Today, we are excited to announce that everything you love about Workspace Environment Management (WEM) is now available from Citrix Cloud. Leading up to Citrix Synergy, we announced the upcoming availability of the Workspace Environment Management service from Citrix Cloud. WEM adds incredible value to your XenApp and XenDesktop deployments by optimizing the user experience, accelerating user logins, improving manageability of the user environment, and improving server scalability.

Workspace Environment Management service delivers the same benefits of the on-premises Workspace Environment Management, without the need to install, configure and manage dedicated WEM infrastructure components and database. Workspace Environment Management service makes it easier to harness all the benefits of WEM in an easy-to-use, readily available Citrix Cloud service.

Check out this demo video showcasing how to get up and running with the Workspace Environment Management service:

With the launch of the Workspace Environment Management service, I took the opportunity to interview Pierre Marmignon, founder of Norskale and now Principal Architect for Workspace Environment Management (WEM) and User Profile Management (UPM).

CE: Why should every customer deploy Workspace Environment Management?

PM: Since Citrix introduced WEM, we’ve seen customers reduce their hardware footprints by over 50% and reduce logins from over 2 minutes to 15 seconds. WEM really improves the overall user experience while potentially saving customers money on server hardware. Since WEM is an entitlement of XenApp and XenDesktop Enterprise and Platinum with Customer Success Services, it is really a no-brainer, all customers should deploy WEM for their XenApp and XenDesktop, even if only to optimize resources.

CE: What challenges were you trying to solve for customers when you originally founded Norskale?

PM: I was managing the Citrix practice at a consulting firm, and I saw that there was a gap in the market for a better workspace management solution. Existing solutions were too complex, too slow, and too expensive. The biggest value for customers is optimizing the user’s experience by providing a responsive workspace even when resources are strained—this also increases server scalability—as well as optimizing the login process. So, for me, it was all about improving user experience, cost savings, as well as admin simplicity.

CE: What is the value of delivering Workspace Environment Management as a cloud service?

PM: In the past, Citrix admins had to install all of the WEM infrastructure components in their datacenters as well as maintain and upgrade them. Additionally, they had to manage infrastructure sizing and load balancing of the WEM components. Now, it’s much easier for customers to get up and running with WEM as a cloud service in Citrix Cloud.

CE: How has your role changed since joining Citrix?

PM: I joined Citrix as a Principal Architect for WEM and UPM. I lead the engineering teams to drive new feature and roadmap integration for WEM and UPM across the Citrix portfolio. We have a much bigger engineering team at Citrix dedicated to WEM and UPM than we did at Norskale. Working at Citrix, I now have easy access across the engineering teams – so it’s much easier to obtain the resources I need to work on integrating WEM and UPM into the Citrix Portfolio.

CE: What new innovations has your team developed in Workspace Environment Management since the WEM acquisition nearly two years ago?

PM: An obvious answer is the Workspace Environment Management service from Citrix Cloud. My team has worked hard to incorporate the WEM capabilities into an easy-to-use cloud service. We’ve also added a new Application Security feature to make Microsoft AppLocker policies easier to manage. We’re continuing to improve our optimization capabilities, making them user-based instead of machine-based which enables user-centric optimization. Additionally, we’ve delivered tighter integration with Storefront as well as tighter integration with Active Directory. We’ve also filed three patents for WEM – one for Transformer, one for Workspace Management, and one for Optimization.

CE: What is the future for Workspace Environment Management and User Profile Management?

PM: We are always looking for new ways to optimize the user environment and enhance the environment manageability from the admin perspective – so new features and enhancement are always on the roadmap. We are looking at integration opportunities across our portfolio of products, so expect tighter integration between WEM and Citrix Profile Management, as well as with XenMobile from the endpoint management perspective. Additionally, WEM has access to a number of performance counters so there is a huge opportunity for integration with our analytics platform. And of course, we are going to continue to enhance the new WEM cloud service.

If you currently have WEM deployed on-premises, you can easily export and import your current on-premises settings to your Workspace Environment Management service environment, using the existing native Backup/Restore function, together with Citrix Cloud’s Upload feature.

All Citrix Workspace Premium service, XenApp and XenDesktop service, and XenApp Service customers are eligible for this new service today. You can also leverage the Workspace Environment Management service to deploy the WEM agent to your Windows endpoints used by each licensed user under your XenApp and XenDesktop service licensing. The Workspace Environment Management service will also be an entitlement of the new Endpoint Management solution (coming soon) from Citrix.

By optimizing and managing your existing endpoints with WEM, you can save money with extended PC refresh cycles, improve manageability by configuring user-based policies for your endpoints and virtual desktops within the same console, improve security and reduce help desk calls by locking down the devices with WEM’s Transformer module, and improve the user experience with optimized performance and a consistent user environment.

To get started log into your Citrix Cloud account. If you are entitled to the Workspace Environment Management service, a new tile will appear under ‘My Services’.

Check out the WEM service product documentation for more details.

Did you miss attending Citrix Synergy this year? You can still watch all of the breakout sessions, as well as the opening keynote from Synergy TV, including the Pierre’s breakout session ‘Manage your user experience from Workspace Environment Management Service’.