Steria today unveiled Workplace On Command, a centrally-managed aggregated services offering which provides users with easy and secure access to enterprise applications, data and cloud services, regardless of location and access device. What’s particularly interesting is that it’s pitched as “the first virtualised enterprise workplace accessible via a Web portal from any device, anytime, anywhere”.

As smartphones and tablets increase their hold on the consumer market, an increasing number of employees want to use personal mobile devices for work purposes, and this makes the balance of security and mobility a key issue for organisations.

Workplace On Command allows organisations to create a bespoke environment, combining infrastructure and services, which is fully supported by Steria and Microsoft. As a fully integrated set of services, Workplace On Command offers a unique solution to the challenges posed by the rapid evolution of technology, squeezed budgets and the consumerisation of IT.

Compatible with devices running Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, Android, and BlackBerry OS, Workplace On Command benefits from a combination of Microsoft technology to support the multi-tenancy architecture with the next version of Windows Server 2008 R2, and System Center 2012, enabling users to customise the enterprise desktop ‘on command’.

It also takes advantage of Citrix technology to virtualise desktops and applications to users wherever they are located, allowing organisations to manage requests through the ‘Steria Workstore’, which is built on Cisco’s Cloud Portal platform. This enterprise app store allows users to access their profile and services, subscribe to new services and review monthly consumption to control costs.

Microsoft Office products included are: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, Project, Visio, Publisher and Office 365. But, as each profile is pre-determined by the enterprise and programmed centrally, the solution requires minimal ongoing management but offers maximum flexibility. Should users require additional services outside, they can search for them and request access.

“As businesses look to cut costs, cloud-based solutions will continue to grow in popularity,” said François Enaud, Steria Group CEO. “Steria has invested in the very best technology to meet these requirements and Workplace on Command, and its Workstore portal, is the first comprehensive set of cloud-services for any end-user.

“It offers multiple benefits for businesses battling tight budgets including reduced total cost of ownership of the desktop, customisation and personalisation based on the user’s working profile, and the ability to only pay for services used. Workplace On Command builds on Steria’s existing IT-On-Command offerings and its successful track record of virtual desktop deployment, providing the workplace of the future.”

Eric Boustouller, President Microsoft France, Vice President Microsoft International, said: “The WOC offering is completely aligned with our consumerisation of IT strategy. We are seeing positive momentum for our cloud offerings like Office 365 and Windows Azure across both large accounts and small businesses, and appreciate the demand for business services via cloud platforms.

Ensuring organisations have all the right tools to function effectively is crucial for productivity, so we are delighted to see that Workplace On Command allows employees to access our ‘off the shelf’, web-based and software-as-a-service solutions. We believe that Workplace On Command will be a valuable addition to the market.”

Workplace on Command delivers multiple benefits including (from press release):

  • User satisfaction – meet end user expectations for a modern, rapid, flexible and easy-to-use enterprise workplace
  • Improving productivity – provisioning resources according to employees’ individual business and communications needs means they can work more effectively while enjoying a personalised user experience
  • Minimising risk – centrally storing and managing data in the cloud means that a lost or stolen device can be immediately wiped or blacklisted remotely so it loses the ability to connect to the desktop, without damaging any information, making it easier for organisations to meet increasingly strict regulatory compliance
  • Transforming infrastructure – simplifying and streamlining the existing workplace and provisioning new services and systems allows businesses to access and deploy the latest technologies in a way that best suits them
  • Reducing costs – cloud-hosting and central management reduces outgoings across the business from real estate and facilities, energy consumption, operational management, to technology refresh programmes. In addition, the ‘pay per use’ structure maximises return on investment by ensuring customers only pay for what they use.