Nowadays, in the times of a prevailing skills shortage, it is more important than ever to position yourself as an attractive employer and to retain young talents. And this is only possible when employees have the chance to work on digital workspaces. In particular, the generation of millennials consider the free choice of their workspace almost as important as the salary level. But also older and well skilled staff appreciate more and more the freedom to be able to do their work independent of their location and using any device. After decision makers within a business have recognised the added value of a digital corporate strategy, the next step is to find the right partner for the implementation. During the past few years, the number of solution providers in this area has more than doubled, which does not make it any easier to find a suitable partner. It can be helpful to look at the differences in the application deployment of reputable vendors.
A Global Player in Application Delivery
Some of the currently best known solution providers in the area of application delivery are Microsoft RDS, Citrix, Parallels and the Swiss-based oneclick AG. While Microsoft RDS focuses primarily on a traditional set up for remote access via RDS host with RDP and VPN client, oneclick enables a cross-platform application delivery and streaming with automated deployment. With XenApp and Netscaler Unified Gateway, Citrix offers a solution that enables users, with the help of the Citrix protocol HDX, access to desktop sessions and applications under Microsoft’s remote desktop session host (formerly terminal services). Parallels offers an HTML5 gateway to desktop and application virtualisation in form of its Remote Application Servers (RAS).
Platform-as-a-Service and a globally available Systems Environment
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) allows developers to focus on the development of applications, without having to take care of tasks such as systems administration or infrastructure maintenance. Thanks to PaaS, teams from different geographic locations can work on the same software. At the same time, the development environment is being regularly improved and updated. When comparing now the above mentioned solutions providers, only oneclick offers a consistent PaaS functionality. Apart from the Swiss company, Citrix is the only vendor that is heading – at least in part – in the direction of Platform as a Service with its Workspace Services. But neither Parallels nor Microsoft RDS have PaaS included in their portfolio. The field becomes even more apparent when there is demand for a global high availability systems environment. Here oneclick emerges as a clear winner, while the other vendors cannot guarantee this at this moment in time. The advantage of a unified administration interface, which makes the various consoles and modules redundant, is shared between oneclick and vendors Microsoft RDS and Parallels.
Workspace 100% web-based and device independent
Ideally, for their work, employees require nothing more than a browser on their device. On the browser, it should then be possible to open and operate all applications within a tab. Only oneclick and Parallels can guarantee this with their services as they can completely operate without the installation of clients or plug-ins on the device. A 100% web-based workspace with a consistent responsive design, which is even mobile communication enabled, is a unique selling point, which is only offered by the Swiss oneclick. While with Citrix, Parallels and oneclick application deployment is completely platform independent, Microsoft RDS asks for a specific device, which – dependent on staff numbers – can have a negative effect.
Unbeatable where Security is concerned
With regards to security, none of the other vendors are really catching up with oneclick. No other cloud solution has an upstream network with a firewall, IPS, IDS, DDoS, WAF and a content filter to protect from attackers. In comparison to Microsoft RDS, oneclick’s as well as the Citrix and Parallels solutions can be used inside as well as outside of a VPN connection. If a company decides on an SSL encryption and security certificate, this is free of charge with oneclick, but Microsoft RDS, Citrix as well as Parallels charge around €200. As a security measure, it is also possible with oneclick to activate downloading of data on devices or to deactivate this on request. Finally, we take one more look at the login behaviour of the individual solutions: oneclick offers a single sign on as a solution component, while with Citrix and Microsoft RDS this is an additional module. Parallels has no single sign-on feature for its solution.
Just like in other business areas, when choosing a suitable cloud solutions provider, the best one should come out on top. One thing is certain there is no way around oneclick AG regarding security, cost efficiency, device independence and Platform-as-a-Service. The strong case from Switzerland cannot be ignored.