Liquit is a fairly new company specialising in the unified workspace market with a hybrid solution. The company has, as it were, built a layer between the client and the unified workspace, allowing organisations to merge multiple platforms. This offers more flexibility and results in significant cost savings. We spoke to Peter Hermeling, one of the founders of Liquit.
Liquit offers a total solution for the unified workspace. On the one hand it works together with parties like Citrix and VMware, who together dominate this market, but at the same time Liquit competes with these parties. In addition, it is also working hard on a collaboration with the new Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop.
Liquit is able to “mix and match” the local endpoint as well as the Citrix Workspace and the VMware Workspace. This can be done per user group, but also depending on the context. For example, a company can use Citrix Workspace for one user group, while another user group simply works from his or her laptop.
The user in question does not have to change anything for this, it is and remains a unified workspace that works the same everywhere.
For example, a group of account managers who are on the road a lot can use the Citrix Workspace because it is safer than working locally. Especially when using public hotspots and unknown networks. In turn, the administration department does not come out of the office and only works at the office. These employees can easily work from their laptops. The twist that Liquit offers is that when the account manager comes to the office, he can also work from his laptop. The context is then that work is done from a secure location. “The user in question does not have to change anything for this, it is and remains a unified workspace that works the same everywhere”, says Hermeling.
How does that work?
Liquit has developed a contextware technology with which an application can be started from different locations. As soon as the user starts an application, the context defined in filters and rules determines from where an application should be started. For example, an application can be started from the endpoint (the laptop), or the application can be loaded directly from a Citrix or VMware environment. In principle, the user does not notice anything about this, except that the startup time of the applications can differ somewhat depending on the speed of the internet connection. Today, Citrix and VMware technology is extremely fast. There is no longer a bottleneck there.
Companies often combine this technology with a local intranet solution that completes the unified workspace. For example, a social portal in which all applications are listed and in which the Liquit self-service catalogue is also available to install applications. A good example of this is Embrace.
Eventually the user will see a dashboard or desktop with intelligent icons. These do not refer directly to the local application, but ask the agent for the application. Then the application is delivered from the system, a private data center or the cloud.
Ideal for acquisitions and integrations of IT systems in multiple countries
Because Liquit can handle multiple platforms, the local system can be combined with, for example, Citrix and VMware. We understood from Liquit that they have some companies in their customer base that make occasional acquisitions. Liquit is an ideal solution for such companies. They do not need to replace the entire IT environment of the party being acquired. They can simply put Liquit over it. A social portal such as Embrace is self-evident, but the entire infrastructure behind it with all the applications and install base does not have to be migrated immediately. It speeds up the integration of companies.
There are also many multinationals that have had their own IT departments and choices in the various countries for years. Nowadays, the need is many times greater to have one IT system that works worldwide. If one country is on Citrix and another on VMware, Liquit can quickly tie things together. After that, it is still possible to see what works best for the company in the end.
SaaS and legacy in one portal
Companies often have a whole load of legacy applications while adopting more and more SaaS solutions. Within a unified workspace, applications can be brought together so that all options are immediately visible to the end-user. With a social portal such as Embrace, for example, all kinds of extensions are possible, so that employees can collaborate better with their colleagues.
Liquit’s application catalogue
Liquit acquired Rovabu in April 2018. With this acquisition, it has acquired a technology to offer an extensive application catalogue. It contains about 3000 applications of which packages have been built that can be rolled out directly via a self-service portal. They can be installed on the employee’s laptop or made available in a private data centre or the cloud. If it concerns applications with high licensing costs, it is possible to activate an intermediate step. In that case, a manager must first give approval, after the application via the self-service portal.
Ultimately, Liquit can deliver a modern workplace, including all legacy applications and various platforms rolled out within a company over the years.
As a result, many (legacy) applications can also be used in different environments. With the Rovabu technique, Liquit also makes tools such as Intune superfluous, because the application packages are actively maintained by Liquit and rolled out to the users. As soon as new versions become available, an administrator can update the application for the entire organisation at the push of a button.
“Ultimately, Liquit can deliver a modern workplace including all the legacy applications and various platforms that have been rolled out within a company over the years,” Hermeling says.
Liquit Access manager takes care of authentication and single sign-on
With Liquit Access Manager, the layer between the endpoint and the unified workspace has been expanded even further. Authentication and access to the environments can also be managed with Liquit. To this end, the company has developed its own Single Sign-on solution. So that a user tries to log in to a SaaS environment, it is fed back to Liquit for authentication and access is granted or not on the basis of context. In addition, Liquit collaborates with partners such as Hello ID, Microsoft and Okta, parties that are well known in the market and have their own reputation.
Liquit is multi-tenant, marketed through partners.
Liquit has chosen to develop the solution in such a way that it is multi-tenant. This means that multiple organisations can use a single environment, without the data, users and configurations getting mixed up. However, organisations can easily be cloned or configurations can be copied from one environment to another by a super-admin.
This makes the solution particularly suitable for, for example, hosting providers who want to add the unified workspace to their portfolio or managed service providers who want to include Liquit in their offerings to customers. Liquit itself does not sell directly to end customers, but always through partners.