Cloud services are here to stay and IT organizations are finding them more and more irresistible.What's not to love as you begin adopting Salesforce.com, WorkDay, ServiceNow and even more turnkey cloud services to run mission critical operations within your business? You get to shut down legacy application infrastructure in your own data centers, reduce your CapEx footprint and take a cloud-first approach to any new IT projects going forward.
Most IT teams have already moved some of their server-based workloads to their favorite private cloud or to a public cloud such as Azure, AWS, or Google. These moves deliver many benefits, like replacing CapEx with OpEx, reducing your data center footprint, and eliminating the worries around power, air conditioning, spinning drives, redundancy, certain elements of security, and more. You're also no longer over-provisioning your data center resources and staff to handle the surge - you're now leveraging just-in-time elastic cloud services instead. Well done!
Cloud Services, Not Cloud Science Projects
With cloud adoption accelerating, Office 365 is the latest and most obvious next choice. Remember the days when you installed and operated your own Exchange Mail Servers, your own Skype Servers and Network File Servers? If you're still living in that world, take a closer look at Office 365, there's another way.
Office 365 is a cloud service that runs in Microsoft Azure. You pay a monthly subscription that provides your users with always-up-to-date Office applications, including Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, Word, OneNote, Publisher and Access. And you can install them across multiple devices, including PCs, Macs, Android tablets, Android phones, iPads, and iPhones. It also provides all the back end cloud services for their email, voice communications (Skype) and file sharing (OneDrive). Your users can access these services securely from home or on the road and all from their own devices (BYOD). Did you notice in that design you'll find no IT spend on network bandwidth and user devices? Imagine that.
It's time to ask yourself; "Are we ready to move our organization to Office 365?". Make sure you check the Deployment Planning Checklist for Office 365 first before you take the plunge.
As you make the move to Office 365, it's also time to take a good look at your current VDI environment. That's right, if your user apps and associated data sources like Email and OneDrive are now running famously in Azure, it may not be the best idea to continue hosting your virtual desktops (that serve up these apps) so far away in your on-prem data center. If you're moving Microsoft Office apps & services to the cloud, make sure you do the math on the network traffic between your apps and virtual desktops. The simple math suggests you'll get a big win when you host them together in the same cloud.
Office 365 & Cloud Desktops - A Match Made in Heaven
Consider Workspot Cloud Apps, Cloud Desktops and Cloud Workstations; turnkey, enterprise-class, Azure-based Desktop as a Service (DaaS) with a fixed subscription fee that includes the cost of Azure. Combine this with Office 365 to deliver a tightly-coupled, cloud-native, enterprise solution to your users around the world. Use Cloud Apps to deliver Office 365 apps and other windows and SaaS apps directly to your users. Use Cloud Desktops to deliver Windows 10 desktops fully loaded with Office 365 apps and data, and use Cloud Workstations when a Windows 10 desktop armed with a GPU for graphics intensive applications is required.
Your end users run the Workspot Workspace you see below, a rich, full client experience native to PC, Mac, iOS and Android devices. With a single click (or thumb scan or even facial recognition on the new iPhone X!) users will automatically authenticate into their secure connection to Azure and access their designated apps and desktops. The Email, Skype and OneDrive services are all tightly coupled to the user apps and Windows 10 desktops, all running in the Azure cloud. This can be configured in a single geographic region of Azure, or systematically assigned in proximity to user locations across the 42 regions of Azure around the world.
As an administrator you'll find a single pane of glass to manage everything - Azure, SSO, MFA, VPN, AD, apps, desktops, users, groups, security policies, graphical & tabular reporting and big data analytics. One administrative user experience to manage everything across 42 regions of Azure. Workspot provides the single admin experience with a flat- rate predictable bill, no Azure admin UI or invoice required.
For another great perspective on combining Office 365 with DaaS, I recommend checking in with Gartner analysts Nathan Hill and Michael Silver on their recent article Moving to Office 365 Challenges VDI Strategies.
If you haven't yet decided to move to Office 365, here's 10 more reasons to move your business to Office 365 today.
Good luck on your research and your motion forward. I welcome your comments and feedback on this topic. Feel free to reach out directly if you'd like to learn more about Workspot Cloud Desktops and Office 365.