Do I eat my own dog food?

Customers and partners do ask me what I use on a daily base. Do I use ThinApp, Socialcast, Sliderocket, View etc etc? In other words, do I eat our own dog food?

Well, first of all, the base. My laptop is a personal Mac Book Pro. For the geeks (just like myself); a 2.66Ghz Core i7, 8GB Ram and a 256GB SSD and Snow Leopard. Yeah baby, I love my MBP. It’s quick!

On top of Snow Leopard I have installed VMware Fusion 4. I installed Windows 7 Enterprise inside Fusion. This VM is my VMware Workspace. So my VMware Workspace is completely separated from my personal Mac environment. This way you can apply the “Bring Your Own Device” concept securely.

I don’t have a corporate vDesktop yet. Basically the only reason is I’m offline too much of the time and the current View Client for Mac doesn’t support Local Mode. I do have a vDesktop on our European demo environment though. I can connect to it from my personal Mac side with the Mac View Client and from inside my Windows VM with the Windows View Client.

So, what am I using inside my VM? Of course email. My email resides on a Zimbra backend and I either use Google Chrome (my default browser) or the Zimbra Desktop Client Application to connect to Zimbra. Because there is hardly no difference between the browser and application way of connecting, I use Chrome to connect to Zimbra basically all the time. I can use my email independent of an OS and App and have the same experience every time by using a browser.

For my presentations I do use Sliderocket. I converted my most important PPT’s into Sliderocket and threw away all my presentations. All new presentation I create from scratch in Sliderocket.  Give yourself a bit of time with creating presentations and converting PPT’s. Not everything will go smoothly from the start but I love Sliderocket now. I’m still not a guru but I wasn’t a guru with Powerpoint either. I tried to create a small story here. Just in case I don’t have a connection, I have cached all my presentations into my Sliderocket Player application. You can download it for Windows, Mac and iPad.

Everyday I also use VMware App Manager. Via App Manager I can easily connect to several SaaS applications VMware provides me, like for example VMware Socialcast.  I intensely use Socialcast to collaborate with my colleagues. You can read about my Socialcast experience here. To connect to Socialcast I do use a browser but I have to say the Socialcast App is looking pretty good.

For my data I use Mozy Stash. Stash is in beta at this moment. This new technology keeps my data synced across all my devices. You can compare it with Dropbox. I will elaborate on Stash soon.

Lastly, I use a couple of ThinApp-ed applications, like Google Chrome and Adobe Reader.

I try to use as much VMware End User Computing technology as possible. When new technologies arrive I will continue to try to use them as quickly as possible. I can’t wait to use Horizon Mobile, Appblast and Octopus.


Socialcast- my experience

I bet not many people have heard about Socialcast and I also believe not many people know Socialcast has been aquired by VMware in March 2011.

What is Socialcast?

Socialcast is a leading provider of social collaboration solutions for the enterprise. Socialcast enables modern business communication by uniting people, information and enterprise applications within collaborative communities. Delivered as a hosted service, private cloud implementation, or via an on-premise solution

Okay, that’s the official statement from the press release. To me, it is a platform for employees within an organization which will increase collaboration, sharing of ideas, knowledge and even unite people. I have heard people say it is Twitter or Facebook for the enterprise. Well… yes to an extend that is true.

I don’t want to compare Twitter/Facebook to Socialcast but I just want to share my enthousiasm! I’m addicted to Socialcast! In this case, it isn’t a bad thing to be addicted. But why am I addicted?

Well, first of all I can access Socialcast (I should say our implementation of Socialcast) from any of my devices; there are mobile apps for Android, BlackBerry and iPhone and also applications for Mac and Windows. Of course you can access Socialcast with a browser!

In our case, I don’t know if we host Socialcast from a public cloud as a hosted solution or if it is an on-premise implementation (which is a virtual appliance). From a user perspective it doesn’t really matter, right?!

Socialcast is integrated with Active Directory. When I logged on the first time, my profile was filled in with my basic details; my job role, telephone number, my manager etc. I could add more personal details like my Messenger ID, website URL, hobbies etc. Cool, I was setup on the system and good to go!

I started searching for Groups and straight away I found many groups of my interest. I joined them and I started to see messages from those groups on my Home page. So I didn’t have to look for them, they were there in my Home screen. I started to follow people as well. Everything they would post would come up in my Home screen.

I also noticed I could setup my own group. How sweet is that! I am running a demo environment from VMware employees in EMEA, so why not setup a group and post messages and documents there in stead of sending emails. I invited the users of the demo environment and started posting messages about new features, updates etc there.

So, I saw a mixture of groups come to life; work related obviously but also more personal groups. I joined a photography group and can share pictures, ideas, best spots, news about cameras etc. Yes it does unite people. Who would have thought that?!

With our Socialcast, I also noticed information was easier to get, came to me quicker, was shared easier and sooner. For example, unfortunately sometimes it takes a while for someone to answer an email. Post something and the response is there! That quick! For sure people respond quicker than via email.

I believe it made a gap between different groups smaller. People would ask for feedback, or give feedback about products. I saw different groups starting to work together, share information. Seeing that kind of collaboration happening is great!

So, now after a day of work I check my Socialcast, browsing groups, following people, answering questions from others, posting questions, uploading pictures and hitting F5 a lot (yes it will refresh automatically but I’m impatient). I like this kind of networking, socializing, collaborating. I truly like Socialcast.