The Cloud Experience Everywhere

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure: Choosing a services partner

Virtual desktop infrastructure is white-hot – it’s often a key technology for businesses seeking to build a flexible, resilient hybrid workplace. How are companies leveraging advisory services for VDI?  I talked with Peter Mansell, HPE’s Global Practice Director for Digital Workplace, about what he’s seeing in the marketplace.

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 by John Cummings, Cloud Experience Everywhere blog editor


John Cummings:

What kind of companies are turning to services providers to help them make the move to virtual desktop infrastructure? Is VDI best suited to midsized organizations?

Peter Mansell:

The customers we work with are a real mix. They include very large financial services providers and manufacturing and industrial engineering enterprises, as well as smaller organizations. It’s definitely a cross-vertical play.

Of course, whether virtual desktop infrastructure is right for any particular customer depends on their requirements. If every single person in your organization just requires a simple access to Microsoft Office applications, for example, then VDI might not be the best fit. But if you have a diverse set of users with different requirements and a need to link into other business application, then VDI might be a good fit, and an IT consultation services partner can help you make the right choices.

With VDI, it’s really important to get into the details of the users’ requirements and the jobs that they do. Who are your task workers – the folks with relatively low-intensity compute needs? Who are your power users? Who might benefit from a GPU? You need to start with understanding the environment you’re trying to provide and the gaps you’ve got today.


I recently saw a study from Enterprise Strategy Group which found that the biggest reason companies bring in third-party services for digital workplace projects is to save time. Is that what you’re seeing?


With any digital workplace initiative, there's obviously an economic impact to your company if you can't provide the services when they’re needed. I think the pandemic has accelerated a lot of projects, too. Bringing in a services organization that’s done the work before in other environments and built up a set of repeatable architectures is incredibly valuable. That's the feedback we get from our customers, certainly.

Companies often turn to third-party providers when they’re unable to complete the activity internally, perhaps because of skills gaps. Or they start out by thinking that they can do the work more cheaply in-house, but when they realize how long it's going to take, time becomes a more critical factor than the investment dollars.

But there are plenty of other reasons to leverage a services partner, besides saving time and money. A good partner can help you ensure that all of your stakeholders are aligned and on the same page.

Change management is crucial for a successful VDI initiative. I can think of lots of examples of companies that have rolled out the software and just expected the users to pick it up and run with it. If you're going to launch a new offering, you’ll want to train and enable your people so they know how to get the job done with the new tools. Help them understand the benefit of the switchover and how to navigate any short-term disruptions. Show them how it will support their productivity and innovation.


If a company is thinking about a VDI project, what are some reasons why they should consider HPE?


One would be our strong partnerships with the leading software providers in this in this space. We have a long history of collaboration with both Citrix and VMware. In fact, we just announced  new HPE GreenLake VDI cloud services in partnership with those leaders, as well as Nutanix and NVIDIA. We also have a strong partnership with Microsoft, who are typically the dominant provider of end-user workplace productivity solutions in the space – the most commonly used platform, by some margin.

HPE has a strong set of robust infrastructure and edge technologies and services to support video and desktop environments. In HPE Pointnext Services, we have a large number of experts and advisors trained on those environments. We have deep expertise and experience in the sector; in fact, we were recently recognized as a Leader in worldwide digital workspace services by IDC1. Our expertise in networking is crucial, too – you can’t do this without the right connectivity in place, both in terms of capacity and security.

HPE GreenLake for VDI is a new offering that many companies will want to investigate. It’s an on-prem solution, with all of the performance, security and compliance benefits that you’d associate with that. But it’s owned, operated, and managed for you by HPE on a pay-as-you-go basis, so you get the agility and simplicity of a cloud experience. It’s an as-a-service solution, so it’s a great way to get a VDI project moving quickly and without getting tied up in delays and the need for big upfront expenses.


Read more about HPE desktop virtualization solutions and how they enable the productivity of your remote workforce.

Learn more about HPE Pointnext Services and how we help you accelerate digital transformation to stay ahead of what’s next.

Related posts:

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure: The Security Advantages

VDI: Your Go-To Technology for Remote Work and the New Digital Workplace


1. See Saadat Malik’s post HPE recognized as a global leader in all three areas of Intelligent Edge Services

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