As I’m sitting in an airport waiting for another delayed flight I thought I take this time to write about some of the recent customer conversations that I’ve had about XenClient. It’s been very interesting to see how the vastly different policies that organizations have, the practical solutions those policies provide, and in turn problems and limitations that those policies create, are finding a common solution with XenClient.

To illustrate. The issue of whether to allow mixed business and personal use on a corporate laptop seems to draw the full range of answers. Customer A has a completely locked down corporate environment – no personal use, no personal applications, no personal data. If you are on the road and you want to work on some personal documents or talk to your family on Skype, you need to carry a second device. This policy minimizes support calls and protects the sensitive corporate data.

Customer Z on the other hand positively encourages personal use of the corporate machine. Users are happier and in fact it promotes user productivity – a user using the device for their personal tasks will respond to e-mails that come in even during their personal time. And  customers B through Y discourage personal use but really don’t really enforce it.

The problem is that customers A through Z are not actually happy with their solution. Customer A’s users are not happy. They don’t want to carry a second device – particularly the executives – so there’s a lot of pushback. There’s also the rising  concern that the customer satisfaction that your IT policy delivers can affect employee retention and attraction.

Customer Z on the other hand see’s a higher number of support calls because of user changes or  user installed apps. Malware is a big concern and nobody’s quite sure whether backed up data is corporate data or personal data. B through Y have a mixture of concerns with all of the above.

XenClient’s ability to deliver two (or more) virtual machines, that are completely isolated from each other, that run simultaneously, and that offer a user experience just like the user expects from a laptop, is providing a new solution that satisfies the customers at both ends of this policy question – and all of those in between. Customer A can still provide their fully locked down corporate desktop satisfying the goals that IT are tasked with in providing a rich environment for users to do their work and to protect the valuable corporate data but also provide a second environment that users can customize. Company data is still secure, the business environment is fully backed up  and malware can’t leap from one VM to the other. Users though now get the added advantage that they only need to carry a single machine to be able to work and play delivering higher levels of satisfaction. Similarly, by applying XenClient at customer Z, users are still having the freedom to use their machine for their personal life, chat to friends and family, play their music etc and engage in work tasks to maintain that productivity advantage.

But now IT are winners as well because they can now separate out the business and the personal data, reduce help desk calls and still keep a happy installed base. Customers B through Y now have a clear and simple way to address the issue of business and personal. A simple choice that delivers benefits to IT and to users – what you might call a win – win.

What’s your policy on business and personal use of corporate laptops? What are the IT or user

compromises that are made? Let us know…

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