While we may not have thought of it in such terms, we have had a "device-as-a-service" business model for many years all over the world.
Whenever someone rents a car or other vehicle, uses a printer through a cloud service or subscribes to a Pacemaker for a heart patient, those are all examples of DaaS, although it hasn't been a commonly used acronym for this purpose. DaaS, in IT language, has most often referred to "desktop-as-a-service"—which, come to think of it, is also a form of "device-as-a-service."
Hewlett-Packard Inc., which is looking for new ways to market laptop and desktop PCs, printers and all the other devices it makes, has seized upon this idea in its own way.
On June 30, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company unveiled a DaaS (device-as-a-service) initiative, one that has already been up and running with several of its clients for the last few months.
The limited program has worked very well, HPI's Vice-President and General Manager of Support Services Bill Avey told a conference call of reporters and analysts on June 29, so the company is bringing it out for general availability.
Workplace Tools Need to Fit Workforce
As more and more Millennials come into the work force, they expect to see light, fast, small, and up-to-date tools to use, because that's what they're used to, and their tools are like a badge of honor, Avey said.
"Older employees might want bigger screen and keyboards. The point is, work tools need to fit the work force, and as workforces become more diverse, the tools must adjust fit the needs," Avey said.
Otherwise, Avey said, employees will find workarounds in so-called shadow IT (using their own laptops, smartphones, tablets and applications) to get the job done—which is always a nightmare for enterprise security professionals.
Millennials, who grew up with tech and are defined as those ages 18 to 34 in 2015, now number 75.4 million, surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 51 to 69). Millennials now comprise a bit more than 50 percent of the U.S. work force in 2016.
Per-seat, Per-month Contract
Using HPI DaaS, enterprise can now obtain HP's latest PCs, tablets, printers and other devices using a single contract (per seat, per month) with no upfront investment. This certainly takes a lot of the stress out of acquiring, deploying and managing all those devices. The DaaS approach frees up IT time and resources while allowing for predictable annual costs, Avey said.
The program is globally scalable, meaning customers can easily evolve their hardware infrastructure to adapt to changing workforces. It also lets businesses give their worldwide employees access to the latest PCs for greater productivity, collaboration and innovation, Avey said.
"Our new offering removes the complexity around device management and gives customers a simpler way to access and implement needed technology and support," Avey said. "When something doesn't work, or a battery goes out, we take care of it immediately for you."
HP also updates security and software, according to the requirements in the contract.
HP DaaS allows customers to pay one price per seat for their PCs on a monthly basis over a multi-year period. Within that subscription, they can receive the latest technology and customized services and support from HP, including PC configuration and installation, data migration, onsite support and technology recycling.
Pricing and Availability
HP's Device as a Service subscription is currently available here and through select channel partners. The offering is expected to roll out more broadly via HP Inc.'s Partner First Program later this year. Pricing will vary based on individual subscriptions.