For Dell’s Quest Software, BYOD Puts Users First with IT’s Blessing


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Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on how Quest, a Dell company, leverages BYOD and VDI to improve user productivity, application support, and security.

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For Dell’s Quest Software, BYOD Puts Users First with IT’s Blessing

  1. 1. For Dell’s Quest Software, BYOD Puts Users First with IT’sBlessingTranscript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on how Quest, a Dell company, leverages BYOD andVDI to improve user productivity, application support, and security.Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Sponsor: Quest SoftwareDana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and youre listening to BriefingsDirect. Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion on the growing acceptance of bring your own device (BYOD) at enterprises. We will examine why the users’ personal use, ownership and maintenance of the computing and mobile devices of their choosing is making more sense for more organizations. Well learn about how and why through the example of a company that has begun supportingBYOD, even with the full blessing of IT.Well see how this has had benefits far beyond just the users’ sense of empowerment, in terms ofmeaningful IT advancements along the lines of centralized applications, control and support,virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) use, better disaster recovery (DR) practices, even better dataprotection and more. [Disclosure: Quest Software is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]Here to share insights into how BYOD can work well at Quest Software, and even into their newcorporate owner Dell, we are joined by Carol Fawcett, the CIO of Dell Software and the formerlong-term CIO of Quest Software. Welcome, Carol.Carol Fawcett: Thank you, Dana.Gardner: Good to have you with us. Im really intrigued with this BYOD thing. Just a year ortwo ago, people were saying, "What?" and scratching their heads, saying, "Are you kidding?Youre going to let your users choose their device?" But as this has been put into place and someof the implications have been thought through, it seems to be an interesting possible benefit set.So let me start with where you began. What were the challenges, or what were the forces ortrends at work, that got you at Dell Software involved with BYOD at all?Fawcett: Great question, Dana. I don’t think that we actually started down the path of a BYODproject, because as many listening will know, this started years ago. We started a project wherewe said we wanted to enable our users to access applications and data on a select set of devices,which for us started with the obvious, the iPad. Then came the Android smartphones, and the listcontinued on.
  2. 2. This list will continue to grow as time goes on and new devices are brought in. The good news is that there are product offerings now in the marketplace that are helping with that demand and helping IT departments everywhere. So instead of looking at it as BYOD, it’s now turned into a BYOX phenomena that the C-level started. And as everyone in an organization saw them bringing different devices into meetings, of course, they all wanted to jump on the bandwagon. Slowly but surely, the wave began, and thats how we got where weare today.Gardner: This is interesting. There is a sort of direction from the user side, which is to say, theyprobably like the choice and they had some personal preferences, or theyve been able to beproductive in their personal lives using certain technologies.Then there has also been this direction from the enterprise, which is to say, they like the idea ofcentralizing, controlling apps and data, and delivering those out to devices (like with VDI) can bea way of encouraging this control. It’s almost like a confluence of two forces -- VDI and BYOD-- that make a whole greater than the sum of the parts, and we don’t see that very often in IT.Pull it togetherFawcett: It’s one where you have to pull the needs and the demands of an IT organizationtogether with what the users want to go to, and that’s just what were seeing out everywhere inthe industry. You definitely have to pull it together, try to satisfy the IT governance and thepolicies that we set up, and balance that against what the users are saying: "I have to have this inorder to get my job done."Gardner: As we learn more about how youve done this there, let’s also explain to our listenersthat Dell recently acquired Quest Software, and you were at Quest before that. So tell me a littlebit about how the confluence of these two companies also comes to bear on this issue of BYOD?Fawcett: Absolutely. Let’s start with Quest Software. Where our sweet spot was, and still is, wasthat we are the IT management software provider that offers a broad selection of softwaresolutions to simplify and solve the most common and most challenging IT problems for all areasof an IT environment, from infrastructure, to applications, front-end to back-end, physical orvirtual, or even out in the cloud, for that matter.Dell was looking for a company whose tools could and would complement and expand their ownsoftware product offerings in the four strategic areas that they were focused on, which Questobviously aligned with. Those were systems management, security, business intelligence (BI)and applications.So you can really see why the partnership between Quest and Dell is such a great partnership andoffers so much to the industry.
