EUC Explore Minneapolis 2017

I had a great time at last year’s EUC Day, so I was excited to get back to Minneapolis for this year’s event. Like last year’s EUC Day, this was a gathering of EUC professionals near and far and of a variety of skill levels, ranging from at least one double VCDX to some brand new to end-user computing. The variety of sessions were equally diverse, with presentations from product vendors (including VMware), partners/consultants, and product end-users.

In addition to some sessions unique to this event, there were also traveling versions of sessions from VMworld. This was a great opportunity catch some sessions I missed out on while in Vegas due to overlapping offerings. I won’t attempt to summarize every session I attended, but I will point out a few that were of note for me.

Tips and Tricks for Supporting your EUC Solution – Matt Heldstab and Gerard Strouth So I’m leading with this one, as it featured two higher education deployments of VDI and was presented by two community members I’m regularly interacting with online, so there was a lot of appeal for me in this session.

The session itself did not disappoint, there was some great discussion here and applicable content for beginners and experts alike. Additionally, being in education, it was great to hear about some other deployments, always good to have points of comparison. (Now if I could just find someone doing automated deployments of the macOS client.)

The Secret Sauce Behind VMware’s Internal Horizon Desktop Deployments – Aresh Sarkari Following in the sprit of telling people what you’ve done in your deployment was this presentation from Aresh. This was one of the sessions I missed out on at VMworld,  but this time around I had the opportunity to not only attend the session, but I got to meet Aresh outside of his session and have great discussions. I also think he now has the distinction of being my furthest away EUC contact.

I’m sure this session being VMware’s own deployment gave it some additional clout, but overall it was a nicely done presentation on the previous environment, goals for the new environment, current state of new environment, struggles faced along the way, and future plans. I think this was a great format/flow and one that could be followed by a lot of folks at future events. Maybe you’re the person to give one of these presentations? Check out Matt Heldstab’s recent blog post on presenting and give it a go!

End-User Computing is Driving Rapid Innovation (Keynote) Shawn Bass I hate putting Shawn at the end of this summary and certainly appreciate him coming to deliver the opening keynote. However, while there’s a lot to like in the Workspace One vision, probably not something I’m going to be implementing in the short-term. Keep an eye on Twitter, I’ll post there first if I have to eat these words. Also, if you have not seen this presentation, there’s a recording of this year’s VMworld EUC Spotlight Keynote, Delivering New User Experiences with Digital Workspaces and VMware – EDW7002KU , which includes all of this.

Ask the Experts Panel I don’t want to leave out the Ask the Experts Panel, as that was great, but I’m including it and a similar VMworld session in another upcoming blog post.

Liquidware Vendor Presentation – Jack Smith Another one I didn’t want to leave off the list, but I’ll discuss Windows 10 a bit further along in this post.

Community, Community, Community While there were great sessions, I think the biggest returns came from the interactions with other attendees. With the smaller event size and focus on EUC, anyone you struck up a conversation with was likely to have an overlapping interest of some type. I even managed to find someone else that shared the same seemingly rare antivirus configuration in their environment.

Windows 10 A constant theme across sessions, hallway conversations, and vendor booths was the changes in practices necessitated by the rapid release schedule and severity of changes seen with Windows 10. I’m starting to feel like rapid rate of change to the release schedule could be added to this list of challenges as well. This conversation certainly isn’t limited to this event, you’ll find it through out the EUC community online and in-person.

This is one area I feel a bit behind as I am not responsible for any production Windows 10 desktops. This is definitely something I’ll have to be looking at this more in the months ahead.

One immediately useful piece of piece of useful information was something Gerard brought up concerning Microsoft release channels. Microsoft’s stated guideline is that any system running Office, shouldn’t be running LTSC. Wanting something I could pass along to some colleagues, I then tracked this down in an MS document, “Overview of Windows as a service“.

Conclusion If you’re in any way involved in EUC utilizing VMware products, I’d highly encourage you to attend a future EUC Explore event. There’s a phenomenal network of EUC professionals that live to share experiences. You have one more opportunity to experience an EUC Explore event in the US this year, cohosted with the Atlanta, GA VMUG on October 19, make some plans to get there!