The concept of Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD is quite popular in workplaces as employees want to use their own gadgets for work. On the upside, employees get to work with devices they’re already familiar with, and it minimizes the need to train workers on office devices. The problem here is that company IT departments see this practice as a nightmare, increasing their responsibilities for setting up individual devices to suit company standards. There’s also the fact that they need to make sure those devices are secure enough for company use, as well as allow workers to perform work-related tasks. This is not an easy undertaking, especially as configuring BYOD devices can’t always be done remotely. A blessing and a curse indeed, but maybe HP has a solution.
At HP Discover 2012, taking place in Frankfurt, Germany this week, the SiliconANGLE team had the pleasure of interviewing HP personnel at theCube, gaining the opportunity to see what the company is offering for the enterprise that could potentially kill BYOD all together.
Carol Hess, VP for HP Commercial PC marketing, sat down at theCube with SiliconANGLE CEO and Founder John Furrier and Wikibon Co-founder Dave Vellante, showcasing HP’s latest hardware offering, the ElitePad 900 and the EliteBook Revolve.
The Revolve falls in the hybrid, or convertible category, as it is a netbook that has a screen that swivels to transform it to a tablet. It features an 11.6-inch screen, Core i3, i5 or i7 processor, 256 GB solid state drive, comes with a pen and more. It’s just 22 mm thin, and weighs only three pounds and is Windows 8 capable. But if you are more comfortable using Windows 7, Revolve also supports that platform even on touch screen. The only thing is, support for Windows 7 on touchscreen is not that great, but at least the option is there. And because it is built for the enterprise or office use, it has USB and ethernet ports, and you can swap out the battery when you run out of juice.
As for the ElitePad 900, it’s a 10.1-inch tablet that measures 9 mm thin and weighs one and a half pounds. It’s encased in a machined aluminum back to make the device sturdy, topped off with a Corning Gorilla Glass screen. It only supports Windows 8 but boasts 8-10 hours of battery life on a single charge. If you think 8-10 hours is not enough for you to accomplish all your work, HP has a Smart Jacket that goes with the tablet that has a concealed battery pack that adds 80 percent battery life so it serves as a protection for your device, as well as giving off extra juice for times when plugging to a wall socket is just not possible.
Aside from protection and extra juice, the Smart Jacket also transforms your ElitePad 900 to a docking stations, as it comes with USB and HDMI ports as well as an SD card slot. HP also offers a docking station so you can prop your ElitePad 900 with or without the jacket. So you can use it as monitor, plus the docking station provides more USB ports, VGA port, ethernet port and HDMI port making the tablet a perfect work device.
The ElitePad 900 is set to go on sale in January 2013, but SiliconANGLE Founding Editor Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins overheard “one of the product guys telling some folks in PR that they should be able to request these devices for use from their managers by December for the Elite 900, and by March for the Revolve.” No news yet as to when the Revolve will be officially available in the market.
So how does this kill BYOD?
The enterprise is comfortable with Windows, even if the latest version is still a new experience. IT departments can rest assured of the compatibility of Windows 8 devices, and many in the IT sector have been pining for a device that meets their needs without adding additional stress on company networks or resources.
Both devices are portable so if employees need to bring work home, it would be very easy. And because companies can order them for office use, there’s still uniformity in the office and peace of mind for IT departments.
Even before Microsoft unleashed Windows 8 on the market, the hope for HP and even Dell and Nokia was a mobile-ready Windows platform would give them a second chance in the mobile market.
See Hopkins’ full analysis below.