  3. 3. Gardner: Let’s go back to how this came about and learn some lessons from your example, sortof a use case perspective. If I were a CIO at another firm and I wanted to learn something fromyour experience about moving to the support of multiple devices, what’s something that youmight offer in terms of what to think about early on, or some 20/20 hindsight insights that youhave?Fawcett: As you approach the subject you have to really level-set with the team that this is notabout devices that an individual will want to use, but instead its about individuals that are usingdifferent devices accessing a set of applications inside your data center or under your control.This individual, obviously, should have only one set of access rights across all the environments,based on what that persons role is within the company. The different devices that they use shouldreally be an afterthought. Regardless of the device, their access rights need to remain consistent.If Im on a desktop, a laptop, or I bring in a tablet, or if Im using my phone to get email, itshouldnt matter. I should have that same, consistent UI and the same, consistent security rightsto get where I need to go to do my job.Dont get me wrong -- and we know this; we hear it at every conference we go to -- IT willstruggle with the management of the many devices, no doubt. The only thing I can really suggestthere is something we did.Different devicesWe took that gigantic list thats out there and we said, "Where are we going to offer differentdevices?" Were going to pick maybe 10 or 20 different devices, the most common ones thatpeople are bringing in, to support going forward, with the hope that you will be able to satisfyabout 80 percent of the employed population.It does, however, all go to the user experience. You have to keep coming back to that, makingsure they have the ability to get to the right data and the right applications, with the correctsecurity rights for their job.Gardner: It sounds as if some of the basic principles and benefits of VDI come to play here.That is to say, the provisioning, the control, the access management. So there is, I guess, afortuitous intersection of where VDI was entering into more and more organizations, particularlythose that want to control for security or regulatory purposes or intellectual property (IP) control,that sort of thing, with this idea of multiple devices, multiple panes of glass, full mobility.Did that play a role there too? Were you already going down a VDI track or trajectory and thishelped you get to BYOD quicker and better?
  4. 4. Fawcett: We started down the VDI path. In fact, many companies did years ago, when westarted to do more with offshore resources. We wanted to have offshore resources, we wanted togive them desktops, but we wanted to make sure they were secure. That was the first introductionof where VDI makes a lot of sense, where you want to secure data, have folks doing coding, butknowing they can’t take code with them. That’s the way it started.But then you start to find other use cases for VDI that really start to benefit the rest of the usercommunity. VDI is one of those things that started a while back and now has slowly grown intothis BYOD solution.Gardner: Did you know how much BYOD was going on there? How did you find out and howwould it become something you could control?Fawcett: That’s the question of the hour. Id love to be able to say that we knew exactly howmany people were bringing in what kinds of devices, but the reality is, we are a technologycompany, so some of our policies may be more relaxed than the policies of companies outsideour realm.For example, in a bank or in the government, you can pretty much lock down an environment,and every employee coming in knows its going to be locked down because of who they are andwho they work for.Our organization is made up of technologists located around the world. You know some of themare looking for ways around the fences. It’s just built into their nature. Its almost like acompetition for them, "Can I figure this out?" Now add in the remote and traveling users and youcan see how this expands the challenge as time goes on.Story of adoptionGardner: Let’s hear a little bit about the story of adoption. You decided that this Pandoras boxwas already open, no going back. BYOD is apparently here to stay, and weve got some headstart with VDI models and processes. Tell me how this panned out and what were some of themajor problems that you found you needed to solve?Fawcett: As I mentioned before, for us, it was not about the devices. We tried to turn thataround, and it was kind of handy, because the whole consumerization of IT started to come intothe industry more and more. So we started to piggyback on that.Think about it. A device is simply a means of accessing the apps and the data. Our vision insteadturned into trying to figure out a way to provide employees with a world-class overall userexperience, from beginning to end, encouraging the culture of openness and innovation.In the end, our goal is to offer our end-users that ability to use a flexible set of tools and toolsetswith a familiar interface that allows for secure access anywhere, anytime. We want them to be
