Empower the Digital Workspace

Empowering the Digital Workspace: How Corona-Norco Unified School District Does It

The award-winning Corona-Norco Unified School District serves more than 54,000 K-12 students from the California cities of Corona, Norco and Eastvale, as well as unincorporated parts of Riverside County. One of the 10 largest districts in the state, it employs approximately 5,000 people.

Like many public school districts, Corona-Norco has a goal to reduce capital expenses and technology costs overall for its schools to ensure equal access to technology. With costs rising and a small IT team challenged to drive all over a large, traffic-choked area to deliver services, the district faced a big choice when they decided to upgrade in-school computing: Buy more sophisticated and expensive hardware for each school, or take a different approach. They chose a suite of digital workspace solutions that make it simple and cost-effective to manage mobile devices, upgrade to Windows 10 and distribute and maintain apps using virtual desktops.


Digital Workspaces Put the Emphasis on Education, Not Patching

In 2012, the district started to roll out virtual desktops on zero clients at schools. Corona-Norco now supports 8,000 zero clients and around 5,000 virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) concurrent desktops—with a full-time staff of two. &#rsquo;We don&#rsquo;t see the support number changing dramatically as we significantly ramp up the number of devices,&#rdquo; said Brian Troudy, the district&#rsquo;s director of networking and infrastructure. Adding to the device count is the district&#rsquo;s embrace of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model for maximum flexibility and choice. VMware AirWatch and VMware Workspace ONE extend the district&#rsquo;s digital workspaces beyond classroom computers to tablets and laptops, allowing faculty, students and staff to access any app on any device at any time.

VMware end-user computing solutions have simplified application management and updates, including the district&#rsquo;s upgrade to Windows 10. With the ability to test and patch images &#rsquo;behind the scenes&#rdquo; from a central location, instead of sending IT staff to schools and taking computers out of service, operating system (OS) and app updates are easy to deploy. Said Troudy, &#rsquo;Using the Horizon suite, App Volumes, Thin App and UEM, we&#rsquo;re able to layer into a user’s connection the applications that they need based on certain criteria—the location, class that they&#rsquo;re enrolled in—and all of that can be done dynamically and automatically based on the integrations that we have with other business systems.&#rdquo; IT staff can now spend their efforts working one-on-one with their end users on effective use of technology instead of managing and maintaining the underlying technology.

Teacher Peter D&#rsquo;Agostino noted that he used to have to stay at school after hours and come in early to maintain and patch classroom computers. It could take weeks to get new software installed. Now with VMware Horizon VDI, apps for engineering, history, music production and many more topics run faster and more reliably. &#rsquo;I no longer have to spend time updating computers on my own, taking time away from students. Now I spend my time looking for ways for kids to learn better. It just changes the game.&#rdquo;


Money Saved on Technology Goes Back to Student Programs

The district estimates it&#rsquo;s saved $5 million on hardware so far, and more than $75,000 on energy costs alone, by switching to a VDI model. &#rsquo;We&#rsquo;re able to, with VMware technologies, deploy labs of computers to our students at a quarter of the cost,” said Troudy. &#rsquo;It&#rsquo;s also allowed us to keep the experience of the desktop that they&#rsquo;re using up to date and relevant. It&#rsquo;s a night-and-day experience for our students.&#rdquo;

&#rsquo;With VMware … we were able to provide end-user computing at a much lower cost than we did six or seven years ago. There&#rsquo;s nothing that makes me happier as a CIO than to be able to say, I get out of the way, and let the school do what they need to do to make sure the students receive the education they deserve.&#rdquo;
—Ben Odipo, CIO and Assistant Superintendent of Information Technology, Corona-Norco Unified School District


  • [Video] Western Carolina University Extends Digital Workspace Solutions Campus-Wide
  • VMware + Ellucian: Smart BYOD & Apps with VMware&#rsquo;s Secure Digital Backpack for Education
  • Empower the Digital Workspace: The VMware Customer Perspective

The post Empowering the Digital Workspace: How Corona-Norco Unified School District Does It appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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Is Standardization IT’s Friend or Foe—or Both?

Exploring Part I of the *New* Digital Workspace Story Map

Getting the Digital Workspace Story Map Straight

Here at VMware, we have talked about the digital workspace story for years. But if you put 10 people in a room and ask them what a digital workspace is or how to get there, you will get at least 25 very interesting and very different answers.

The Journey to the Digital Workspace Story Map

Many of us technologists jump right into an architectural discussion or show off a cool demo focusing on self-service access. Others might point to an app catalog. Still others talk about a &#rsquo;virtual workspace,&#rdquo; where their virtual desktop is their &#rsquo;digital workspace.&#rdquo; Of course, they are all wrong and they are all right. This makes discussions about what it takes to create a digital workspace extremely tough.

Recently, a team across VMware—from product managers and marketers to engineers, designers and professional services architects—sat down with some talented artists and storytellers to create a digital workspace &#rsquo;story map.&#rdquo; The goal of the story map was to replace reams of fluffy whitepapers and never-ending slide decks (I get to say that since I am one of those marketing types who create them). We wanted to foster a richly visual dialog about the journey to the digital workspace. No products. No technology. Just the journey itself.

We took these ideas to some of our best customers and partners, and it was amazing to hear the excitement in their voices. They too struggled to articulate their own vision of the digital workspace to colleagues and management. We took their feedback and further refined the story map into the image we are proud to share with you today.

In some ways, I am loathe to annotate the story. Like the MAD magazine cartoons some of us grew up with (sorry if that reference is beyond your years … wait, no, I&#rsquo;m not…) the discovery and the details are half the fun. If you also enjoy a good puzzle, STOP NOW! Take a look at this section of the story map yourself and draw your own conclusions. When you&#rsquo;re ready to proceed, READ ON!

