Weigh VMware Workspace One pricing against its benefits

VMware Workspace One is one of the leading workspace products, but it can be a steep investment. Determine whether the price tag will be worth it for your organization.

VMware Workspace One is one of the top digital workspace products on the market, but for many IT teams, it's not always clear if the cost is worth the investment.

The more features an organization needs for Workspace One, the more expensive it gets. Organizations should conduct a careful analysis to determine accurate Workspace One pricing and whether its benefits justify the cost.

Workspace One features and benefits

Workspace One is a digital workspace product that integrates endpoint management, application management and access control into a secure, unified platform. Workspace One provides administrators with the tools they need to deliver and manage mobile, web, cloud, Windows and macOS applications on an assortment of devices, including Android, iOS, macOS and Windows 10.

End users can access the resources they need through Workspace One's centralized Intelligent Hub, which provides catalog and onboarding services, along with features such as Home, People and Notifications. Workspace One also offers the Intelligent Hub app for Android and iOS so end users can easily access resources from their mobile devices. In addition, Workspace One includes Boxer, an all-in-one email, calendar and contacts application that can integrate with services such as Box, Dropbox and Evernote.

Workspace One can integrate with Microsoft Active Directory and other Lightweight Directory Access Protocol directories, as well as with identity solutions from providers such as Okta, CA or Ping Identity. It provides risk-based conditional policies for controlling resource access, along with data loss prevention policies. Plus, Workspace One offers data encryption, threat detection, antimalware services, advanced persistent threat prevention and automated remediation.

Workspace One also provides intelligence-driven insights and automation to ensure security and compliance, as well as streamline operations. Workspace One Intelligence aggregates and correlates device, application and user data to provide a complete view across the environment, enabling administrators to quickly resolve issues.

Determine Workspace One pricing

VMware offers four editions of Workspace One: Standard, Advanced, Enterprise and Enterprise for VDI. Some VMware documentation also mentions an Application Access edition but provides few details, other than to suggest it's an entry-point product on a level below the Standard edition. All five editions are available as cloud subscriptions, and all but the Enterprise for VDI edition are available as on-premises products with perpetual licenses.

VMware offers four editions of Workspace One: Standard, Advanced, Enterprise and Enterprise for VDI.

VMware does not publish prices for the perpetual licenses but does for the cloud subscriptions, which are available on a per-device or per-user basis and with either Basic Support or Production Support. For example, the Standard plan with Basic Support runs $3.51 per device, per month or $6.18 per user, per month. For Production Support, the monthly rates jump to $3.78 per device or $6.52 per user. Compare these to the monthly rates for the Enterprise for VDI edition, which offers only Production Support at a rate of $20 per device or $25 per user.

These rates mean nothing, however, without an understanding of the differences between editions. The Application Access edition is aimed primarily at customers looking for catalog services and single sign-on (SSO) services for web and mobile apps. This edition does not support managed devices. The Standard edition does, however. It offers access management, mobile application management, mobile device management and other unified endpoint management (UEM) features, as well as limited reporting capabilities.

The Advanced edition includes everything in the Standard edition but kicks it up a notch by also offering more security and UEM features. The Enterprise edition adds even more bells and whistles, including Workspace One Intelligence services, such as app analytics and an automation decision engine. In addition, the Enterprise edition supports virtual applications. The Enterprise for VDI edition is identical to the Enterprise edition, except that it also provides desktop virtualization. Organizations looking for the full benefits of analytics and automation, along with a virtualization platform, have two options: the Enterprise or Enterprise for VDI edition.

Consider the competition, vendor lock-in

Citrix Workspace is VMware Workspace One's main competitor, and comparing the two is not a simple process. Both vendors offer comprehensive platforms that are rich in features and capabilities. Organizations trying to decide between the two must compare them on a feature-by-feature basis to determine which one might best fit their individual needs.

IT should also compare the cost of both products. For example, Citrix charges $27 per user, per month for its top-level Premium Plus plan, compared to VMware's $25 rate for the Enterprise for VDI edition. On the surface, this might not seem like a large difference, but if an organization is supporting 1,000 employees over a three-year period, that difference jumps to $72,000.

On the other hand, if an organization is already committed to the Citrix ecosystem, paying the extra costs could be worth it in the long term. Organizations must spend a significant amount of time and resources when they switch over to new systems.

Vendor lock-in is another potential factor. Once an organization commits to a vendor, it's difficult to pull out of it or switch to other technologies. In addition, an organization has no control over future price increases or internal maintenance schedules, which can dictate when and how systems are upgraded.

Organizations should also determine whether they even need a workspace product. Why incur the expense of a full-blown digital workspace when IT only needs an identity and access management (IAM) service? For example, OneLogin offers IAM plans that start at $2 per user, per month, with a minimum of 25 users. For that amount, organizations receive SSO services, single directory integration, advanced password reset and other features.

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