  5. 5. comfortable with those tools, as this will make them obviously more productive at doing theirjobs.Gardner: Back to that interface issue. There is also this intersection of technology, with HTML5being prominent. Did you have to make some choices about native support for apps across someof these major platforms and popular devices? Or did you say, "Let’s try to come out with thetechnological approach that can suit more than going native, try to do write once and deployanywhere or be consumed anywhere?" How did that kind of pan out?Fawcett: We pretty much have a standard set of packaged applications. So it wasnt like we weregoing to start rewriting any of those applications, or even the front-end. The good news is thatthese applications are staying up with the industry and were serving them up, so multiple devicetypes can access the data and still provide that consistent UI to the end-user.But you still have to go back too and ask what makes sense. What kind of device makes sense,for example, in an AP data entry department? Do you really think you are ever going to see --and maybe one day, who knows, we will -- but do you ever think you will see a data entry clerkusing a tablet to do rapid data entry? Probably not. Theyre pretty tied to the 10-key. They likethe feel of the keyboard itself.So you kind of sit back. What everyone is beginning to accept is that there are different devicesfor different types of roles inside an organization. Thats pretty much the path that wevecontinued down as well.At Quest, we have some wonderful tools that help us understand this environment and help usrecognize who is bringing in devices and how theyre being used. Were getting a better sense ofwhats in our environment so that we can start answering these.Gardner: Lets look at this through the lens of IT. You decided that youre going to supportBYOD with the blessing of IT. What does this get for you? Are there some additional benefitsother than empowering the end-user or giving them choice? What’s there for you in terms ofbetter support for your centralized operations, applications, data, and then some of those backupand support functions that we all should be doing regularly?Regular backupsFawcett: One thing that really helps out IT is the thing you just mentioned, which is makingsure that laptops are being backed up on a regular basis. We know today, and Im sure many of uson this podcast are thinking, "How many of us actually back up our laptops on a regular basis?"Those who do it are saying, "Well, doesn’t everyone do that?" But you could guess that inside ofa large organization, probably the majority are not responsible enough to do it, because it’s justnot in the forefront of their minds.
  6. 6. When you talk about VDI and having a desktop in the data center, its a guaranteed thing,because its in the data center. Everything in the data center is backed up. Thats one real positive-- making sure that the data is secured. Obviously, when it comes to DR, we could quicklyrecover an environment. So thats a great thing for IT. And I think that, in general, the end-userswould love that as well, as they get into this world more often.Gardner: Looking a little bit to the future, more organizations are adopting software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications for non-core business type applications. Were seeing more interest incloud, consuming applications from a public cloud environment or the hybrid environment,whether its public or private. Is there something about your support of applications ascentralized to multiple devices that will enable you to exploit SaaS, cloud and hybrid services toa greater extent?Fawcett: Most definitely. It goes back to the tools that youre using to assess, manage, andgovern and then support the end-users. IT has to make sure they have those tools in order tomake sure theyre supporting the end-users regardless of where their data lives.Certainly, the cloud and the SaaS environments are adding extra buzz in the industry. Were veryinterested in how to capitalize on that. How do we make sure that were looking at elasticcomputing, and where can it benefit us? Everybody is scrambling to understand this newtechnology trend better and how it can help an IT organization.But it does go back to the tools that an IT organization has in order to match those three thingsthat we should always be doing, which is assessing what the users and the environment need,managing it, making sure its secure, and then making sure again that were able to support thoseend-users to their fullest and the way they expect to be supported.Gardner: My thinking just a couple of years ago was that BYOD was going to be the exception,not the rule. You would support some sort of a fringe category or two of your workers with thiscapability, perhaps those out on the road, more often than not.But now, as I hear you, it sounds that the direction that most IT is going to go in, hybrid services,delivering and consumption and management, and a more centralized control over data, IP, andmanagement of apps and delivering desktops themselves as services, are all going to be makingBYOD, or at least the blocking and tackling that you would need to do anyway, something thatcomes together in such a way that this might become more the norm than the exception. Do youthink that’s what’s happening?Fawcett: Absolutely. Its like when virtualization was first there. There was a wave of “howmuch could you virtualize inside your data center?” Fast forward, and now its a given. Its agiven that inside your data center you have virtualized as much as possible, so that you canensure that your data center is being used the most it can be and the most efficiently.
