Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is now available for Microsoft 365 Business subscribers, so SME customers can now get started safely and productively anywhere. Read the article..
Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is available worldwide. This is exciting news for service providers because WVD is a very powerful platform to develop a successful cloud strategy and gradually transform into a cloud-minded enterprise. How can WVD help service providers build a future-proof business?
Windows Virtual Desktop is a new cloud platform service running within Microsoft Azure to virtualize fully managed desktops and apps. It is the only virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) that provides simplified management, multi-session Windows 10, Office 365 ProPlus optimizations and support for RDS environments.
Key Benefits of WVD
With WVD, service providers benefit:
- unlimited scalability, availability and continuous updates and new features
- Huge cost savings when maintaining, updating and renewing the data center on site; the infrastructure is delivered entirely by Microsoft as a PaaS model.
- Easy and fast deployment of existing and new services in WVD
- Great user experience for their end customers, thanks to the seamless connection between Azure-native WVD and Office 365.
Windows Virtual Desktop vs. Windows Virtual Desktop
Before we continue with examples about setting up a WVD business, we need to clear up a big misunderstanding about the concept of Windows Virtual Desktop. To be honest, we also found it confusing when we first heard about WVD.
The first thing you should know: there is Windows Virtual Desktop and Windows Virtual Desktop. While they may seem the same, they're actually two different things. On the one hand, the term is used in a hypervisor environment to virtualize multiple computers on one physical machine and create virtual desktops. If this is done with a Windows OS, you have created a virtual Windows desktop. However, Windows Virtual Desktop, or WVD, which we are talking about here, is a different concept. WVD, as launched by Microsoft in 2019, is in fact a completely new PaaS/SaaS approach from Microsoft, and is actually the future of Remote Desktop Services (RDS).
Why WVD is important for your future business?
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, the main argument to consider WVD is probably one we heard from one of our partners when Office 365 was first introduced. They said, "When Office 365 was launched, we didn't move quickly because we thought we could do better ourselves. But then the customer started asking for Office 365. Because we couldn't help them, they went to our competitors. We really missed out on new business opportunities then."
The same can happen to WVD. It can't be denied: the world is switching to the cloud at lightning speed, both in business and in private life. Vendors like Microsoft follow a cloud-first strategy; customers demand cloud solutions; new businesses are born in the cloud. To remain successful and competitive, it's better to think about how to work with the cloud than to ignore it.
What can you do?
Having said that, we understand that it's not easy to change what has always worked for you. During the Insight Cloud Journey, we'll be working with service providers at different stages of where they're related to the cloud. From initial explorations to building, implementing and managing their cloud services. For most service providers, the intention is to change gradually; finding low-threshold opportunities to expand the existing business with profitable cloud services. Use WVD's managed infrastructure and differentiate your business by building services around it. So what can you do?
1) Move your backup and disaster recovery files to the cloud
A very simple first step is to move backup and disaster recovery files from the internal data center to Azure. Implementing backup and cloud DR already frees up a lot of time, which can be spent thinking about the cloud and developing a cloud strategy to help improve the business.
2) Add consultancy value to your current offering
Most service providers are likely to implement WVD to deploy managed virtual desktops with Office 365 for their end customers. How can you differentiate yourself from everyone else? By going beyond the pure implementation of Office 365 and expanding the offerings with tailored advice and assistance to your end customers on what they want to achieve. For example, about collaboration, safety, mobility and more.
3) Advising on and migrating older applications to the cloud
Many end users want to move their legacy applications to the cloud to be more productive. They don't use a full desktop application, but need just enough IT to push email and scheduling to their remote terminals. With their knowledge and experience, service providers are in an excellent position to advise end customers and help them use the applications they need in a way that is most effective and efficient for them.
4) Expand your offering with ready-to-use third party applications
Microsoft Azure Marketplace is a rich catalog of thousands of third-party business applications. Ready-to-use and guaranteed by Microsoft to work seamlessly with other Azure applications and services. There is a wide range of applications to build around WVD and Office 365 that fit your strategy and meet the needs of end customers. Ranging from AI and machine learning to Internet of Things, chatbots, DevOps, containers and ready to be integrated with existing offerings.
Start with a pilot
No service provider should feel compelled to switch to Azure. However, we are evangelists to think about the cloud, to be ready for it tomorrow. For example, start a pilot with a new customer. Experience how things work in the cloud, what your experiences and/or benefits are and how the organization works with them. Consider WVD especially when new investments or hardware replacements need to be made in the internal data center within three years. Calculate what's more rewarding: make all CapEx investments at once or continue with the cloud instead. The experience is already there; you only need to implement it according to your requirements.
Empowering organizations to achieve more
The fact is, we're in a digital transformation. Users require more and more IT to achieve their business or personal goals and challenges. This means that the role of service provider is also changing, from technical companies that keep apps and infrastructure running, to companies that help customers achieve their goals and challenges. Microsoft's mission to empower everyone and every organization on the planet to achieve more is exactly in line with the new role of service providers. Why not follow this example? And Insight can help.
If you want to know more, listen to our WVD webinar.