Author: Mike Steffy, IT Solutions Group, Indianapolis Design Center
At this year’s company briefing, I was fortunate to share with you our strategy regarding our virtual workspace and how it would be a key component of enabling work sharing between staff regardless of the geographic locations of our people and design centers. Little did any of us know this would be put to an extreme test as we all began working from our homes due to the coronavirus. At the briefing, I remember saying “It just works.” That particular statement was based on previous years of using the technology in all nine of our design centers. I am now very happy to report that indeed, even in this extreme case, our virtual workspace environment is performing very well and as we believed it could. One thing I realize now is this solution will perform even better as we eventually move back to our design center locations, and that is based on much of the feedback we have received from all of you. In addition, our design centers have fast, reliable network connections that are not dependent on internet traffic.
I want to thank each of you who have given feedback and/or responded to the emails from IT, looking for information to improve the overall experience. Our IT Group is fully vested in ensuring you have the best experience possible.
Here is some data illustrating just how this historical time has impacted the virtual workspace environment.
Total User Sessions: 1,710
Unique Users: 201
Total User Sessions: 4,008
Unique Users: 337
Total User Sessions: 5,104
Unique Users: 268
Below are a few virtual workspace myth busters to share while the virtual workspace is a focal point for the majority of our staff.
- The virtual workspace desktop I use slows down as more people access it.
The hardware running the environment is designed to provide the same experience to all users regardless of the load on the system. The speed of the internet connection being utilized is the main culprit for the desktop slowing down. It is important to note that we have predictable, fast, and efficient private network connections in our design centers, which is a big plus to improving the virtual workstation performance.
- My virtual workspace desktop doesn’t have the same software as a co-worker.
The virtual workspace environment delivers the same software to everyone who accesses that desktop. Each user logs on and creates a profile that is then matched to the desktop. The user profile contains items like Outlook profile, shortcuts, taskbar programs, and File Explorer quick access favorites, which are the items that can be different from any other user.
- My virtual workspace doesn’t have any software in the Windows start menu.
All software installed on the virtual workspace desktops is contained within a folder on the desktop. The folder is called Installed Software, and you can copy the shortcuts to the desktop so you can access it from there. I generally open this folder and leave it open then access any software from this location.