  7. 7. The way its going to beThis is the same way this is going to be. Just talk to your kids. Try to find a child walking downthe street and isnt texting or who doesnt have a tablet and can probably manage it better thantheir parents.Im not talking about just young children but generations to come. Im talking about the kids whoare coming in now, in their 20s and 30s. its a given that they want to use whatever device theychoose in the corporate world, just like they do at home. Its a right. Its no longer considered aluxury.From that view, it will be up with the internal IT teams to ensure they have the access toeverything they need, with the right security in place to protect them, as well as protect thecompany. Thats why when you think about some of the tools that weve been using here, youreally want to make sure you bring in some of those tools, so that you can, in fact, assess,manage and support the end-users to the best of their ability, for not only the end-user, but alsofor the company.Gardner: To that point about tools, I assume that you all drink your own champagne.Fawcett: Absolutely.Gardner: Was there anything in particular in the Quest Software portfolio that you think gaveyou an on-ramp, perhaps a better return on investment (ROI) and even overall better control andmanagement, as you move towards this BYOD, support of many panes of glass, centralized ITmanagement direction?Fawcett: Absolutely. Yes, we are drinking the champagne, and it all goes back to the beginning,where you asked me, how I knew how much BYOD was actually in our environment? Thatswhere we started using one of the first phenomenal tools that we have, which is calledMessageStats. This is a great tool that reaches out and helps us track the trending within theorganization at a macro and micro level. We know which devices and OS versions are beingused, by whom, and at what time.In fact, I asked my team just recently, when we first started talking, "Can you pull a list on all thedevices that I use, that are registered to me?" So I saw my own list of the devices and I wasshocked to see how they actually are tracked, right down to the level of when was the first time Iever connected the device to the network, last successful sync, last policy update, what kind ofdevice was it.It was so granular, and quite frankly, it was so very Big Brother-like, it kind of scared me. Butagain, you cant make a solution for what you dont understand. So assessing with MessageStatsis the only way to go.
  8. 8. Then once we understood it, we said, "Now that the process is moving, lets figure out what typeof device is right for what type of user." And this is where we turned to vWorkspace, whichenabled us to determine which of the users and scenarios are best suited for the virtual desktopsin the data center.In addition, it provided a critical insight as to which virtual desktop technologies provide the bestfit for each user, based on their needs. So vWorkspace allows us to not only put a desktop in thedata center, but it lets us do things like application streaming and publishing. It really enables usto have that broad spectrum of functionality with just that one tool.Once we were up and running, we stepped into the management and governance aspect of theproject. This can probably be one of the most problematic areas, when you think about the purenature of BYOD. Multiple devices for a given user, each acting very differently, and if notmanaged, could destroy any governance policy put in place.Understanding the individualThis is where we truly must raise the issue up from the device to the individual, understandingthat role of that person and understanding what security rights, regardless of the device they needto have in place. And this is where Quest’s One Identity Management came into play.It gave the IT team the ability to rely on one point of control for an individual and all theirdevices. This is the product we count on to pass the audits, and most importantly, to ensure thatour employees have that right level of access needed to get their job done.The final key point on this is that it takes IT out of the mix and automates that very cumbersomeprocess of provisioning, moving employees amongst departments, and then finally de-provisioning, when that employee leaves.This is a very powerful product that makes it so that in our environment, once an employee isentered into the HR system, through automation, it automatically provisions them, gives them therights to applications, sets them up inside of those applications -- all without IT involved in thatprocess. So no more passing help-desk tickets.One other piece that I wanted to touch on is a product called Webthority that we have been using,not only for our internal users, but also during the M&A process. This is a great product, becauseit provides a portal for the employees to come into. Once again, its secured via that samenetwork log-on that they use when they walk in the door in the morning.This is anywhere, any device. Its simply a portal. They come in, they use their network log on,and bam, theyre shown all the applications that they have visibility into and access to. They cango in, without having to log on again, almost like a single sign-on effect, which allows them toaccess the applications via two-factor authentication as well. Its a great product that helps out inmany ways.
