With Windows 8 scheduled to be generally available on October 26 of this year, many small and mid-sized businesses are expected to time their hardware refreshes until after the arrival of Microsoft's new flagship operating system. This is a prudent move, for PC manufacturers are even now preparing a slew of new desktops and laptops to be launched at the end of October.
If there is one criterion that SMBs may want to consider when buying a new PC, it would be to choose a business-class PC over one designed with consumers in mind. This recommendation was broadly outlined in a short contributed blog written by Eric Townsend, director of MSP and SMB marketing for Intel, and sent to me via email.
Townsend wrote: "Small businesses that manage their own IT without the help of dedicated in-house staff or a managed service provider should consider PCs with built-in support for small business." By this, he is referring to business-centric PCs that are embedded with the company's Intel vPro technology.
According to Townsend, vPro can help the IT department or external vendors to remotely perform tasks after office hours or over the weekend. This may range from backup tasks that employees always seem to forget, to resolving technical issues without having a negative impact on staff productivity during office hours.
Moreover, Rolph Fargo, director of technical services at Resource One, a Managed Service Provider (MSP), highlights some of the advantages a business-class PC offers over one designed with consumers in mind:
They are built to be more durable and rugged, they typically include enhancements that safeguard both a company and the data contained on their PCs, come with better options, and can be more easily supported by SMBs or MSPs.
Another idea that Townsend presents would be to use the services of an MSP to monitor the health of PCs deployed in an SMB. Where necessary, the MSP can effect repairs quickly without having to make an on-site visit, allowing SMBs a greater peace of mind.
Townsend summed it up this way:
Business-class PCs are a good investment that deliver better reliability and features, while also being easier to manage and repair. While there may be a slight extra cost upfront, your investment actually delivers a lower total cost of ownership through improved efficiency, productivity, and security.
I plan to write a bit more about the services and value that MSP can provide to SMBs, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, feel free to email me or leave your thoughts in the comments section below.