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Unified endpoint management evolved from a variety of predecessors, including mobile device management and enterprise mobility management. The next step in the enterprise mobility market evolution could be the digital workspace.
Two major digital workspace vendors, Citrix and VMware, fold elements of unified endpoint management (UEM) into their offerings. Let's look at the UEM capabilities of Citrix Workspace vs. VMware Workspace One.
UEM meets digital workspace
The adoption of UEM in the enterprise has increased in the past few years. UEM products allow IT pros to manage all the organization's devices through a single interface, regardless of device type. UEM platforms allow IT pros to manage PCs, macOS, Apple iOS and Google Android devices.
There are a variety of UEM products on the market today, but some of these products, such as Citrix Workspace and VMware Workspace One, go beyond providing basic UEM capabilities by creating entire digital workspaces.
A digital workspace is a platform that allows a user to remotely access all enterprise data and applications. Digital workspace products are usually designed to work with a wide variety of device types and allow both users and IT pros to access enterprise resources, including operating systems, files and apps, from nearly any device in any location.
Although the digital workspace market is still relatively new, Citrix and VMware have been offering solutions for remote workers for several years. Citrix, for example, initially offered a mobility management product called XenMobile. XenMobile eventually evolved into Citrix Endpoint Management, which has been incorporated into Citrix Workspace.
VMware's products have undergone a similar evolution. VMware purchased AirWatch in 2014. The AirWatch enterprise mobility management capabilities were eventually integrated into VMware's Workspace One.
UEM features in Citrix Workspace vs. VMware Workspace One
VMware Workspace One and Citrix Workspace offer similar capabilities, but the two products are not identical to one another. Organizations should evaluate the two products against several key areas.
Device and OS support. One of the most critical factors to consider is which devices and operating systems the two platforms support. Device and OS support directly affects usability.
Citrix Workspace supports a wide variety of devices and operating systems, including Android, Chrome OS, iOS, iPadOS, MacOS, tvOS, Windows 10, Windows Mobile/Windows CE, Raspberry PI, Symbian, Samsung SAFE and Knox, HTC and Sony devices.
VMware Workspace One also supports a large number of devices and operating systems. Most notably, Workspace One supports iOS, Windows 10, Windows Mobile and Android. However, VMware also lists dozens of individual Android products that it supports.
Integrations with other products. Digital workspace software, by its nature, must interact with various resources both in the cloud and in an organization's data center. That's why it's important for organizations to consider how well these products will integrate with other resources that they already use.
Both VMware and Citrix offer very compelling integrations. Some of the products that VMware Workspace One integrates with include VMware Identity Manager, Azure AD, Microsoft Intune, Active Directory Federation Service and Microsoft Office 365.
Like VMware, Citrix provides solid integration options for products such as Active Directory, Azure AD and Microsoft Office 365. Citrix Workspace also works with Citrix Federated Authentication Service.
Version updating. Citrix Workspace was originally known as XenDesktop but was renamed to Citrix Workspace in 2018. Most of Citrix's updates apply to Citrix Workspace App, which is the client component to Citrix Workspace. The full release history is on Citrix's website.
VMware does not seem to publish a comprehensive version history list, but the company does release updates on a frequent basis -- often multiple times per month. Version 1903, for example, was released on February 11, 2020. Version 1910 was released days later on February 25, 2020. The current version, 1912, was released on March 23, 2020.
BYOD support. VMware Workspace One fully supports BYOD users. Users are simply prompted to provide their email address, username and password to gain access to all of their apps. Users do not have to enroll their personal devices to gain access to applications. Instead, they can simply download an app from the app store. There are ways for IT to enforce device enrollment, however, if an organization needs to.
Citrix also allows BYOD users to work from personal devices. Citrix does provide comprehensive BYOD support, but not all of the company's BYOD functionality is rolled into Workspace. Citrix's BYOD support extends across products including Workspace, Virtual Apps and Desktops, Endpoint Management, Content Collaboration, ADC and SD-WAN.
Consider the cost of Citrix Workspace vs. VMware Workspace One
When it comes to purchasing a new product, cost is always a big factor. The costs of Citrix Workspace vs. VMware Workspace One are relatively comparable. Still, organizations should weigh the features against the pricing structures of each product to determine whether they are worth the costs.
How to choose Citrix Workspace vs. VMware Workspace One
Both Citrix Workspace and VMware Workspace One are solid products, and neither is clearly superior to the other. Cost is always a consideration in a purchasing decision, but an organization's existing infrastructure should drive the decision. If an organization is already heavily invested in VMware products, for example, then VMware Workspace One would be a logical fit. Likewise, Citrix shops will be well positioned to adopt Citrix Workspace. Organizations should also consider device support, although both products support most mainstream devices.