One of the biggest challenges in managing a multi-location business is maintaining, upgrading and protecting the company’s network. You need connectivity to all the other locations to facilitate smooth operations. But convenience at the cost of security or reliability is ultimately, well, inconvenient.
In our experience working with franchised restaurant chains, we’ve seen the real-world value of Windows 10 virtual desktops hosted in the cloud. In fact, we have a whole list of reasons why this is an ideal solution for restaurant chains.
But before we get to that, let’s make sure everyone knows what a cloud-hosted virtual desktop is.
What are virtual desktops?
Microsoft’s own definition is tidy and clear: “Windows Virtual Desktop Preview is a comprehensive desktop and app virtualization service running in the cloud.”
Here’s what that means in plain English. Instead of running Windows 10 locally on individual machines in each franchised restaurant location, you can set up as many virtual desktops as you need, all hosted in the cloud.
Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) can be accessed securely. To users, it will be just like Windows 10 is installed on the computer they’re sitting in front of. So why not just install Windows on all those individual computers instead?
We’re so glad you asked.
8 reasons why virtual desktops a perfect fit for franchised restaurant chains
Below are 8 reasons why we believe this is a perfect solution for franchised restaurant chains.
Set up new desktops in a matter of minutes
Let’s start at the beginning. Setting up new desktops with WVD is lightning fast. Microsoft says the process takes mere minutes.
“To deploy and manage your virtualization environment, you just need to set up an Azure subscription.”
Compare that to the time it takes to install an OS, applications, cybersecurity protection, updates and patches to a physical machine. There simply is no comparison. And when you’re talking about dozens of machines spread over a large geographical area, the time WVD can save you really starts to add up.
It’s a lot less work to maintain
Not only does WVD simplify the setup process for new desktops but it also makes it so much easier to maintain and patch your entire system, as well.
Which makes sense. Just like setup, you’re applying patches to individual machines, but to a virtual environment. That means your internal IT staff can spend their time doing something far more valuable than routine updates.
Who isn’t concerned with cybersecurity in this day and age? Answer: no one.
A virtual desktop environment is ideally situated for air-tight cybersecurity. In fact, WVD running on Azure comes with security and compliance protection baked right in. While that’s not all the cybersecurity your franchised restaurant chain will need, it’s certainly a nice layer of security to add to your overall data protection strategy.
It’s always up-to-date
While you may have some maintenance responsibilities with WVD, you won’t have to worry about your OS. Windows itself will always be up-to-date.
That’s because your virtual desktops are hosted on Azure by Microsoft. Never having to wait for updates or apply them yourself means better security, better productivity, and less time spent doing routine work.
Host multiple users on one virtual machine
A single virtual machine can house multiple virtual desktops, which makes maintenance, oversight and upkeep even easier. If your franchised restaurant chain is small, you may only need one virtual server.
And even if you need multiple virtual servers, the ability to host multiple users on a single virtual server is still convenient and time-saving.
Your users already know Windows
The folks working in each of your franchised locations are likely already familiar with Windows 10. With total usage at 39%, Windows 10 is second only to Windows 7. And since Windows 7 standard support ends in 2020, that number is likely to grow.
General familiarity with Windows and Office 365 will make it easy for franchised staff to work with WVD. It’s not a new system everyone has to learn from scratch. It’s the operating system everyone already knows.
A pain-free migration is possible
Moving from one network setup to another can be a nightmare experience. But moving to WVD is typically smooth, especially if you work with the right IT support professionals.
It’s possible to implement Windows Virtual Desktop with minimal downtime, which means minimal interruption to business as usual.
You may not have to pay for it
And we saved some of the best news for last. You may not even have to budget anything extra for WVD. That’s because it’s included with Microsoft 365 E3 and several other popular Microsoft plans.
If you already have access to it, there’s really no reason not to use WVD for your franchised restaurant chain. The benefits are strategic and convenient, and the drawbacks are few.