Category Archives: Partner Posts

The Psychology Behind Taking Desktops Virtual

Our great friend and strategic partner, Michael Fraser of VDI Space  posted a great article on LinkedIn today about the psychology aspect of going virtual (cross-posted by permission):

The Psychology Behind Taking Desktops Virtual

Desktop virtualization is not a new technology; it has been around for years. The desktop is going through radical change. Think of desktop virtualization as puberty. I can sum it as one phrase – RADICAL CHANGE. What end user likes CHANGE, let alone RADICAL CHANGE? There is a true emotional attachment to the desktop. An end user is like a teenager, in the sense of the fact that they feel an entitlement to have their desktop setup however they want, and if they cannot, they will try every way to rebel and customize their system. A lot of organizations have their users all setup as administrators, so like a teenager, can you imagine if you had total freedom, and then one day that freedom is taken away. How would a teenager react? They would be very angry. This is how end users view desktop virtualization. Even the smallest change can send end users off the deep end. This is not the end users fault. It is human nature to dislike change. The one sure thing in the technology world is change. Realizing this, we need to dish out what we as IT professional have a hard time doing, compassion. Now, I am not trying to be all new age when I say this. We have to realize that change is difficult, so we need to do things that will help mitigate the end users stress levels when going through this major shift in how end users will be using their desktops.

The desktop is a very intimate tool for end users. It is something they spend more time with than their own family. This creates an emotional bond. The traditional desktop is a tangible object; a user can reach out and touch it, and make it their own.

Do you remember when you bought your first new computer? When that computer arrived you took it out of the box, and you took ownership of it not only physically but also subconsciously. You imprinted on it, and made it yours, an extension of yourself. Well this is how almost all end users view their own desktop, an extension of themselves. They sort their icons a specific way. They line up apps just like they want on the taskbar. There is a picture of their family on vacation on their desktop. The personal emotional connection to their desktop is real. So we need to put this into perspective when we look into desktop virtualization. There has to be a plan in place to ensure that the transition to desktop virtualization is somewhat transparent to users.

A proof of concept is the best way to start, and involve the end users to help gain trust in the difficult transition. Pick from all different kind of users to do the POC. The most difficult users, those who will give good feedback, power users, you get where I am going. Do not just go with the easiest users, as they might get the POC to go from a concept to production, but you will run into issues when the power users complain and ask management to rip the entire system out. Trust me, it will happen.

One of the main drivers to get an organization to go to desktop virtualization is Windows 7 or 8 upgrade. This by itself is RADICAL CHANGE from Windows XP (now past EOL), or from Windows 7 to Windows 8. Now you can deploy Windows 7 or 8 virtual desktops, but what of the end user experience? Their current desktop might be converted to a thin client, or an actual thin client will be installed. Existing monitors will be used, because they still work. But something is missing, all of those little apps the end user installed themselves are nowhere to be seen. The desktop icons look like a war zone, complete chaos to the end user. Things get worse, as there is a whole new interface that is completely foreign.

What does the end user think now about the virtual desktop deployment? Remember perception is everything, and you only have one chance to win over the end user, and that is the first time they have to log into their virtual desktop.

Now you can see why a POC is important right out of the gate before a production deployment. It helps vet out a lot of these underlying user issues. There are always tweaks to the new environment, but remember the old adage, “Failing to plan, is planning to fail”.

The next step is to take virtual desktops to the cloud. The biggest hurls, Microsoft licensing and user experience. Stay tuned to additional articles on Desktops-a-a-Service.


To read more blog posts by Michael Fraser please head over to VDI Space’s blog.

What Do You Mean, You Can’t Find the File?

How to Turn Information Sprawl Into a Competitive Asset with Business Search

By InfoFinder Search Technologies

Disclaimer: This is a guest post by one of Moose Logic’s vendor partners. While Moose Logic does promote and sell this partner’s products, the opinions expressed here are those of the post’s author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or positions of Moose Logic.

Ever lose something on your network? It could be a file, contact name, email, phone number, report, or proposal. You name it. Every organization has experienced an explosion of different types of data over the last decade. Every person has faced the frustration of searching for something on the network.

Company data sits everywhere: on the network, in emails, on intranets, and the information deluge only seems to worsen each year as disk storage increases in capacity and decreases in cost. Data is simply growing at a faster rate than our ability to manage it.

Is it really a problem?

Quite simply, yes. A UC Berkeley study found that workers are bombarded with an average 1.6 GB of data per day – everything from email, reports, and accounting data to text messages and blogs.

IDC further estimates that knowledge workers spend 10 hours a week searching for information, successfully finding what they need only half the time. Ineffective information access costs organizations up to $14,000 per employee each year in lost productivity.

