The Dell Enterprise Technologists (ETs) are a fantastic team of technical experts, with 20+ years of experience that advise organizations on how to leverage technologies to grow their business. As I mentioned in a previous post, this is a free resource that Dell offers to existing and potential Dell customers.
1. David, can you tell me more about your role on the enterprise technologist team?
My focus is on cloud computing which, in plain English, covers a broad range of IT infrastructure and economic strategies for businesses – virtual computing, shared infrastructure for cloud-based IT services, scalable application infrastructures, and so forth.
I meet with customers to discuss their short and long term IT decision plans as we address their unique challenges as growing businesses. I hone in on their overall business and IT strategy to recommend the best technology solutions that will improve their business results. For instance, many businesses don’t realize the benefits that desktop virtualization can bring them.
2. Can you share an example of how you helped a growing business with their desktop virtualization needs?
You bet. I’ll tell you about a great case involving a growing medical practice with multiple practice offices that converted to a virtual desktop solution and saw substantial savings in their annual IT expenses.
Each practice office required annual licensing costs for unique instances of their practice management software. We centralized the management software and Microsoft applications onto their main office server, replacing the thick, back-office and exam room workstations with thin clients that are maintenance free. Each application, including x-ray reviews, patient charting and scheduling, and image annotation, is reached through a virtual desktop session. Now, their desktop security, anti-virus updates, HIPPA compliance around patient data security, application updates, and operating system patch management, occurs in one place – the server – for all users. As a result, we were able to help them achieve the following results:
- Eliminated costly annual maintenance on server licenses
- Eliminated the need for patch management and end point security on all end-user and exam-room workstations
- Reduced the time that IT administrators spend on desktop management, freeing up their valuable time to work on other business-focused tasks.
3. What is one of the pain points you’re consistently hearing from growing businesses when it comes to desktop virtualization?
A pain point that I hear a lot is, “What do we do with all of these new devices that employees are trying to connect to our network?” It happens a lot for small and medium-sized businesses that owners, partners and employees at the top approach their IT managers and ask to have their day-to-day work activity running on their devices. We are talking about tablets, iPads, Android and Web 2.0, etc. devices and smartphones – the ecosystem has grown tremendously over the years.
The bottom line is: Use desktop virtualization to improve standardization of your desktop environment, secure your corporate and customer data, and to meet the mobility demands of end-users. Desktop virtualization allows a user’s data to remain on the corporate server, while streaming the contents of your desktop or associated applications to almost any modern operating system. The data never leaves the corporate data center. Desktop virtualization addresses data security including secure access, and access to the corporate desktop anytime, anywhere, on any device.
4. What are you most surprised to hear customers are or aren’t doing when it comes to desktop virtualization?
I’m surprised when businesses aren’t looking beyond the “right now” when solving their IT problems. When businesses make IT spend decisions in a limited amount of time or approach it with a “one-off” mindset, they tend to spend more than they need to. I help them think long term and solve more than just the problem at hand. It’s rewarding to know the customer is going to see far more long-term benefits than they realized were possible when they first started thinking about the immediate problem at hand. They also often experience changes in the business strategy as a result of our in-depth conversations. Their eyes are opened to how we can better the business with the right technology solutions.
Ultimately, if we predict what the business is going to do in the future, we can plan around their business goals, so they aren’t buying band-aids to solve crisis issues in the moment but minimizing these crisis issues before they even arise.
5. What Dell capabilities around desktop virtualization are SMBs most surprised to hear about?
Dell has a broad array of desktop virtualization capabilities. This include high-performance computing systems for the remote high-performance desktop, all the way to complete “VDI-in-a-Box” solutions that are integrated by Dell and include appropriate servers, storage networking and hypervisor of the customer’s choice. Dell performs full analysis and implementation planning, followed by deploying the solution on the customer’s premise, and concluding with the necessary education to manage their solution. Dell is one of the world’s largest partners of virtualization leaders Microsoft, VMware, Citrix, and virtual infrastructure management software, and has a full gamut of support and services around these popular VDI platforms. Our offerings have been built with purpose and foresight to meet the most challenging customer environments.
Ingrid Vanderveldt is Dell's First Entrepreneur in Residence. You can follow her blogs, get ideas to grow your business, learn about emerging business opportunities on the new site www.eiratdell.com. You can follow her on twitter @ontheroadwithiv