Mobility News

HP Inc. Touts Elite X3 As A 'Device That's Every Device,' Enabling Partners To Drive Mobile Device Management

Lindsey O'Donnell

Today’s enterprise companies are facing security and device management challenges in an increasingly mobile world, and HP Inc. said it is prepared to help partners tap into the opportunities these trends open up for the channel.

Karl Paetzel, director of mobility software and services product management at HP Inc., said the mobilization of enterprises creates a bevy of revenue opportunities for solution providers.

’Solution providers can identify the gaps for mobile customers and then help them implement device management solutions,’ he told a roomful of partners at XChange 2016, a conference being held in San Antonio this week and hosted by CRN parent The Channel Company. ’There are big opportunities here for channel partners as big organizations wake up and realize the importance of managing mobile end devices.’

[Related: Lenovo Exec: At The End Of The Day, It's All About Expansion And Better Devices]

While talking about partner enablement for mobility solutions, Paetzel discussed HP Inc.’s future vision of mobility as one where customers can can have one device with all the apps, and one operating system, issued by an IT organization – as opposed to several devices.

This product, the HP Elite x3, is a ’device that’s every device,’ according to Paetzel – the phablet has the power of a PC, versatility of a tablet, and premium smartphone features.

The 5.96-inch Windows 10 device, which launched at Mobile World Congress in February, gives commercial customers access to Windows legacy applications as well as the ability to pair with HP Mobile Extender and Desk Dock, delivering a next-generation mobile experience. Desk Dock enables customers to use Continuum for phones on their Elite x3 by connecting to a monitor and some other accessories.

For example, Paetzel said, after companies deploy the Elite x3, employees can start a task on the go and finish at their desk using this device with Desk Dock – instead of having to juggle multiple devices. The phablet is compatible with customers’ existing mobile device management solutions and Windows environment, making it easier for teams to secure and manage.

But on the channel level, partners can leverage HP Inc.’s Elite x3 to have a discussion with commercial customers about their mobile workforce – and ultimately drive mobile device management and mobile security services, said Paetzel.

Mobile device management is a ’best practice,’ said Paetzel, and as more companies are recognizing this, particularly midsize companies, more opportunities are arising.

For example, according to an HP survey of customers, more than 40 percent of midsize companies are interested in mobile security and hosted data backup services, while 47 percent of midsize firms plan to increase their budgets for mobile security and other functions.

Meanwhile, 51 percent of midsize firms said that they have experienced security breaches – showing that the dangers of not implementing the best mobile security and device management practices is very real for clients, said Paetzel.

’Many customers who never felt the pains of a breach don’t see security as an immediate need … but security threats multiply with bring-your-own-device policies,’ he said. ’A lot of customers have felt the pains of undergoing a security breach, and [partners] can go in and talk to those customers about security.’

Solution providers, for their part, can tap into this changing workforce by offering device management solutions – including working with customer cross-functional teams to coordinate best practices around device selection, data storage, platform selection and employee support.

Device management, which HP Inc. covers through services like HP Touchpoint Manager, has key benefits for customers, including device optimization, life-cycle management and security enforcement, said Paetzel.

Mobile security is also an opportunity for the channel as solution providers can assess the security threats of a multiplatform environment, and outline the benefits of device and platform consolidation for mobile-first employees to drive future IT investments.

Solution providers can help identify mobility expertise gaps – from end-user support to engineering – and make recommendations to customers based on these issues.

Jimmy Kuo, chief technology officer at Washington, D.C.-based InfoStrat, an HP partner, said that the Elite x3 looks like a good product, and he is seeing different approaches to mobility across the board.

’Some companies allow employees to use their own devices and others, especially nonprofit companies, will give their employees a certain amount of money and tell them to go buy a device,’ he said. ’We’re not seeing one set approach at this point.’

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