Dell Shows New Management Platform, PCs for Workers

PRODUCT NEWS ANALYSIS: The Unified Workspace platform and refreshed Latitude lineup aim to improve the experience of workers who want more features and mobility.

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LAS VEGAS—At a time when the workforce is getting more diverse and employee demand for new technologies is ramping, Dell Technologies is looking to give workers the PCs they want to use and the tools to make it easier and faster for IT departments to deploy, manage and secure those systems.

Over the first two days of the Dell Technologies World 2019 show here, company executives unveiled the latest generation of Latitude commercial laptops that includes such capabilities as longer battery life, faster battery charge, faster WiFi connectivity and enhanced security.

Dell also introduced the Dell Technologies Unified Workspace platform, which includes capabilities from Dell companies VMware and Secureworks, to enable IT administrators to improve the end-user experience from the selection of the device through deployment, management and support.

Through the Unified Workspace offering, IT administrators get the systems into the hands of their employees more quickly with all the applications and features they need by streamlining and automation many of the current manual processes and improving their overall experience integrating VMware’s Workspace ONE system management offering on Dell devices.

What Workpace ONE is All About

Workspace ONE includes everything from unified endpoint management and simplified access management to a secure digital workspace and integrated insights into the device, one of several points during the show where Dell and VMware collaborated on products and initiatives, which executives from both said was a competitive advantage.

The goal of Unified Workspace is to enable employees—most of whom work at least part of their time out of the office—to be more productive while they’re on the road, according to Dell officials.

“The modern worker wants to be able to work from anywhere anytime and wants to have great mobility,” Rahul, Tikoo, vice president and general manager of commercial mobility products at Dell, said during the second-day keynote address at the show.

The moves by Dell illustrate the continued importance of the PC as a commercial productivity device despite several years of declining shipments worldwide, according to Bob O’Donnell, principal analyst with Technalysis Research. Dell and other PC makers like HP Inc. and Lenovo all have improved the designs and features of their notebooks, making them smaller, lighter and more powerful, O’Donnell told eWEEK. That’s led to what he called a “golden era of business notebooks. Before it was hard to find a good one. Now it’s hard to find a bad one.”

The new Latitude 7000, 5000 and 3000 series are 10 to 14 percent smaller than competitive systems, Tikoo said. The ExpressCharge feature means that a notebook can charge to 80 percent of its capacity in an hour or 35 percent in 20 minutes with ExpressCharge Boost. Some PCs include ExpressConnect, which can find and connect the system to the strongest WiFi for up to 40 percent faster throughput, fingerprint readers in the power button and Windows Hello-capable cameras for biometric authentication.

New SafeBIOS Adds to Security

There are new camera privacy shutters, smart card readers and Dell’s SafeBIOS to ensure the firmware hasn’t been tampered with. The Latitudes, which are available this week, are powered by Intel’s latest vPro Core processors. The screen sizes range from 13 to 15 inches, and prices range from $599 to $1,299.

For Dell, the differentiator is the software, including VMware’s Workspace ONE, in the Unified Workspace platform, O’Donnell said. For IT, the platform improves many of the complex processes. For employees, it means they more quickly have the system they want with the features they need. IT administrators can get data to give them insights into how the employee uses their PC—from the applications they use and the battery consumption to storage utilization—to help them select the right PCs and applications for workers.

The PCs are then shipped preconfigured from the Dell factory to the employees, saving IT staffs time and money. The workers get personalized devices that they start using quickly. The platform includes not only Workspace ONE, but also Microsoft 365 and Dell’s provisioning and deployment services.

“You can literally go to a new employee or someone getting a new system and turns an experience of hours getting the system ready for them—often with a lot of personal touch involved—to sitting on a desk, literally logging onto the system and you have your applications and your environments sitting there ready for you to go,” Sam Burd, president of Dell’s Client Solutions Group, said during a press conference.

“Once you do that, you can keep your system up-to-date with our tools [and with] the integration we have with VMware into our tools and managing systems. They’re always up-to-date, which [means] we set that modern experience, that faster experience.”