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HP Announces Hybrid IT Device Management Solutions

A fully managed service and two-cloud-based applications are designed to help corporate IT departments efficiently support employees who split time between home and office from afar. By Rich Freeman

HP has unveiled two device management applications and an outsourced device management service for corporate IT departments.

The new offerings, all of which are cloud-based, are expressly designed for an era of computing in which employees split time between home and the office, according to Sumeer Chandra, general manager and global head of personal systems services at HP.

“IT’s role has increased significantly and they are now tasked with enabling a hybrid workforce to be at their best wherever they are,” he says. “All our IT solutions are hybrid by design, they’re geared for enabling the hybrid workforce, and they empower IT to be at their best and enable their people to be productive every day with a great technology experience.”

Keeping employees productive and satisfied is an increasingly important responsibility for IT professionals, notes Andy Rhodes, HP’s general manager and global head of commercial systems and display solutions.

“Eighty-seven percent of companies that we polled now have employee experience front and center in the key performance objectives,” he says. IT departments that don’t meet those objectives, he adds, risk alienating end users at a time when businesses are struggling to recruit and retain talented people.

“We’re seeing attrition rates across the world higher than they’ve ever been,” Rhodes says. “Technology and the uptime of that technology are now really, really critical.”

HP Adaptive Endpoint Management, a new managed service staffed by HP technicians, is designed to help IT teams meet steep employee expectations at a time when users running a wide range of hardware rarely if ever visit the office. Subscribers can ship HP devices directly to end users and ready for them for use in less than an hour, HP says, on a zero-touch basis.

“We register the identity of the PC in the cloud so that as soon as it boots up and makes a network connection, the PC knows that it belongs to a specific customer,” says Nathan Kofahl, senior product manager for endpoint management solutions at HP. “I log in with my email address, IT sends all of my policies, all my apps, and they’re right there on the desktop, ready to work.”

The service keeps devices patched and updated after deployment as well, using the “active hours” feature in Microsoft Windows to ensure that maintenance processes requiring a restart don’t happen at times when users are typically hard at work.

IT departments are increasingly eager to offload responsibility for “the knobs and buttons of IT management” to skilled outsiders, Kofahl says. The two new applications HP announced today target organizations that prefer to keep administration in house instead.

The first of them, named HP Connect for Microsoft Endpoint Manager, is a supplement to Microsoft’s online device management platform that lets technicians remotely configure over 100 BIOS settings in commercial HP devices via the cloud.

“IT sets the determined update frequency based on their desire, and then updates happen automatically according to the schedule,” Kofahl says. Like the Adaptive Endpoint Management Service, moreover, Connect for Microsoft Endpoint Manager lets organizations perform BIOS procedures at non-disruptive times.

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