Introducing Managed Guest Sessions for Google Chrome OS with Workspace ONE

BrandPost By Kenny Takahashi
Jun 24, 2021
IT LeadershipRemote AccessRemote Access Security

istock 1206716525
Credit: istock

We are excited to announce support for managed guest sessions for Google Chrome Enterprise in the VMware Workspace ONE UEM Console (version 2102+). Managed guest sessions add a new option for handling shared Chrome OS devices. 

Multiple Users on Shared Chrome OS Devices 

The concept of a shared device is not new for Chrome OS – with Workspace ONE UEM, admins have already had the ability to deploy and configure a single-app kiosk profile for communal use. As the name suggests, the single-app kiosk profile locks a Chrome OS device into a single application for public use. 

Now with managed guest sessions support in the Workspace ONE UEM console, admins can set up Chrome OS devices for shared use with access to multiple apps and resources. No longer limited to a single app, admins can granularly configure the type of access granted to public users and support a wider variety of use cases. 

For users, the experience is as simple as walking up to the device, tapping the guest user, using it for the intended purpose (web browsing, training, inventory lookup, etc.), then exiting the session and leaving it for the next user. No sign-in to a Google account is required because each session login is handled as a guest user and there’s no privacy concerns because user data is cleared after each session.

An employee opens a managed guest session without Google credentials and can access admin-approved apps, bookmarks and resources.

Customization, Control and Security 

With integrated support in the Workspace ONE UEM console, admins have direct access to managed guest sessions settings – there is no need to switch back and forth between management consoles. Admins can customize and secure the guest session experience with the available policies. Because policies are device-based, each session will offer the same experience regardless of the user. Here are some of the ways managed guest sessions can be configured: 

  • Managed Guest Session Name – Display a fully customizable session name on the device’s sign in screen to communicate branding or the intended use. 

  • Browser Settings – Enabling users to easily find the resources they need, admins can configure a homepage, manage bookmarks and even designate a group of URLs to open at startup. 

  • Security and Privacy – To protect against dangerous sites or files, admins can enable Safe Browsing or configure allow- and deny-lists for more granular browsing control. For situations in which users require browsing privacy, Incognito Mode can also be made available during a guest session. 

  • Application Control – Managed guest sessions offer great flexibility around application control. For full control, admins can select a set of Chrome applications and extensions to preconfigure and push to the device. Alternatively, access to all or select Chrome apps can be allowed or blocked. 

  • Session Length – A time limit can be assigned to demark the end of a user’s session. Otherwise, the user can manually log out to end a session. With either approach, user data is cleared at upon session termination.

From the Workspace ONE UEM console, admins can control Chrome managed guest session settings.

Use Cases 

Managed guest sessions offer deep customization and flexibility, making it a great fit across various use cases. 

  • Retail – There are plenty of uses for shared devices in retail, both for customers and employees. Associate training, inventory look up and point-of-sale are just a few activities where multiple users utilize a shared device for a common intended purpose. 
  • Office Workers – Forgot your laptop at home? No problem, IT can make a stable of Chromebooks accessible for simple grab-and-go during the day. 
  • Business Centers – The session time limit feature is perfect for hotel business centers, libraries and cybercafes that offer loaned devices to patrons on an hourly basis. 

We’re excited for you to try out managed guest sessions with Workspace ONE. For more information on managing Chrome Enterprise with Workspace ONE, check out our product documentation