September 29, 2020

VMblog Work From Home Series with Nico Zieck of Liquit (Digital Workspace Management)

Welcome to another VMblog Work FromHome series.

Today we have the pleasure of having Nico Zieck who's thesenior IT architect for Liquit with us.

How are you doing today? I'm doing great, good weather in the Netherlands, so happy to be here.

Maybe you can start by just givingus a short background of the company itself.

Yeah Liquit is a software vendor founded in 2015 and we're focusingon delivering the unified workspace to the end-user so enabling users to dotheir work from home or anywhere around the world as easy as possible.

And we'vebeen talking a little bit ahead of time about the pandemic, so youknow keeping with that theme the pandemic is a major topic these days.

Howhas it changed the way companies are dealing with theiremployees and are you hearing from your own customers, where they caught bysurprise or did they already have solutions in place to help make theshift from the office to work from home? Well I think it's a pretty good question.

So I think generally we can separate two types of customers.

So the old-schoolcustomers, the people who got our employees to go to work in theoffice every day, some certain way of control over their users, their employees.

Now if the other part is already working in real flexible ways, sousually there aren't a typical Liquit customers already in place, so they had afocus on a more mono workspace working from home and we see that a lot in theNetherlands.

So the Netherlands didn't change a lot of things.

So we have a goodinfrastructure and by law you are allowed to work from home, soit's by law.

Looking at our other customers, you see a lot of people justworking in the office from day to day basis or control, now you see that thecompanies need to give them the trust and the freedom to do their own work atfrom home and you see things for shift into different working styles, so peopleget more, feel more freedom so they feel more power to do things for the companybecause they feel more happy.

And for the companies that are continuing to pushforward to this work from home model before we go into the technology side ofthings in general how is this affecting the people, the connectivity and theinfrastructure behind it? So even if I'm looking at myself working from home Ijust love it and I think a lot of our customers love it going out of bed justdoing my work.

The thing I miss is the connectivity and the talking to mycolleagues, so most thing I want to have is somewhere in between so working fromhome and from time to time being in my office.

So what has to do for thetechnology, you have to have good at home workspace so a good device, goodinternet connection of course then something that will enable you to accessyour information data and also do your Zoom meetings or your Team meetings in the correct fashion so it's affecting people in a lot of differentways, first of all the communication.

I simply just miss it on a day-to-daybasis and that's all I hear from my colleagues but also from our customerswe miss the office, so the office is still important, but we love the workfrom home and we are really more productive working from home no moretravelling so things are changing and on a technical point of view, you need adifferent solution so you just can't use your old-fashioned laptop in the officeyou need more stuff.

And so how does Liquit solutions help enable work fromhome? So Liquit is actually a smart workplace so what we do we aggregate avariety of surfaces like Citrix, WVD, but also local applications and the userwill simply just see an icon and Liquit will decide based on whether a user isbased on the user's peripheral devices and based on other specificationswhat should we launch in a certain scenario.

So the IT admin has full control over what will happen, where and when, but the end user simply just clicks on anapplication so it doesn't have to think about it and therefore the IT is moreaccessible for the end users make it more simple.

So what are some of the bigquestions that your customers are asking as they're transitioning to work fromhome? So we've got a lot of questions so a lot of customers we have are runningout of power on their virtualization platforms, so to use virtualizationplatform for a limited amount of users now ofcourse everybody's working from home they're gonna stress those virtualenvironments so they need to spin up some extra machines.

So Liquit is able tohelp you with it or add another system to it like WVD just for a burstmode, just for a short period of time add extra machines and manage those machines, and so our customers are are requesting how can we make things more easy for ourend users because now in the office everybody knows where I have to bewhere's my printer, how do you do that from home, when I log on what will happento my phone, what will happen to my productivity applications, how do weaccess the data, how do we secure the data, so Liquit gets all these questionsevery day again and basically that's where Liquit is founded on, making theworkspace smoother, faster and better for the end-user without the user having tothink about it.