Part 1 of the Digital Workspace Story: Is Standardization IT&#rsquo;s Friend or Foe—or Both?

Standardization is in the DNA of probably anyone in IT, learned from process-oriented organizations. The concept of interchangeable parts popularized by Eli Whitney in the production of guns and cotton gins allowed manufacturers to better specialize labor, reduce production costs and permit better serviceability of increasingly complex machines. It is no surprise that we want to apply the same logic to IT by supplying modern tools of production (namely apps and devices) to today&#rsquo;s workforce.

By waging war on variables, IT is better able to achieve economies of scale.

  • If an organization standardizes on laptops, three standards are better than five.
  • If an organization is looking at office productivity apps, one is better than three.
  • And on and on from there.

From a serviceability perspective, I get it. Why reimage a laptop over the network if I can pop the top, plug a fresh SSD into the slot that I just took off a drive burner and then button it back up?

In the digital workspace story map, we show this idea of standardization with the Beetles and station wagons clogged on the packed highway. Every user should look like either a Beetle or a station wagon; depending on their job role, they get the keys to their car. It might not be the car they would choose, but it&#rsquo;s reliable—or at least IT will be there to fix it with their stash of backup parts.

This does not mean standards are unimportant. It just means the standards we need to care about in 2017 changed. Instead of standardizing on apps and devices or even web browsers, we standardize on APIs and service level agreements (SLAs), which are the new production frameworks for the mobile-cloud world.

Regardless of the standards, culture and policies of nearly every company, executives, line-of-business leaders and rogue-but-well-meaning employees do not want a Beetle or a station wagon. They want different apps and different devices. No matter how much IT wants to support these users, their production line is not equipped, ultimately leading to shadow IT.

Keeping with the transportation theme, it is no accident that IT is out fixing the &#rsquo;IT budget&#rdquo; potholes in the road. Under the weight of our legacy systems and continued focus on devices as assets, an increasing portion of our shrinking budgets continue to be spent on keeping the road open and drivable.

We believe the status quo is unsustainable.

Application growth, device advancements driven by consumer technologies and the ever-increasing expectations of both users and line-of-business leaders will cause traffic jams an emergency pothole crew cannot clear. Like many modern transportation systems, building a bigger road or a new bridge is not enough. We must think differently about how to move people from one place to another … and where those people are going.

That sets the stage for where many of us our today. In the next blog, we will talk about the transition to a digital workspace, the IT initiatives laying the groundwork for next-generation infrastructure and how organizations can plan for transformative change.

See the Digital Workspace Vision for Yourself—Live & In Technicolor

Thinking about heading to VMworld? VMworld is now the leading-industry event for End-User Computing (EUC) with nearly 100 dedicated sessions and a must-see showcase keynote specifically about the digital workspace. If you have not registered yet, there is no time like the present! Click here to get started.

Already registered for VMworld U.S.? Here&#rsquo;s your Vegas to-do list:

  • Click here to dive into the &#rsquo;empower the digital workspace&#rdquo; session catalog.
  • Click here to claim your seat to the digital workspace showcase keynote. Hurry! Seats are selling out fast!
  • Click here to see the four EUC sessions all VMworld attendees should join.

Joining us in Barcelona? Here are the links to the top digital workspace content at VMworld Europe:

  • Digital workspace session catalog.
  • Digital workspace showcase keynote.

Hear first hand how leading companies empower the digital workspace for transformation during VMworld. Register for the EUC Showcase keynote to hear their stories, dive into brand new innovations and much more. Seats are going fast, so register today!

The post Is Standardization IT&#rsquo;s Friend or Foe—or Both? appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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Empower the Digital Workspace: The VMware Customer Perspective

At VMware, we believe that a digital workspace gives you the ultimate freedom to use any app on any device in any place. You should enjoy frictionless access to apps no matter where they reside, from legacy to RDSH and web-based apps, with single sign-on for simple access.

Attendees at our recent EUC Insights 2017 event did a great job of defining what a digital workspace means to them. VMware employees rely on digital workspaces every day—even when everything else goes wrong. Over the next few weeks, we will share stories of how some of our customers put digital workspaces into practice. These organizations are truly empowering people, from teachers to physicians to IT administrators, to succeed at digital transformation.

How Do VMware Customers Use Digital Workspaces?

Here are just a few of the use cases we are excited to talk about:

  • Mecklenburg County, N.C., is rolling out Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 365 in the cloud, with enterprise-grade security and simplified management.
  • Jefferson County, Colo., provides secure virtual desktops to its employees and for public computers that county residents use—with a non-persistent desktop, all data is erased when the session ends, keeping citizens&#rsquo; information secure.
  • Corona-Norco Unified School District (CNUSD) in California uses digital workspaces to deliver Windows 10 and the learning technology students and teachers need when they need it from any device, including bring-your-own-device (BYOD) mobility for maximum flexibility and choice. CNUSD also saves valuable funds that can be used for student services.

Stay Tuned!

Watch the EUC Blog in the coming weeks to learn more about how organizations like yours use solutions like VMware AirWatch, VMware Horizon and VMware Workspace ONE to empower their digital workspaces.

Want to get the latest digital workspace, mobility, desktop virtualization and enterprise apps news right in your inbox? Join our Friday “Top EUC News” club at the top of your screen.

Hear first hand how leading companies empower the digital workspace for transformation during VMworld. Register for the EUC Showcase keynote to hear their stories, dive into brand new innovations and much more. Seats are going fast, so register today!

The post Empower the Digital Workspace: The VMware Customer Perspective appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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