Now that it’s become fairly routine for IT organizations to manage smartphones and tablets via the cloud, starting this week Hewlett-Packard is looking to apply that concept more broadly via the new HP Touchpoint Manager service that can manage workstations, tablets, PCs and smartphones running Android, iOS or Windows.
Aimed at small to medium businesses, a subscription to the HP Touchpoint Manager service is available for free for the next six months to any organization that signs up for a basic server agreement. A professional version of the service with additional functionality is available for $5 per user, per month for the first six months.
Michael Park, vice president and general manager of HP's Mobility and Software Business Personal Systems group, says organizations that use HP PC devices can also use HP Touchpoint Manager to gain deeper insight into the hardware health, device warranty information, and some special features in certain models, such as “Always On” out-of-band find and lock-and-wipe capabilities that can be employed when a PC is lost or stolen.
Rather than confining the use of IT management services in the cloud to smartphones and tablets, Park says the time has come to simplify the management of all mobile computing devices. While large enterprise IT organizations usually have dedicated solutions to manage devices, Park notes that the average SMB organization is now being overwhelmed because every employee now has multiple devices to be managed.
Park adds that IT managers can use HP Touchpoint Manager to centrally apply security policies and troubleshoot mobile devices issued from anywhere they happen to be, which means they no longer need to be tethered to a management console in the office. This also means that IT organizations no longer have to deploy separate stacks of management software to manage and secure smartphones and tablets alongside traditional PC devices, says Park.
Park says the time has come to more broadly apply IT management services in the cloud. In fact, as cloud computing evolves, manufacturers of devices are clearly using the cloud to extend the scope and reach of the services they provide. In the case of HP, those services now include traditional PC devices alongside the plethora of smartphones and tablets that still need to be centrally managed by the internal IT organization regardless of who actually owns them.