While reliance on PC-as-a-service (PCaaS) as a method for procuring PCs and other devices remains nascent, interest is definitely growing. As part of the shift to the cloud, many organizations now want to treat every aspect of IT as an operational expense, including all the hardware used to access cloud applications.
With those issues in mind, Dell today significantly expanded its PCaaS offering through which organizations pay a monthly fee for PCs to include integration with VMware AirWatch endpoint management software to automate the provisioning of Windows 10 desktops.
Brett Hansen, vice president for client software and general manager for data security at Dell, says since Dell and VMware both became units of Dell Technologies, the two sister companies have been developing several products together, including now Windows 10 Provisioning by AirWatch. The goal is to enable end users to provision their PCs over the air in much the same way they provision their smartphones today, says Hansen.
“This is what is known as over the air provisioning,” says Hansen. “Makers of smartphones have been doing it for years.”
In addition, the two companies have integrated Dell Client Command Suite, the tools Dell provides to manage PCs, with VMware AirWatch. Hansen says this is significant because it means for the first time a tool such as AirWatch can now manage everything above and below the operating system.
Dell is also making available as an option Dell Endpoint Security Suite Enterprise software as well as asset tracking and security software from Absolute Software. Dell also announced today that it is making available a PCaaS Services Delivery Manager, a member of the Dell staff that essentially functions as a PCaaS concierge for customers. Dell has also added an AsseT Recovery service through which it will reclaim old PCs, and is including the Dell ProDeploy Client Suite, which provides tools for configuring and integrating PCs.
Finally, Dell has expanded the financing options available to increase or decrease the number of PCs covered under a contract by up to 15 percent across the span of either a 36- or 48-month contract.
Hansen says many organization are finding it more challenging to keep pace with advances in software that continue to arrive at a more rapid pace. A PCaaS contract enables them to replace PCs as software requirements expand in a way that significantly reduces the total cost of operations. Naturally, Hansen says, Dell is hoping that much of that savings will be plowed back into acquiring the latest generation of PCs.
Of course, PCaaS also changes the way IT organizations manage endpoints. Hansen says PCaaS almost requires organizations to modernize the way they manage fleets of PCs. Right now, however, Hansen says only a minority of organizations have made that transformation. But over the next few years, Hansen says, Dell is confident that the number of organizations that make that transition will be growing at a double-digit rate.