December 14, 2020
Longtime partners DXC and Microsoft have developed a secure digital workplace set to roll out next year as managed services. DXC’s new MyWorkStyle provides a modern user experience (UX) built on Microsoft 365 and Teams, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform.
DXC’s Mike Salvino
The expansion of DXC’s Microsoft 365 managed services business, announced earlier this month, comes after DXC considered its future. “As we explored strategic alternatives over recent months, we realized that keeping this business provides the opportunity to define the future of work and create much more value for our customers and our people,” DXC President and CEO Mike Salvino said in a statement. The shift to remote work this year stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic was a key factor in expanding it, he noted.
DXC, one of Microsoft’s largest partners, is among the top global systems integrators (SIs) and providers of professional services. Some of DXC’s largest enterprise customers are seeking managed services, especially secure desktop and mobile and workspaces.
DXC’s Mike McDaniel
“When I talk to clients, they really want to lower the amount of capex they’re spending and get to a variable opex model,” Michael McDaniel, vice president and general manager of DXC’s global workplace and mobility practice told Channel Futures. “And what I see us moving toward is managed services that allow people to buy what they need for their particular businesses with per-employee pricing. That is very different than the way those services are purchased today.”
DXC and Microsoft engineers are co-developing the workspace using artificial intelligence and machine learning gathered from millions of data points. DXC claims it has more than 1,000 workplace customers throughout the world. The company said it manages 7.2 million devices and 1.3 million virtual desktops. According to McDaniel, 680 of the 1,000 largest companies use DXC for at least some of their workplace services. Several enterprises are piloting the new workplace offering, though the company didn’t identify them.
Core Collaboration Platform
McDaniel said nearly all its enterprise customers use Microsoft 365 as their core collaboration platform. “That doesn’t mean they don’t use Webex or other products, but Office 365 is their main collaboration platform,” he said. DXC said it currently manages more than 8.2 million Microsoft Office 365 and Teams seats globally. The company also noted that its support team handles over 40 million support inquiries every year.
“When these companies either buy an E3 license with voice or an E5 license from Microsoft, there is a great opportunity for them to integrate voice and eliminate their old phone switches, which in a lot of cases is antiquated equipment,” McDaniel said. They can just integrate it right into their collaboration platform. And they’re already paying for it in their license costs.”
McDaniel emphasized four base capabilities that DXC and Microsoft are building into MyWorkStyle. First is a marketplace of software and devices that employees need to do their jobs. McDaniel said at least 30% of employees among DXC’s clientele plan to remain remote permanently, which the marketplace will address. The digital support services will use predictive analytics to predict potential technical problems before they occur. The company said that could reduce support costs by 30%.
Second, DXC and Microsoft are developing self-service tools designed to help employees do their jobs more effectively. McDaniel said there’s still a significant subset of enterprise Microsoft customers that don’t have a full stack service provider. “They’re going to lead with DXC in that place,” McDaniel said. The stack will include workplace IoT capabilities to enable improved productivity and automation associated with specific industry business issues. It will also use Microsoft’s Hololens and other augmented and virtual reality technologies.
Third, DXC and Microsoft are building an analytics engine designed to provide “deep insights” into employee interactions. “Today, we get good insights out of places like ServiceNow from IT systems,” McDaniel said. “But we’re really not matching that with the employee experience metrics. Now we can pull telemetry from the Microsoft products, and we can start to see how people are interacting.” Helping in that endeavor is a team of engineers from Luxoft, a company acquired by DXC last year. Luxoft, which operates as a DXC subsidiary, provides digital strategy consulting and develops custom software designed to implement business transformation.
The fourth capability is focused on helping enterprises create more accurate configuration management databases (CMDBs). “From an IT perspective, the biggest problem that our clients have is in this remote workspace,” McDaniel said. “They don’t really have a good accurate CMDB, which creates problems for them out on the…
…edge in terms of security. Our platform will automatically, through automations that we’re developing, push back into whatever back-end system they use for their ITSM.”
The MyWorkStyle services will also include device and secure application and information management, virtual desktop and application services and device as a service (DaaS).
Piloting Project Cortex to Create Knowledge Networks
DXC’s Kirk Barrett
DXC will also offer new collaboration and knowledge management tools. DXC was among a handful of providers that piloted Project Cortex, a Microsoft 365 service designed to create knowledge networks. Project Cortex is designed to reason over an organization’s data and present in the form of shared topic cards. Kirk Barrett, an architect at DXC, discussed the company’s participation on the pilot during a session at the virtual Microsoft Ignite conference in September.
“A core capability of Project Cortex is that it surfaces information without having to switch into a different environment. Having access to the accumulated knowledge in this way drives huge benefit for our user experience, and access within the day-to-day work helps to simplify things for them as well,” Barrett said.
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