Dell, the client solutions unit of Round Rock, Texas-based Dell Technologies, has added new financing, administration, and services options to its PC-as-a-Service (PCaaS) program, and unveiled new integrations between its client systems and AirWatch, the unified endpoint management solution from Dell Technologies subsidiary VMware Inc.
Introduced in May, Dell’s PCaaS offering lets businesses acquire hardware, peripherals, software, and lifecycle services spanning deployment, management, security, and support for a single monthly per-seat sum.
Effective today, users of subscription-priced Dell OptiPlex desktops, Latitude laptops, and Precision workstations have access to new financing plans and asset recovery services as well. The new finance offer enables buyers to adjust the number of devices on their contract or upgrade those devices by five, 10 or 15 percent in the middle of their 36 or 48-month term. The asset recovery service lets Dell customers returning used PCs to Dell’s financial services group wipe data off those machines remotely.
A new team of PCaaS Services Delivery Managers can now serve as a single point of contact for a buyer’s entire as-a-service engagement too.
In addition, Dell’s standard PCaaS package now includes the ProDeploy Client Suite, which assists with planning, configuration, and integration during endpoint deployments, and the ProSupport Suite, which provides priority access to technical support and proactive monitoring services.
Finally, Dell PC subscribers can now employ Dell’s Endpoint Security Suite Enterprise system to provide data encryption and advanced threat protection for as-a-service hardware; employ Absolute Data and Device Security, from Austin, Texas-based Absolute Software Corp., for asset tracking and adaptive endpoint security; and employ VMware AirWatch to manage that hardware.
“With digital and workforce transformation, the way people work is changing,” said John Moody, vice president of Dell’s Client Solutions Services Product Group, in a press statement. “To respond to this shift, IT needs a simpler solution to provide end users with the most relevant and secure technology, and manage it throughout the entire PC lifecycle. They need flexibility in how they purchase manage and retire PCs responsibly—with one point of contact throughout—and we deliver that with PCaaS.”
Also available today is new zero-touch Windows 10 provisioning functionality for AirWatch designed to simplify deployment of new Dell Latitude and OptiPlex products, as well as select XPS and Precision workstation SKUs.
“Employees expect their device onboarding experience at the office to be as seamless as it is for them to purchase and set up a personal mobile device,” said Noah Wasmer, senior vice president for mobile products in Palo Alto, Calif.-based VMware’s End-User Computing group, in a press release.
“With the integration with AirWatch, the unified endpoint management technology that powers Workspace ONE, setting up a Dell PC can now be that simple. With just a few clicks, an employee can have their new device up and running with all their preferred applications, making them productive in minutes and helping IT drastically reduce the amount of time spent on device provisioning and onboarding.”
AirWatch also integrates with Dell’s Client Command Suite management interface now, enabling administrators to configure firmware settings via the cloud, and then update or modify them remotely and in real time.
“What’s different about what we’ve been able to jointly engineer with AirWatch and Dell Client Command Suite is you can now manage all devices from one console and manage them at the firmware level in addition to the OS,” said Brett Hansen, vice president of Client Software and general manager for Data Security at Dell, in prepared remarks. “Now, IT can optimize power management for peak and off-peak times, get reports on battery and system health to reduce user downtime and data loss, and remotely manage the BIOS settings for increased security. Dell is the only PC manufacturer with this depth of visibility into PC health and status both above and below the OS.”
Businesses buying more and more of their software via monthly subscription payments are increasingly looking to purchase hardware the same way. HP Inc., Lenovo, and Microsoft are three of many OEMs to roll out as-a-service procurement programs in response to that trend. Distributor Ingram Micro Inc. introduced a hardware subscription offering as well in August of last year, and then expanded it this May.