In Contrast to ‘Permanent Remote Work,’ VMware Messaging Touts ‘Return-to-Office’ – Virtualization Review

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Virtualization kingpin VMware was quick to tout its wares for the remote work explosion caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but its recent messaging has shifted to a "return-to-office" theme in a sign that the company may be looking forward to a recovery period soon.

That messaging centers around the company's Workspace ONE product, which is described as a digital workspace solution delivering and managing apps on any device by bundling together identity, application, and enterprise mobility management.

Cases in point (with italics emphasis added):

That messaging seems to be in contrast to other vendors who are still touting their solutions to suit a "new normal" of permanent remote work. For examples, see the articles "Twitter Announcement Heralds 'New Normal' of Permanent Remote Work" and "SD-WAN Said Key to 'New Normal' of Coronavirus-Driven Digital Transformation and Remote Work."

The company's new messaging also comes at a time when news reports are citing rising positive coronavirus cases and death tolls in many areas and debate rages about reopening schools and directives to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Amid all that, VMware this week said: "However, a recent CNBC study surveying executives at firms across sectors of the economy found that many large corporations expect to return more than half of their employees back to offices as soon as September."

VMware did, however, acknowledge that office work environments won't be the same, even if employees do come back. "Employees left their tight-knit cubicles back at the office in March, and it's likely that they won't be working in close quarters with their coworkers for quite some time," the company said.

VMware indicated what it views as the "new normal" with this statement: "A remote-everything, work-from-anywhere environment is now the new normal."

To serve organizations that are bringing employees back to the office in different environments and conditions, VMware introduced two new privacy-centric mobile applications:

VMware said organizations implementing these new workplace solutions can leverage the infrastructure they already have in place in order to support vital reopening tasks and future workplace initiatives, including:

The company also publicized its new Horizon 8 virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution for organizations "increasingly working from anywhere due to the pandemic." (For Tom Fenton's take on that, see "Working from Home Via VMware Horizon in the Age of COVID-19".)

New capabilities in Horizon 8, the company said, include:

The company also published a return-to-office checklist of considerations for organizations bringing remote workers back to the central fold:

Of course, even if many organizations do bring employees back on-premises en masse, VMware sees remote work as maintaining a presence in the "new normal," whatever that turns out to be.

"Remote work may no longer be considered a luxury, but a necessity, in this new working environment," said exec Shankar Iyer. "In fact, remote work has essentially redrawn the lines where personal connections have improved, recruitment is easier, and companies can adapt faster. And technology has allowed us to adjust the way we work in a seamless way.

"Our announcements on solutions for the re-imagined workplace with Workspace ONE Proximity and Workspace ONE Campus, together with the launch of the first, truly modern platform for virtual desktops and apps are strategic and mission-critical to the distributed workforce. Strong adoption of our solutions validates our commitment to meet customers' needs as they adapt to the new normal."

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David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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In Contrast to 'Permanent Remote Work,' VMware Messaging Touts 'Return-to-Office' - Virtualization Review

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