How to Choose the Right VDI
on May 30
You did it. You finally decided a virtual desktop (VDI) is the next step for your business operations. The idea was buried deep down in your IT plan for years because it seemed so complicated and expensive to implement, but now it's easier and more accessible than ever to use
In last week's blog post, we discussed virtual desktops as a revolutionary system that offers flexibility, productivity, and data security for your operations and employees. It transform businesses and offers fantastic benefits, but choosing the right VDI provider that meets your needs is important for a smooth transition with minimal disruption to operations and employees. Here are some steps below to help your business make the right decision.
Evaluate Your Business First
Before shopping for VDI providers, businesses need to take a step back and asking themselves these key questions:
1. What Business Problems Could Be Solved by VDI?
Whether it’s remote work, expensive hardware, or better employee collaboration, businesses need to identify their challenges and see where they can benefit from VDIs such as:
- Easier Access
- More Flexibility
- Lower Costs
- Better Data Security
- Improved Troubleshooting
- Simplified Upgrades and Compliance
2. What's Your Budget?
Unfortunately, VDIs do cost money but it's more expensive to own, upgrade, and maintain physical desktop systems. Businesses should do a cost analysis between physical and virtual systems and determine the total cost of ownership (TCO) with each one.
3. How Do You Prepare Your Employees?
In a digital world, businesses need to use new tools and technologies to stay ahead, and employees need to be open to changes. Communicate with employees about the benefits of VDI to keep them excited and understand that everyone adopt new technologies at their own pace. Also work with your employees to develop a plan that offers ongoing training and informs them about every step of the implementation process.
Factors to Consider for VDI Providers
Once businesses evaluate themselves and answer these questions about their operations and infrastructure, they can search for a VDI provider that meets their expectations and goals.
An ideal VDI provider should provide constant support for a business throughout the entire process. They need to take time to understand your issues during the pre-sales stage and create a customized VDI solution that supports businesses during the set-up process. Once the VDI is up and running, providers need to offer 24x7x365 support that is locally-based, responsive and resolves issues quickly.
Any VDI provider should understand that any data loss, regardless of size, can damage a business's operations and reputation. VDI providers need to offer a secure connection to their platform that protects confidential data and compliant with regulations such as HIPAA, SSAE 18, and SOC 2. Since VDI is a cloud-based service, providers need to offer backup service in case of emergencies such as natural disasters and power outages.
VDI providers should have years of experience installing and maintaining systems in different types of setups and offices, supported by a team of experienced network engineers that keep your system running at all times. In addition, providers need to have a positive reputation in their respective areas. This is easy to find out by asking customers about their experience or going online to social media and websites such as Google Reviews and Yelp.
Any new system requires time for employees to learn new processes and adjust to the changes. Providers should offer an on-boarding process that provides system walkthroughs, opportunities for employees to ask questions, useful resource guides for future troubleshooting, and follow-up feedback.
When comparing VDI providers, businesses immediately notice some providers offer more features than others. Some providers are capable of offering more customization for their systems that address business problems including:
- Sign-on capabilities
- Multi-factor authentication
- Security (antivirus, antimalware)
- Application virtualization
- Softphone app integration
Depending on the VDI provider, some of these features might require an additional cost.
Price vs. Value
Businesses often make the mistake of cost being their number one factor when choosing the right provider. One provider’s low price on their website might catch your eye and wallet, but it might be lacking important features and customer support that your business needs for VDI implementation. The lower price could also reflect a poorer quality of service from the provider, so it’s very important for businesses to compare costs vs. value for every provider considered.
After you've considered these factors and find multiple providers, narrow down the list and compare each provider's pros and cons. We even recommend doing a trial for each VDI to see the support in real time and help you make a final decision.
The Next Step
After all the steps, your business finds the perfect VDI provider that fits your needs, but then what's next? You should work with your provider to create an implementation plan that involves multiple stages. First, test the VDI as demo and then move up to one project that includes small number of computers or VDIs to test the benefits of the cloud-based system. If it's successful, then you can implement into other areas of the business, such as departments and offices.
If you've followed these steps and considered moving to a virtual desktop, feel free to contact us with your needs. We can work with you one-on-one to understand your VDI needs and create a cloud-based solution that works for your business and is fully supported 24x7x365 by local engineers based in our Honolulu office.
What other factors for VDI would you consider? Let us know in the comments below!
Servpac is a Hawaii-based telecommunications company providing innovative and integrated telephone, internet, and cloud solutions for Hawaii businesses since 2004. The company is the largest locally based CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier) in the state and provides 24/7 local support for island businesses to help them compete in the global marketplace. Call 808-237-5000 or request a FREE Consultation from one of our local experts.