  9. 9. And then that final aspect of an environment is, of course, the support and monitoring.Remember, the key to any IT success is through the happiness and satisfaction of the customers.We recognize that supporting and monitoring their experience and performance is mostimportant, especially when you talk about VDI, which is what you and I have been talking somuch about.Our job is to ensure that the end-users are getting the same type of performance that they wouldon a standalone PC or if their desktop was in the data center. Because without that consistentlygreat performance, your end-users will fight giving up their desktops every time.For this, we turned to monitoring that user experience with Foglight for Virtual Desktops. Beingable to quickly determine which users are impacted by performance problems helps us toproactively take action for those users, before the users feel the pain.Understanding the trends in the virtual environment -- how many people are connecting at anygiven time, what applications are they using, etc. -- helps us determine when we might need toadd additional servers to that server farm, and to meet the load. Or we can even look at a desktopor an end-user and say, "You know what? I dont think these folks should be virtualized at all.Perhaps they should go back to being physical" -- for whatever reason.Empirical dataYou cant correct what you dont know and you need that empirical data to make an educatedmove. Foglight gives us that data, ensuring we are consistently improving the environment forthe end-users. Its a great set of products that touch on all three phases of an environment or ateam thats trying to solve this BYOD issue.Gardner: It really strikes me too that this isnt really about devices, but its about the data center,the tools, the management, the governance, all of which are probably things that are good IT bestpractices anyway. It almost sounds as if BYOD is forcing discipline, governance, automation;some of the basics of good, advanced and modern IT. Is that sort of what you are seeing, isBYOD a catalyst to better data-center management?Fawcett: It can definitely be used that way, because it does all go back to how an individual in agiven role gets access to the applications they need to get their job done. It shouldnt matterwhich device they are using. Its all about which application access they should have to get theirjob done.Gardner: Of course when you put in the best practices, when you have the backups and youhave the scheduling and the automation, this all will end up being an economic benefit as well,because you wont suffer terrible outages, you wont have issues of discovery for data when youneed it and how you need it.
  10. 10. Of course, you can start to look at your total cost for your data center and tweak and manage forenergy facilities, capacity and utilization. It sounds as if not only is BYOD a catalyst for betterdata center practices, but it could be some significant means of reducing your total cost ofoperation.Fawcett: Absolutely. Weve always looked at containing IT budgets as a means to an end. Whenyou sit back and think about it, the only way to do that is through simplification, standardizationand automation.If you dont have that last piece, that automation piece, and youre simply throwing heads tosolve an issue, your IT expenses are going to go through the roof. And youre going to haveunhappy customers in the end, because processes are going to be overcomplicated. Its all aboutcontaining the IT budget through best practices and automation.Gardner: Well, great. Im afraid we are about out of time. Youve been listening to a sponsoredBriefingsDirect podcast discussion on users’ personal use, ownership and even maintenance oftheir own computing and mobile devices, and how thats actually making more sense, for moreorganizations, for more reasons.We have seen how this has benefits far beyond just the users’ sense of empowerment; wereseeing that there are benefits to IT advancements along the lines of centralized applicationsupport, data support, VDI implementations, better DR, data protection and even more.Thank you so much. Weve been talking about how BYOD impacts organizations, in particularQuest Software, a Dell company, and we have been learning this from Carol Fawcett. She is theCIO at Dell Software. Thanks so much.Fawcett: Thank you.Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. Thanks also to you,our audience, for joining us. We hope you enjoyed this, and we hope you come back next time.Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Sponsor: Quest SoftwareTranscript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on how Quest, a Dell company, leverages VDI andBYOD to improve application support, backup, and disaster recovery. Copyright InterarborSolutions, LLC, 2005-2012. All rights reserved.You may also be interested in: • New Levels of Automation and Precision Needed to Optimize Backup and Recovery in Virtualized Environments • Ocean Observatories Initiative: Cloud and Big Data come together to give scientists unprecedented access to essential climate insights
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