Cloud first, mobile first – how to build products in a #PostPC era





Last week I was able to do some homework and was watching some Microsoft videos from the latest #TechEd2014. One was about Windows 10 management and the evolving requirements in the enterprise:

Microsoft Recent Past and Future



This was like a déjà-vu from different venues I was able to participate or watch. The story resonates very good and is told from the mostly all IT infrastructure operation software vendors. Device proliferation, cloud, mobility in combination with devices personally owned (BYOD) or provided by the company (COPE). I was surprised to watch a video by Microsoft adapting the story as well – but obviously it is the new “normal”. This comparison brought back an old blogpost I have written in the early days I’d like to link: Post-PC era – what is it and why it is so important.

We are still in a major transition phase driven by cloud and mobility with a continuous change, so my question is: what will be a new balance? Where is the beef for software vendors competing in IT infrastructure operations? The answer for me is obvious due to the dimension of time, which leads into life cycles of products and markets. For me it is very interesting to get snapshots of various stages of markets and observe trends of leading products versus trying to get data from customers and learn what to build next. Therefore I am convinced about the build-measure-learn-feedback loop of Eric Ries bringing both worlds together:

Build Measure Learn Feedback Loop


(Source: Eric Ries – The Lean Startup; 2011, p. 75)

I believe in his concept to build better products, while minimizing the time through the total feedback loop.

If you have any feedback or comment, please let me know or contact me.

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Lean on fire – how to built great products

Last week I had a great conversation about building products and how to maximize customer value. Due to this inspiring and compelling event I have read several articles about “Lean” including the mothership article The New New Product Development Game from Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka from January/ February 1986.

Because of my learnings of Jeff Patton about Product Ownership I am still very curious about the strategy of building backlogs which reminded me on the simple concept of the Lean Startup circle from Eric Ries:


Due to this simple concept I’ve made the decision to buy several books about Lean Management and I have started reading The Lean Startup from Eric Ries.

For me the lean startup circle is a perfect complement of the Product Team triad trying to understand what methods to use and how to maximize customer value and eliminate waste.

Product Team Triad


Maybe to simple and easy to be true, but I will figure it out. Feels like I am on fire about lean :).

Further ideas, then please let me know.

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PC sales are going up again #PostPC

Last night I was researching more details about the latest PC sales figures. Last month I’ve found an interesting article at TechCrunch about it:


Reasons about the change are mentioned in the article:

Businesses and consumers alike are again purchasing PCs, and Mac sales are on the rise year-over-year. Businesses in particular are forced to upgrade older PCs now that Windows XP is no longer supported. When purchasing a new PC, the main driver to choose a PC versus a tablet is fairly obvious: If you are creating any type of content regularly, you need a keyboard, a larger screen, and (for most businesses) Microsoft Office.


This reminds me on a longer conversation about my prediction for 2014, that their might be a turnaround for PC sales (see number 6).

Let’s see and wait what will happen in Q3, the server side looks promising as cloud computing is continuing its way as Gartner Says Worldwide Server Shipments Market Grew 1.3 Percent in the Second Quarter of 2014 While Revenue Increased 2.8 Percent.

More interesting are the upcoming predictions from Gartner about the next two years.

Android today is the leading OS (see table 2 at Gartner News), but it will increase its striking success in the future. It will be interesting to see if ChromeBooks are adopted from businesses in the near future. Citrix and VMware both have developed agents for ChromeOS to have access to corporate owned environments. Again – exciting times.

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Reshaping End-User Computing #EUC

Being at conferences is always inspiring to me. This week I’ve been to Zurich to speak about IT Workspaces in the future. In preparation of the speech I have found a great visual from Gartner which describes best the changes and forces in the mobile and endpoint computing market of the past, today and in the future:

Mobile and Endpoint Computing Market


Source: Gartner “Agenda Overview for Mobile and Endpoint Computing, 2014″ , Published: 2 January 2014 (


The visualization shows perfectly the increasing complexity of IT environments, especially when IT organizations are living in an IT-controlled world. The biggest challenge for them is to become a service provider and broker in an mixed environment of personal data and apps. This transformation requires a shift in the architecture, infrastructure and services of an IT organization. Exciting times and challenges :)!

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#VMware #Horizon6 – my 2cents

It was a huge Marketing event April 9th, when VMware announced the next major version of its End-User Computing flagship Horizon. All Marketing activities and channels were focusing on this only live event opened by Sumit Dhawan. More than 20,000 people participated this webcast. The recording can be found here:

Some rumors about the release and its features came back through some blogs like for example via Gabe Knuth:

So why is Horizon 6 a significant milestone and timing for VMware?

  1. VMware now offers RDSH and full app publishing support. This is a real offensive against their competitor Citrix with their flagships XenApp & XenDesktop. RDSH and app publishing was always a thread, now VMware has an answer and a viable alternative product.
  2. Virtual SAN is a game changer in ways of storage, hopefully it is getting cheaper and easier to address. Duncan Epping wrote an inspiring FUD it! post in his blog about it, which is all about the customers view. Please have a look.
  3. VMware Horizon comes with an aggressive pricing (added 04-23: please check the official Pricing, Packaging and Licensing white paper for deeper information):
    • Horizon View Standard will be $250 per CCU
    • Horizon Advanced will be $250 per named user or $400 per CCU
    • Horizon Enterprise which adds the plug-ins for vCenter Ops Management and vCO will be $300 per named user or $500 per CCU
  4. Exciting times for VMware if you think beyond End-User Computing and the acquisition of AirWatch. Last year, VMware really lacked in their End-User Computing strategy with lots of threads from different competitors. With a mobile-first, cloud-first strategy like Microsoft, VMware is now armed with a very scalable solution build for the cloud. I am pretty sure there is more to come in the future building the bridge between mobile endpoints and cloud solutions, like an AirWatch integration into Horizon.
  5. VMware and Google partnership will drive the way to a corporate desktop for a mobile cloud era. This partnership shows the potential path of corporate desktops and the importance of ChromeBooks in the near future.