And security is always something that's top of mind or shouldbe for most companies, with this whole work shift from the office to working from home are there any special thingsthat companies should be paying attention to? Yeah of course, data, it's all about data, so what do you do with the data when the user isusing his own device, where do you save it, do you remove it, are we allowed to savethose data on the local device, that's something system administratorshave to think about it, so we offer it complexed awareness so in corporateowned devices we are allowing users to run and store their own local data butif it's not corporate owned you're working from home, we don't allow it torender your data for instance on your local device and you will be redirectedto a citrix session which will be secured, so of course data is reallyimportant, then and the other part is the security of the connection it's alsoreally important, how do you keep unwanted people out of your network, howdo you manage all those network connection into your data center, there'ssomething we're not focusing on we're just helping the IT admins to keepcontrol over those processes.

And you know what are some of the keytechnologies that people are using in this work from home? So basically we seea major up coming in the office 365 usage but we see more and more people going into Microsoft 365, of course today is only one name, but I still separate office 365 from Microsoft 365, so we see a lot of ourcustomers going into Microsoft 365 remote deploying their devices withautopilot and then offering them a true hybrid environment separating somelocal applications to save some resources on a virtual environment andfor special applications or high security applications deliver a virtualenvironment like a VDI or an SBC or as a XenApp session for instance.

So it's forproductivity the office suite, office 365 for communication of most commonly Zoom or Team or something and for deployment you see a shift from in-office deploymentthan just shipping out your device to an end user let that device be enrolleditself and then let Liquit do all the deployments we broker you into secureapplications on Citrix or VMware.

So those are the most common use technologies forus.

And you know we talked about this off-camera before but you know there's alot of companies are starting to move back now bringing their people back fromfrom home back into the office are there any tips that you can share that companiesshould be doing now to prepare for another event like this? I think itshould be much broader so I think everybody they have seen the success ofworking from home.

So if I'm looking just typically at the Netherlands, economicsjust just went on, it didn't stop anything so we were prepared forsomething from working from home, if I can suggest for every company just focusfrom working from home allow your people to work from home so you always beprepared for something like this, let the people get used to it, you're alreadyused to it why don't use it so you don't need that much office space, youalready have a lot of resources in place, just focus on it, take it on your roadmap and go from that point on, but I really strongly encourage all companiesjust keep it this way, focus on it and allow your people to get more freedom, trust your employees with it.

So obviously it sounds like the beststrategy is to be prepared for work from home and have that as your normal policy, for people that do want to come back into the office you know how do you getthem to come back and what are the cost savings forkeeping people working remotely? So I read some examples orresearch that productivity of much of people yesterdaytalked about to a customer the productivity of the employeeraised by 30 percent by working from home so instead of traveling, sohow do you get him back in the office? well first of all if they're happy towork from home keep it that way.

In Europe we see a lot of companies justallowing people to work from home every day, but I think workspace is somethinglike a social place you want to see your colleagues, you want to see yourfriends, it's all about personal communication from that point so I thinkworkspace a workplace should be, the office should be a place where peoplefeel happy so like good coffee for instance but also good IT but it's Ithink it's gonna be a hybrid way so hybrid IT tech but also hybridworkspace so working from home should be always be there and if people are happythey';; be more productive.

So for me myself what I see I tend to work alittle bit more off hours if necessary because I am happy I can do my shoppingduring day time so I feel much more happy, feel much more enabled with myfamily, so I'm much more home so I'm happier to do my work.

Well before we letyou go, I want to ask, where can viewers go if they want to learn moreabout the company and the technology and do you have any resources online thatspecifically addresses the work from home topic that we're talking about today?yeah of course they can go to our website liquit.

com, where they can requestthe full live demo, of course it's free of charge so you can use it for a timeof period two ones of course we will contact you afterwards but you also canlook up some of our videos we've posted and our solution brief in Microsoft forthe WVD part so Liquit is a WVD partner, maybe show you exactly how things canwork with our smart icons and what will be done to work from home and how to enable it.

Great, well thanks again, we appreciate you taking time to speak toVMblog today.

You're welcome, thank you very much for the time.

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