HP Rises to Productivity Challenge

    Despite the availability of any number of new and emerging technologies, there hasn’t been a major leap in employee productivity in quite some time. In fact, productivity has slowed considerably over the last decade. HP, Inc. this week launched a bevy of PC and printer offerings that are squarely focused on improving productivity.

    Starting with 12 and 14-in. additions to the HP Elite series of notebooks that can run an HP PhoneWise application to access text messages delivered to a connected smartphone to a forthcoming HP Roam mobile computing application that leverages a cloud service to allow end users to print a document anywhere using printers that can identify an embedded malware in a file, Alex Cho, vice president and general manager for the HP Commercial PC business unit, says HP is focusing its efforts on enhancing collaboration to differentiate its PCs.

    For example, Cho says, HP has developed brighter displays that make it easier to use a PC anywhere inside or out of an office. HP has also improved the bass audio on PCs to make collaboration applications such as Microsoft Skype sound less tinny, says Cho. There’s also a wireless keyboard that has built-in controls for Skype and an option that allows end users to pop up and down a video camera.

    “Technology can either be a distraction or an enabler,” says Cho. “We want people to be able to engage more authentically.”

    Other capabilities include a HP ShareBoard that enables end users to use a pen to take notes or draw a diagram that can then be seamlessly captured on a PC, as well as a new Professional Edition of an HP Sprout device that makes it much simpler to print pictures captured using a tablet or smartphone.

    HP this week also enhanced an existing device-as-a-service (DaaS) offering that Cho says is transforming the relationship the company has with customers. New capabilities announced this week include advanced analytics that help IT organizations identify usage patterns that would indicate what type of machine one employee might be better off using than another. For example, some employees, based on their usage of applications, might be better served by a new HP mobile workstation launched this week than a traditional notebook. That HP DaaS service not only applies to HP PCs, but also mobile computing devices running Android or Apple iOS and HP has already committed to expanding that service out to additional operating systems as part of a concerted effort to provide a managed service through which devices are both remotely managed and regularly updated by HP. The basic idea is to enable internal IT organizations to focus more of their time on adding value to the business than manually managing devices.

    Obviously, these latest HP offerings are not going to solve the productivity problem all on their own. But they do represent a significant step in the right direction.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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