September 22, 2020

VMworld 2020 Digital Q&A: Lakeside Software Talks Digital Experience Monitoring, SysTrack Differentiators and Updates

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VMworld 2020 goes digital.  Will you be in attendance?  If the event were physical, I would have looked forward to visiting with Lakeside Software.  So we reached out to them digitally instead.

With the current pandemic, we're seeing a lot of changes taking place in our normal, everyday lives -- both professionally and personally.  One of those changes is the end of physical trade show events as we move to socially distance ourselves from one another.  While some trade shows simply cancelled or postponed until 2021, others have made the switch to a 100% digital format.  VMworld, the world's largest virtualization and cloud computing event hosted every year by VMware, is one of those shows -- enter for the first time ever, VMworld 2020 Digital

While a physical VMworld event would normally have north of 150+ sponsors, a digital VMworld event won't be able to effectively support that number of sponsors. 

Lakeside Software is a leader in digital experience monitoring.  Their product, SysTrack, gathers and analyzes data on everything that may impact end-user experience and business productivity. SysTrack captures data such as CPU, disk, memory, and other 10,000+ data points.

So what about you?  Are you gearing up for VMworld 2020 digital?  Get started now by reading this exclusive interview with Heather Bicknell, Product Marketing Manager, Lakeside Software to learn more and start getting excited for what's to come!

VMblog:  What are your thoughts on the shift to working from home?  How has it changed things for your company both internally and externally?

Heather Bicknell:  It's hard to imagine-let alone prepare for-the scale and duration of disruption caused by a global pandemic until you're in it. But being a technology company on the advanced end of the digital transformation spectrum enabled our global staff to transition to working from home pretty seamlessly. We'd participated in an early adopters' program for Microsoft Teams, so that level of integrated productivity and digital collaboration has been part of our culture for years. Coupled with virtualization, mobile devices, and a healthy dose of SaaS, I don't find myself missing the in-office technology experience-but I do miss the people.

Another reason why we might've been able to adjust so quickly is that we've been helping our customers through this shift as well, which has kept us busy. In March, we helped customers assess their work-from-home preparedness and make plans to enable tens of thousands of employees to work effectively at home. Since then, the need to troubleshoot remote performance issues and understand whether employees' needs are being met has continued. We're glad that we've been able to provide this value, especially to our customers in healthcare and retail who've been supporting all of us on the front lines.

VMblog:  Can you give us the high-level rundown of your company's technology offerings?

Bicknell:  Lakeside Software develops a digital experience monitoring solution called SysTrack that analyzes and reports data on anything and everything impacting end-user experience. SysTrack works across platforms and devices, providing complete visibility into the environment. It also integrates machine learning and automation to help IT find important insights faster and resolve problems proactively. Customers commonly use SysTrack for remote work monitoring, desktop transformation assessment and planning, asset optimization, and AIOps.

VMblog:  Talking about your product solutions, can you give readers a few examples of how your offerings are unique?  What are your differentiators?

Bicknell:  A few ways SysTrack is unique from other IT monitoring solutions include:

  • Endpoint instrumentation: SysTrack collects usage and performance data from the place where work happens, whether a physical or virtual desktop. This is essential for gaining a full understanding of end-user experience and productivity.
  • Depth and breadth of data: SysTrack collects over 10,000 metrics every 15 seconds (CPU, memory, disk, IOPS, etc.) while consuming less than 1% system CPU.
  • End-user experience score: SysTrack calculates a unique high-level KPI for understanding the quality of experience users are receiving from technology.
  • Scalability: SysTrack supports deployments of over 400,000 seats.
  • Work-from-home support: SysTrack works with endpoints that aren't domain-joined (like an employee's home computer). Telemetry continues even when a user is offline.
  • Flexible deployment: SysTrack is available as a cloud or on-premises solution.
  • Privacy and compliance controls: Robust centralizedpolicy and auditcontrolsfordata collection and access.
  • Rich partnerships and integrations: SysTrack is the leading assessment tool for virtual desktop readiness and transformation.

VMblog:  For those individuals attending the VMworld 2020 digital event, or those who have attended VMworld in the past, why should they be interested in your company and solutions? 

Bicknell:  If you're looking for ways to streamline IT costs, accelerate troubleshooting, or understand how IT can better support employee productivity, you may benefit from digital experience monitoring. One public sector client recently saw a 19x ROI through rationalizing software alone based on SysTrack's insights. Lakeside offers a variety of free assessments, so it's quick and easy to test out the technology and see if it might provide value to your organization.

You can get started with a free SysTrack assessment at cloud.lakesidesoftware.com.

VMblog:  What specifically does your company offer a VMware shop or VMware implementation?

Bicknell:  Lakeside supports the full VDI journey with endpoint monitoring and insights, helping IT answer questions like:

  • Are virtual desktops and apps right for my organization?
  • Which users are a good fit for virtual desktops?
  • How can I maximize density without sacrificing performance?
  • How can I judge the success of my deployment?
  • What problems are my users having and how can I resolve them?

SysTrack integrates with VMware Horizon, vSphere, vRealize Operations, App Volumes, AirWatch, and VMware Cloud on AWS.

VMblog:  Normally, VMworld is the time of year that people in this industry announce a new product or product update.  Do you have anything new that you've recently announced or plan to announce?  Can you give us the details?

Bicknell:  Yes! We're excited to announce the latest version of our product, SysTrack 9.0.7. Building on the groundbreaking unified endpoint monitoring and automation capabilities released last year with SysTrack 9.0, this new release includes enhancements such as extended data collection, Chromebook support, UI updates, change analysis and benchmarking, and more. You can see it in action by requesting a demo at www.lakesidesoftware.com.

Lakeside was also recently named in Gartner's Market Guide for Digital Experience Monitoring, which you can read more about here.

VMblog:  How does your company work with VMware?  Where do you fit within the VMware ecosystem?

Bicknell:  Lakeside's been an ISV partner of VMware's for many years and we continue to enjoy a strong partnership. We've run hundreds of assessments for organizations planning a migration to Horizon and we have many shared customers who monitor their VMware estate with SysTrack.

VMblog:  VMware will be covering things in their keynote, but what big changes do you see taking shape in the industry?

Bicknell:  Beyond specific technologies, we're noticing an increased focus on IT's role in the employee experience, which is long overdue. It's time that organizations treat employees with as much care as they treat their customers-not only to unleash productivity, but also to increase engagement, reduce turnover, and eliminate unnecessary stress through these already challenging times.

David Marshall

David Marshall has been involved in the technology industry for over 19 years, and he's been working with virtualization software since 1999. He was able to become an industry expert in virtualization by becoming a pioneer in that field - one of the few people in the industry allowed to work with Alpha stage server virtualization software from industry leaders: VMware (ESX Server), Connectix and Microsoft (Virtual Server).

Through the years, he has invented, marketed and helped launch a number of successful virtualization software companies and products. David holds a BS degree in Finance, an Information Technology Certification, and a number of vendor certifications from Microsoft, CompTia and others. He's also co-authored two published books: "VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center" and "Advanced Server Virtualization: VMware and Microsoft Platforms in the Virtual Data Center" and acted as technical editor for two popular Virtualization "For Dummies" books. With his remaining spare time, David founded and operates one of the oldest independent virtualization news blogs, VMblog.com. And co-founded CloudCow.com, a publication dedicated to Cloud Computing. Starting in 2009 and continuing all the way to 2016, David has been honored with the vExpert distinction by VMware for his virtualization evangelism.

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