19th Floor
Manhattan
New York
10004

The new office is much bigger and has some great facilities, including this, the view from the office window everyday – we now get to watch the sun set over Liberty Island from the southern most building in the Manhattan Financial District! 

Thanks again guys.. and thank you to AppSense for the lovely new office :)

Cheers

Gaz


Does Social Media Drive Sales? Well Twitter Did For AppSense On A 2,000 User Win7 Migration

March 31, 2010

Ok, so – some people question the value of social media such as Twitter and Blogs within B2B, I know, as people here at AppSense often joke that I’m some sort of Twitter Monkey or Blog Bandit…charming!  Even though these activities only take a very small percentage of my time in relation to the other work I do, I can see they are increasingly used by many as a core information gathering and communication tool which can link into track-able ROI,  I have a perfect example  how through the use of Twitter, an end user was able to learn about how AppSense enables Win7 migrations, and from that reach out and contact me to set up a meeting which has since resulted in them purchasing our user virtualization solution and starting their Win7 migration. – ahh, got your attention now?

When I was visiting our Manhattan offices earlier this quarter, I posted a simple Twitter update stating I was in NY if anyone wanted to meet up to discuss desktop virtualization and OS migrations (Or something along those lines) – from there I was contacted by a global investment and technology development firm with about 2,000 employees.  I, along with one of the local AppSense Sales guys and a System Engineer went and met with the prospect in their building, only a few blocks away from ours.

During the meeting we learned their plans, concerns and time frames for their Win7 migration, and presented how we can alleviate some of those pains such as speeding up the migration process, ensure user adoption, improve user experience and reduce IT workload post migration.  Together the end user and AppSense worked on a proof of concept and engaged with a leading AppSense reseller to formalize pricing etc… (At this point I was back in the rainy UK and stepped back from the sales cycle).

All in all, within 10 weeks of my initial Twitter post, the end user had tested, seen the value in AppSense, worked with a leading AppSense partner to purchase 2,000 user licenses of our software, and is now rolling out Win7 ahead of schedule…

Let this be a lesson to those who under estimate the power of social media, and, AppSense Sales folk, if you ask nicely – I may also do the same for you… for a 5% cut of total order value ;)  

Cheers

Gaz





Implementing Virtual Desktops (VDI): Desktop Migration – Phsyical To Virtual.

July 3, 2009

Introducing users to new virtual desktops (VDI – Citrix XenDesktop, VMware View) in a green-field scenario is a relatively pain-free process since there are no previous configuration or usage expectations from the user. However, migrating users from an existing physical desktop to a new virtual desktop or to a new operating system or application set can often lead to a user’s personal desktop settings being lost or corrupt in the process.  From the user’s perspective, they have been ‘made to move’ from a familiar, productive, personal environment to a new, sterile, non-personal environment.

 When moving to a new VDI environment, the user transition from desktop to desktop must occur seamlessly – as , moving users to standardized virtual desktops results in a new, sterile and impersonal experience for the user – a far cry from their fully personalized and familiar local desktop.  This tends to lead to a lack of user adoption, increased support costs and reduced productivity.  So how can IT realize the benefit of migrating users to a standardized environment while ensuring high user adoption?

With user environment management, user settings within the existing desktop are automatically identified, decoupled and moved to a central store. The user can then be moved to a standardized virtual desktop.  When the user accesses this desktop, these stored user settings are dynamically applied to the virtual desktop session, recreating their ‘PC environment’.  Subsequent personalization settings are persisted between virtual desktop sessions – even if those sessions themselves are not persisted (such as the componentized layered model from Citrix XenDesktop ) – ensuring the user has a familiar, personal experience at all times.

Since all aspects of the user are decoupled and stored independent of the desktop, organizations can now be more flexible in how desktops and applications are delivered to their users.  User settings can now be dynamically applied into any desktop and application regardless of how those components are delivered to the user.  This “Follow Me Personality” therefore enables IT to use the optimum method of desktop delivery, while ensuring the user always has a consistent, predictable and controlled working experience….even when off-line!