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Earlier this week, Lenovo introduced a service that could have big implications for your clients.

The new service, called Unified Workspace Cloud, is a hosted and cloud-based version of Lenovo’s Unified Workspace, an on-premises workspace solution.

Unified Workspace is actually based on webNetwork, a service Lenovo gained in 2012 with its acquisition of Stoneware Inc. Unified Workspace lets users work from pretty much anywhere and pretty much any device via a single-sign-on, customizable browser-based UI to files, applications and data.

The older on-premises version of Lenovo Unified Workspace has gained some 3 million users at 600 public- and private-sector organizations, according to Lenovo. The new cloud-based version, the company adds, is aimed at organizations with IT departments too small, IT infrastructures too limited, and IT expertise too lacking to run the solution themselves. Instead, the idea is, they can partner with Lenovo.

Lenovo Unified Workspace Cloud can be accessed from just about any device, regardless of its operating system. Users do not need to go through a virtual private network (VPN). Nor do they need to install a desktop agent.

Lenovo Unified Workspace.

Lenovo Unified Workspace acts as a remote-access proxy to data centers.

Once logged in, users of Lenovo Unified Workspace can gain access to web-based applications, legacy Windows applications, both virtual and remote desktop infrastructures, file shares and cloud-based storage.

‘Break the Status Quo’

What’s the big deal? Well, as Sal Patalano of Lenovo Software said, “Unified Workspace Cloud helps businesses and IT organizations break the status quo.”

He adds: “What users can and can’t do with their apps, devices and data is no longer the focus.  Empowering users to work seamlessly, in a manner consistent with how they ‘choose” to work, from the location and device of their choice, is no longer a luxury – it’s table stakes!”

He’s in good company. Lenovo cites a Gartner prediction of nearly 21 billion connected devices being used worldwide by 2020. And a Forbes survey that found 91 percent of employees believe they’re more productive when working remotely. 

Sound interesting for your clients? They’ll need to license Unified Workspace, and Lenovo currently offers 3 options: Named License, with an account for each user; Concurrent License, with gives access to simultaneous users; and Education License, which covers teachers and students in schools.

Lenovo hasn’t released pricing for its Unified Workspace Cloud. It looks like prospective users will have to ask Lenovo for a price quote. Still, this is a fascinating offering, one that offers a glimpse of how many IT departments will function tomorrow, if not sooner.

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