Those are big numbers; but is it a problem at your company?

Start with yourself. You can probably remember plenty of scenarios. Remember that old proposal you wanted to retool for a new opportunity? Or how about the customer issue that required multiple painful meetings to ‘get the facts?’ Are there times when one department isn’t aware of what another is doing? How much knowledge gets lost in the system when employees change positions, change companies or when there’s a layoff?

If you’re not convinced, the next step is to ask around, or better yet, walk the floor. You may be surprised by what you find.

The good news? You’re not alone. This is an issue that impacts every organization of every size. The root of the problem is that our data grows in silos, and it’s growing at a faster rate than ever. A recent InformationWeek survey shows that most organizations are experiencing 5 – 20% annual data growth, most of it unstructured data.

What is unstructured data? You know it as emails, word documents, faxes, PDFs, web pages – all the stuff you see and work with on a daily basis – comprising 80% of most organizations’ content. Contrast that with traditional ‘structured data,’ the database applications we typically use to run operations, accounting, customer service systems, etc.

Putting Structure Around Unstructured Data

It’s not as impossible as it seems. Enterprise search solutions operate behind-the-firewall in a corporate network, giving employees a secure tool to find, use and share corporate information – irrespective of the type of data (structured or unstructured) or where it may be stored (file servers, email, application databases, etc.). An enterprise search system processes all the information in an organization once, constructs a consolidated index, and then uses this master index to service subsequent user search requests.

Enterprise search is nothing new. It has been around since the last decade, helping the largest of enterprises cope with data sprawl. Because ’behind-the-firewall’ search solutions must be carefully integrated in complex and diverse enterprise security schema, traditional enterprise search solutions more closely resembles integrator toolkits than off-the-shelf products – limiting their adoption.

Traditional enterprise search vendors require the participation of a system integrator to plan, develop, install, train and maintain highly customized and sophisticated solutions specifically tailored for each customer. Typical installation times are measured in months or quarters, rather than days or weeks; and the average cost runs $400,000 or more. As a result, traditional enterprise search solutions have focused primarily on the needs of large enterprises with limited appeal to the more modest needs of small and mid-tier businesses.

Right-Sizing Search for Small and Medium Businesses

Business Search solutions, such as InfoFinder, have been right-sized to address the time and budget needs of mid-sized and growing companies. The following chart illustrates the key differences between enterprise search and business search:

  Business Search Enterprise Search
Customer 100 – 2,500 Employees Fortune 500
Installation Plug & Play Customization Required
Deployment Time Days Months (if not quarters)
Price $00,000 (Tens of thousands) $000,000 (Hundreds of thousands)
Functionality Core Search (Out of the box) Search and more…(Lots of bells & whistles)

An Essential Productivity Tool

Business search solutions enable employees to search and find information quickly and easily without wasting time, boosting office productivity by as much as 25%. More efficient and accurate information access also means more effective business decisions. In addition, business search can be used to:

  • Improve the customer experience through faster service response times and better information quality
  • Ensure information continuity during corporate restructuring, downsizing, or merger & acquisition
  • Manage information risk and compliance associated with increased regulatory oversight
  • Reduce e-discovery information retrieval times

Are You Ready for Business Search?

Investing in search is not a trivial task. Investments can range from $30–250k for a mid-size organization. Make sure you review these critical questions as part of your evaluation process:

  1. How much information do we have? Many companies are surprised to learn they have 500,000 or more documents. Have your IT team scan the network shares, email stores, databases, intranet, and SharePoint pages to count the total number of documents. If you have more than 150,000 documents, you should consider a business search solution.
  2. How many different places is information stored? Counting up the actual silos of information is also critical; the higher the number, the better candidate you are for search. Make sure to include all your silos, including database application and external cloud/SaaS applications like
  3. How do people find information now? A quick internal survey asking your end users how they find information now is a great way to understand the wasted time and potential frustration your staff faces on a daily basis.
  4. What does the lost time cost me? The ROI tool below can help you assess the cost impact of inadequate search capabilities. Don’t stop there; find out if it’s also costing you customers.

Building your own model can help you see how this translates to the bottom line. In this example, we’ll take an organization with 500 employees. If we assume they spend 5% of their time searching, you can easily calculate the annual payroll cost of search. Let’s take a conservative approach and say only half the folks will use it, but they’ll be 10% more efficient when searching. Even with these conservative numbers, you’ve easily paid for the system through annual productivity gains.

ROI Model for Business Search

And organizations need productivity gains. Given the economy, business search is one of the most strategic investments you can make.