ESG's Mark Bowker discusses the challenges of connecting remote employees during times of social distancing with Tyler Roher of Liquidware.
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Mark: Hey, Tyler, thanks for joining us today. I've gotta ask, what is your favorite home office of choice now?
Tyler: Oh, my gosh. Well, my favorite home office accoutrements, if you had to put it that way, is a beaten-up old leather chair and a nine-year-old hound dog that's probably going to bark somewhere during the recording, so, you know, proper notice to everyone. It's not a wolf attack, it's my old hound dog.
Mark: It is amazing, right, I mean, we kind of joke about it, but you work on your back porch, by the swimming pool, you know, all these different places that... And you and I are fortunate. We work from home a lot anyway, so we're kind of set up to do it, but talking with people, just amazing the different places they work from. But it certainly does not necessarily make it easy, if you're an IT pro, trying to enable these people working from home or remote work.
What kind of challenges have you seen some of your customers ultimately work through, and even some of their plans that they have going forward?
Tyler: Oh, my gosh. It is, it certainly is, you know, unique times, you know, to say the least. And I actually have kind of gone back to an old quote I remember Bill Joy, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems saying, which is, "Radical change usually comes about through a series of gentle nudges." And I was like, man, that... I mean that for the following reason. You know, I think about where we are today, Mark, and what got us here.
I mean, not just the current virus that's going around the world, but cloud right before it, and virtualization right before that. You know, and then kind of the proliferation of, you know, cheap and powerful microprocessors before that. So I guess I would answer your question by saying thank goodness we went through what we went through, you know, because I'm seeing a lot of companies just get hyper creative.
I think what we're seeing, Mark, is really a plethora of different solutions being brought to bear, everything from Chromebooks that you pick up down at Best Buy, to advanced virtual desktop infrastructure, to, you know, cloud-delivered desktops and apps. And so that's all cool, but now, the really interesting question we're seeing people starting to ask is, "Now what?"
You know, a billion of us at home, what now? Are you seeing that too?
Mark: Definitely. It's kind of interesting. People are even showing us that they become more productive at home, and you absolutely hit the nail right on the head. It's not just one solution, right? People aren't gonna deploy just a single solution that's gonna solve the scenario for all their employees, so there's these different solutions that just makes it hard for an IT professional to say, "All right, we had a business continuity plan, but it was really to this geography. We didn't have a global business continuity plan."
Or, "We had maybe virtual apps and desktops. We had it to this kind of use case." Now they're looking for ways to really take it across the entire company. So, what I like to say is, hey, the technology works, but the only constant is change, and therefore, IT ultimately has to adapt to that.
Tyler: Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, what we're seeing right now, I mean, as far as the kind of architectures du jour are, okay, you know, I've figured out how to boot an instance of Windows, great. I've figured out how to get some applications to you, fantastic. And you, and this is where it gets kind of interesting, we used to call it "rogue IT," but now you could call it the bleeding edge of innovation. I think a lot more willingness on the part of IT to embrace maybe those consumerization platforms that we've seen.
I mean, look at us here chatting on Zoom. I mean, we're recording on Zoom. A huge percentage of my conversations take place on Zoom. Okay, well, if Zoom isn't functioning, that's now a tier one app in my organization. How do I fix it? How do I optimize it? You know, and they've got tons of solutions, and, you know, you'll see these trust advisors starting to put their thinking caps on in kind of new ways, and that's exciting too.
Mark: Yeah, no, I totally agree. Let's stay in touch. I mean, I think you and I have been around this for a long time, and it's super interesting to watch how, you know, how creative companies are really getting, to be able to... You're right. How do I enable collaboration, enable communication, but still be able to securely deliver, you know, that kind of ultimate experience to an end user, so they can get their job done as well.
So, thank you very much for taking the time. Keep the dog safe, and let's stay in touch.
Tyler: I will, I will. Never underestimate the power of Milk-Bones, Mark. Milk-Bones and a good nap. But no, I appreciate the time, and yeah, let's keep it an ongoing conversation, because there's only a billion of us, you know, trying to figure this all out.
Mark: Good deal. Thank you, Tyler.
Tyler: Thanks, Mark. Stay safe.