At VMware, our highest priority is to deliver exceptional customer experiences, from innovative products to superior support. We achieve this in part by building a delightful work environment for our employees. That’s because when employees are supported well and can easily collaborate with colleagues and customers around the world, they can deliver better experiences and greater value.
Says VMware CIO Bask Iyer, “Great benefit derives from great experiences. That’s why outstanding customer and colleague experiences are our top priorities.”
Our IT team plays a big part in creating an outstanding VMware employee experience by giving colleagues the freedom to use the productivity tools they prefer. Because we collaborate daily with colleagues, customers and partners, it’s important that our people have access to easy-to-use tools that integrate well with the variety of tools our customers and partners may use.
VMware employees have their choice of productivity options, including Windows or MacOS laptops and a selection of team collaboration software. While all alternatives must meet our standards for cost, scale and security, over time our IT organisation consolidates toolsets to those tools services colleagues clearly prefer to use—and only if tool proliferation becomes an issue.
That’s how VMware came to standardise on Zoom software for video communications. Because of its ease of use and tight integration with the VMware Workspace ONE digital workspace solution, Zoom was quickly adopted across the company.
Iyer points out that Zoom’s integration with the single sign-on capabilities of VMware Workspace ONE, as well as with VMware’s other productivity tools, proved important enablers. For example, from within Microsoft Outlook, colleagues can instantly schedule a Zoom Rooms video conference. Once in a Zoom Room—where the software-based system runs on standard x86 hardware and integrates audio conferencing, wireless screen sharing and video conferencing—any meeting attendee can launch the video conference quickly and easily at the click of a button.
Says Iyer, “We’re rolling out Zoom Rooms to most of our 1,500 meeting rooms around the globe to enable this frictionless video conferencing.”
Watching the meteoric rise of Zoom Video Communications in the market has been a personal experience for Iyer because he’s been a business advisor to the Zoom leadership team since the very early days of the company. With his colleagues’ experience in mind, Iyer advises Zoom on the collaboration needs of large companies, drawing from his 25 years in leadership roles at firms such as Juniper Networks, Honeywell and GlaxoSmithKline Beecham. Iyer says he was drawn to Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan’s dedication to his customers and the company’s singular focus on “happy customers,” as that’s VMware’s goal too.
It wasn’t Iyer’s association that tipped VMware in Zoom’s favour, though. Rather, employees’ preference for Zoom’s intuitive, consumer-like video conferencing experience led to its rapid adoption at VMware. Iyer explains that Zoom works out of the box and is hardware-agnostic, so it’s easy to set up and run with a camera-equipped laptop or monitor, or with a webcam, monitor and speakers. And because Zoom is integrated with the Workspace ONE digital workspace, users can access the video conferencing platform easily, wherever they are.
This tight integration also means VMware IT teams can automate software updates to devices running Zoom and monitor them for security and compliance based on policy. “The magic happens because of Workspace ONE and security,” says Iyer.
Iyer says the power of unified management and single sign-on via Workspace ONE opens a world of possibilities for VMware with Zoom. Integrating virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) into video conferencing feels like a natural next-gen progression. So instead of remote employees dialing into a company all-hands meeting and passively watching executives speak on video, Iyer imagines employees could interact with the rest of the audience and all the executives through an enabled VR headset. “The opportunities you have with our technologies plus VR is sky high,” Iyer adds.
Eventually Iyer foresees combining biometric recognition with solutions like Workspace ONE and Zoom so people can log into Zoom Rooms using facial recognition. No need to ever remember meeting access passwords.
As apps proliferate and people’s consumer-tech experiences continue to raise the expectations of their on-the-job tech experiences, the business world accelerates its adoption of new tech. A philosophy that prioritises customer delight and employee choice, coupled with flexible, integrated technologies enables Iyer and other IT organisations like VMware’s to deliver the experiences people expect, and that empower them to do their best work where they happen to be. ▪