Ready, Fire, Aim! With Client Virtualization, Are You As Ready As You Think?

Michael Masterson's book "Ready, Fire, Aim" is one of my favorites. Masterson, a serial entrepreneur who has built dozens of businesses, some to $100 million in revenue and beyond, explains that the biggest determiner between success and failure is how quickly we get going and execute…even if the plan isn't perfect. Spot on!

But, Masterson also takes great care to explain how critical (and often misunderstood) being truly "ready" is, and that "firing" without actually being ready is as bad as if not worse than delaying for perfection. So what do we do? Where do we draw the line when it comes to projects like client virtualization, with hundreds of moving parts, politics galore, and very little objective, unbiased information available?

Answer: The winners will get going today…now...and will get ready by talking to the people their work will ultimately serve, and learn enough about their needs and the technology and best practices to avoid the mistakes most likely to result in failure -- knowledge that they will acquire in less than 90 days. The fire process starts the moment they make an investment in new people or technology, and the aiming process continues through the life cycle of the service, steadily improving in value, effectiveness, and efficiency.

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Cisco and Citrix: Enhancing the Value of Desktop Virtualization

Cisco announced today a five-year strategic alliance with Citrix in the desktop virtualization space.  As a first outcome of their new alliance, Cisco WAAS will be optimized for Citrix XenDesktop.  It’s designed to improve the end-user experience such that it has “LAN-like” performance.  This translates into the capability of a more rich Unified Communication experience—HD quality video, faster print jobs, and improved app performance.  Rather than buying several products to get this done, this is nicely packaged as one solution for virtual and physical desktops.

What does this mean for Sourcing and Vendor Management (SVM) professionals and what can you do? 

1.       If your organization isn’t looking at this, it will be forced to within your next refresh cycle.  While Desktop Virtualization has been around for years, it’s more recently been attracting enterprise customers at a very robust growth rate.  Most resellers I’ve spoken to enjoy double digit semi-annual growth rates as high as 40% in inquiries and many of them include desktop virtualization on tablets.  At this stage, most companies are still in education mode, but adoption appears to be steadily increasing.  If you’re not working on it right now, spend the time to get educated on the various flavors and the elements of the project that lead to savings for your organization.  ROI will vary from company to company due to the varying desktop environments.

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Can You Use Microsoft IE 8 Via VMware ThinApp? It Depends On Who You Ask.

As soon as you think you understand software companies’ policies on virtualization, a new problem appears that makes you tear your hair out and scratch your now-bald head. This month’s conundrum is whether or not VMware’s ThinApp product breaches your Microsoft Windows license agreement:

  • VMware promotes this product with the headline “Extend the Life of Legacy Applications, Including IE 6 Applications, with Windows 7 Support.” http://www.vmware.com/products/thinapp/overview.html
  • However, Microsoft, via its knowledge base, claims that “Running multiple versions of Windows Internet Explorer, or portions of Windows Internet Explorer, on a single instance of Windows is an unlicensed and unsupported solution.” http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2020599/en-us#top
  • VMware doesn’t warn customers that ThinApp could cause them Microsoft licensing problems, but neither does it claim that it is legal. It merely advises customers to check with Microsoft.
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