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Summary

VMware has announced the acquisition of AetherPal, a provider of remote support technologies. AetherPal's technology has been resold by VMware for almost two years as an add-on to Workspace ONE. We expect VMware to integrate AetherPal's capabilities into the Workspace ONE platform, benefiting businesses that have embraced unified endpoint management (UEM).

Remote support for the mobile workforce has proved challenging

Remotely supporting employees used to be a relatively straightforward activity for IT administrators, largely because employees tended to work in a single fixed location and used a standard set of technologies provisioned by the business. However, the modern worker is different. Not only are they more flexible in terms of where they work, they also use a broader variety of devices and applications to get work done. These new workplace dynamics present businesses with challenges around how to effectively support this mobile workforce. Automated troubleshooting systems have helped, but being able to connect and troubleshoot more complex issues firsthand remains important for many support teams.

Remote support technologies are important because they help improve employee experiences and business efficiencies by reducing productivity downtime that can be caused by various issues. AetherPal technology enables support personnel to remotely support issues users may be experiencing across a wide range of different device types and operating systems. The solution also enables employees to interact with on-device tutorials and training that can help improve app adoption. In the case of VMware's acquisition and anticipated rich integration of AetherPal's capabilities, the process of remotely supporting users can be made easier because of the wealth of device, operating system (OS), and network information that can be delivered via the Workspace ONE platform. This intelligence and the ability for support staff to seamlessly connect to a variety of different device and OS types will make it easier and quicker for support personnel to reach a resolution to any issue. This makes this native remote support solution a compelling proposition over a standalone alternative. The context behind users that can be provided via Workspace ONE also makes for some exciting potential to enhance the GuideMe training capabilities currently offered by AetherPal.

How to remotely support a workforce that is increasingly reliant on a plethora of different device types and applications has been a challenge for enterprises. To deliver better employee experiences, support functions need tools that can assist them in seamlessly supporting people across different locations, devices, and apps. As VMware is heavily invested in UEM, this acquisition makes a lot of sense because the vendor will, in time, be able to offer a native set of capabilities that will help businesses in supporting hardware and software ecosystems that are becoming increasingly diverse and complex.

Appendix

Further reading

VMware Announces Intent to Acquire AetherPal to Expand Remote Support Capabilities. Available from <https://blogs.vmware.com/euc/2019/02/advanced-remote-management.html> [Accessed February 2019].

Author

Adam Holtby, Senior Analyst, Workspace Services

adam.holtby@ovum.com

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