During the COVID-19 crisis, businesses and organizations that had implemented Desktop as a Service (DaaS) were able to scale quickly to meet the demands of a remote workforce. Sachin Sharma, director of product marketing, End-User Computing, VMware, explains why offering your clients Desktop as a Service solutions is the best way for you to ensure they can give their remote employees access to corporate resources.
Which features of Desktop as a Service have been most valuable for companies that suddenly had to equip their teams for remote work during the COVID-19 crisis?
Sharma: The big advantage organizations can gain with DaaS is access to global cloud resources. Public cloud vendors and service providers have infrastructure capacity ready to be used and during a time like COVID-19, removing the need to stand up infrastructure is important.
Delegating management of the software from the hypervisor to the desktop platform is another reason why DaaS has been valuable for companies that all of a sudden have more than 80 percent of their workforce working remotely. It saves time in not having to learn, manage, and maintain software above the infrastructure stack.
Specific to features, being able to easily manage and deliver apps behind the scenes to employees, having flexibility in types of desktops, and scaling user experience based on bandwidth requirements are valuable items to consider for remote work. For day 2 operations, which means supporting employees beyond the initial set up, helpdesk and monitoring features are valuable in order to optimize and help troubleshoot environments.
Do most users take full advantage of Desktop as a Service features?
Sharma: With the initial shock of COVID-19, customers were focused on getting desktops and apps up and running quickly. Full feature and functionality that’s above and beyond initial set up weren’t considered. As customers mature into their DaaS deployments, more of the enterprise features should be leveraged for easier management and better user experience.
What is the MSP or VAR’s role in ensuring their clients get the most value from their solutions?
Sharma: MSPs and VARs provide services that extend beyond typical management. For example, MSPs and VARs can help customers with deployment services, managing images, managing desktop and app updates, providing security tools, and even guidance in how to set up virtual desktops and apps in a customer’s DaaS environment.
MSPs and VARs can also build DaaS into their clients’ business continuity plans. Being able to leverage cloud-hosted desktops and apps for remote work gives organizations a seamless path for employees to quickly access corporate resources during and after a crisis. Relinquishing management of the hardware, virtualization, and desktop virtualization infrastructure and focusing only on the desktops and applications frees up IT resources and helps accelerate remote work deployments even further while potentially lowering operating costs.
What advice can you offer MSPs or VARs with clients who didn’t have DaaS when the coronavirus pandemic hit?
Sharma: It’s never too late to look at DaaS as an option, not only for future crises, but also as employees start to slowly go back to working from the office. We’re in an era of a new normal, and educating clients on the benefits of DaaS is a great start. Providing value-added services on top of what DaaS has to offer has the potential to be a huge opportunity for MSPs and VARs.