My 2cents for this release. Different thoughts, feedback? Please let me know…


P.S.: Also check out the additional resources from VMware officials:

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#Scrum: The journey to a life changer?!

It was great to get the chance to be part of the agile transformation of our production team. We’ve started with this transition last year and it is great to be part of it. We have been coached by Boris Kneisel, who is an external scrum coach. He is an excellent coach to adapt agility for development teams and guide them through a transition.

In the first sprints when we tried to adapt the methodologies into our daily work it pretty felt just like this picture:

(Picture from Flickr under Creative Commons:

Team – here is the handcar – just jump on the bandwagon and get it move forward.

In those early days there have been a lot of confusion, questions, different roles and uncertainty. But over the days the team found a way just to get things done within the scrum process. We have found a great way to improve ourselves every day and perform better.

Right now we are still at the beginning, so our current status after four sprints (one sprint is just one week) looks a little bit more like this:

(Picture from Flickr under Creative Commons:

We have delivered the committed workload just in time twice, and the sprint goal, too. So we are still in the beginning of our agile journey and the transition just started. It is great to see each team member in his role trying to adapt the process and delivering value in each and every sprint. Even more quiet team members are now involving themselves into scrum activities and meetings.

I believe the vision is clear. We are performing and getting better every day, and the bandwagon will evolve over time into a well-engineered German vehicle – to correspond with the pictures before I have chosen an ICE train:

ICE Frankfurt

(Picture from Flickr under Creative Commons:

There is still a longer way to go, but I am not afraid of it. Since the introduction of Scrum and agile methodologies I have changed the way of my work and how to deliver better results and more value to the company. And to my surprise, it feels much more productive what I have done so far. There have been various changes to more “old school” styles like writing sticky notes and less technology. And it feels good thinking outside this box, less digital, but more down to earth and grounded. There are a lot of little helpers each and every day, the same with methodologies to be more productive. But Scrum really helped me to focus more on things, that really matter and deliver a better result. So for me I can say Scum is like a life changer. But I am trying to adapt it every day. And this is just the beginning. Boris taught us a nice concept to self-reflect which is common in martial arts:


So far I am at the Shu level, trying to adapt fundamentals, techniques, heuristics and as much as possible – enjoying this time to learn and evolve.

Scrum literature which is available online or at your favorite bookstore really helps to evolve every day. My resources right now:

Feedback? Comments? Please share your thoughts.

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2014 predictions from @VMware_UK

First of all I wish everyone a Happy New Year! Today VMware UK mentioned me in a tweet:

I am very happy about the fact VMware has chosen my latest blogpost about “My Top 7 IT Trends for 2014 from an end-user computing view” to summarize it much better :):

Mobility is still the top driver from an end users’ perspective. Device and app fragmentation will continue to grow in 2014, hence why I think enterprise mobility should be the number one focus for IT in the coming months. This includes Mobile Device Management (MDM), Mobile Application Management (MAM) and Mobile Content Management (MCM), which leads into Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM). As the market for EMM continues to grow I predict we will see more market consolidation in 2014.

Mobility is also a driver for desktop virtualization, because of the installed base of Microsoft applications within the enterprise. So I believe there will be further releases of virtual desktop software to fulfil the need to bring business critical software to mobile smart devices, and we may see growing hype around DaaS (Desktop as a Service).

As for devices, despite the PC no longer being dominant, I believe that we will see a reversal in the direction of PC sales in 2014, after its recent decline. Once this is solved we will see a constant growth in the PC market. As Enterprise Mobility and DaaS put high pressure on enterprise IT to become more transparent to their services, I think that this will drive momentum for  ITaaS (IT as a Service) and workspace aggregation which will include the shift to new cloud services like SaaS.

I received very valuable feedback about my initial post and I like to thank @jsirota especially for the one about PC sales:

Changed my view again, think PC sales will continue to decrease in 2014 ;).

Thank you very much for supporting me, especially VMware UK, Brands2Life, Ryan and Luke Davies for making this happen – THANK YOU!

Feedback, ideas, comments? Please let me know.

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Patrick Sauerwein

Patrick Sauerwein

Senior Product Manager | Certified Scrum Product Owner

I am grown up in an entrepreneur family environment with a Diploma in Business Administration. Currently I am working for an ISV as a Senior Product Manager and Product Owner of an agile team. Being experienced in Product Management, I have also covered areas like Product Marketing & Business Development. I am experienced in ITSM & Client Lifecycle Management since 2004. I had the chance to work in different industries like ISV, Financial, SMB, Enterprise & B2B trade.

My personal strenghts are Ideation, Learner, Achiever, Intellection & Empathy. I write about end-user computing, mobility, virtualization and cloud computing solutions - have a look at my Twitter profile and blog. I love to exchange thoughts, keen to learn more new "abstract" things - very analytical thinking. Skilled communicator and public speaker.

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