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A Methodology and Framework for Innovation: The Expedient Enterprise Workspace Story

May 12, 2022 5 min Read

Over the past few months, I’ve written about how Expedient Enterprise Workspace, our “VDI Without Compromise” solution, will be a game-changer in the market. Today, I’d like to share why rationale on why I believe this to be true and how innovation drives product development at Expedient.

I joined Expedient to lead product innovation and market strategy about a year and a half ago, with the intention of helping the organization build and expand its full stack cloud service provider (CSP) capabilities. At that time, decisions about product innovation were largely made by a small group of core Expedient leaders with deep industry expertise who relied on two criteria: 1) Do we have customers who would benefit from this product? and 2) Do we think this is a technology worth adopting? This approach proved very successful and as we grew, there was a need to continually refine and evolve our product development approach.

Enter the powerful combination of Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and Agile.

First, we introduced the three core tenants of Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and Agile. We had to ensure for any new product or service idea that we could validate it against the three key questions:

  • What problem are we solving? And do customers want this product idea?
  • Can we technically build this new product or service with existing or emerging technologies?
  • Can we offer this product or service at a price point that makes sense for the customer, and we can deliver it at scale?

Next, we started working on the key concept of Lean Startup, which is about rapid iteration and testing. For Expedient, this meant formalizing an early adopter program that allowed us to test, first with ourselves and then with clients and prospects in live settings. We started to leverage Alpha and Beta clients who would provide open feedback, allowing us to adjust quickly before we would move to build out the product or service at scale.

Finally, we introduced the concept of Agile into our product development process. Being the nation’s premier hybrid cloud service provider, our products are tightly integrated and leverage existing software and hardware, so we had to tweak our processes slightly to make sure we could deliver in the most demanding highly regulated, multi-cloud environments. By custom fitting all three processes (Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and Agile) to our organization, we were able to create a more effective product development process.

So far, so good, but all just theory. Does it really work? Enterprise Workspace is proof that it really does. We started with the idea that customers wanted a better virtual desktop solution. We had been hearing it for years, but then the pandemic happened and an already growing market demand exploded. So, we put the idea of developing a Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offering into the process.

This meant looking at every aspect of DaaS.

  • Did customers want it? We had 15,000 seats of demand without a product to offer, so that answer was a clear YES.
  • Could we build it? A much harder question, but advances in VDI technologies as well as in hardware speeds meant that we could leverage our existing cloud pod architecture designs to deliver a high-performing solution.
  • Could we deliver? As we dug into the market, we found a fair amount of competition but an absence of enterprise-grade functionality without an overwhelming amount of maintenance, and our existing multi-tenant cloud expertise gave us a huge leg-up.

We started developing a proof of concept to get in front of prospective customers. Working collaboratively with VMware, we built out the architecture and stood up the solution, and then opened it up to Alpha and Beta clients to try out. We learned as we went, tweaking the solution to ensure we were meeting customer needs along the way.

Finally, our Product Ops team took on the challenge of hardening and scaling the product for launch. Leveraging our 20 years of delivering production solutions to clients, they put in place everything that was needed to run a high-quality DaaS offering in a multi-tenant environment designed to scale to serve all our existing clients as well as all the new clients we expect to join the Expedient family.

So that’s it. A simple story about how we innovate at Expedient and how we evolved our product design and launch capabilities. We call Expedient Enterprise Workspace “VDI Without Compromise” because we feel confident, we have validated our product every step of the way.

If you would like to learn more about Expedient Enterprise Workspace or how we innovate, let’s talk.

Michael Fulton Michael Fulton

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