Face it, HP notes: iPads, Android and Windows tablets may be great but they weren’t built specifically for business. And the house that Meg Whitman rules may have a valid argument when you consider that the devices are being used by gazillions of kids strapped into shopping carts drawing animals for Night Zookeeper, by teens playing Candy Crush Saga and by moms who have adopted them as digital recipe displays when they cook. Never mind everyone watching Netflix.
Think about it. Do you want to make sales presentations on the device that your kid rests his lollipop on? Or that you and your honey used last night to watch a racy movie? Maybe yes, maybe no, but that’s not the main reason HP thinks that you might want to use different devices at work and at home.
“They (consumer-grade devices) also pose significant challenges to IT departments who have to support their now mobile workforces while keeping corporate data managed and secure,” said Ron Coughlin, senior vice president and general manager, Personal Systems, HP.
Built for Business
It’s for this reason that HP is introducing new line of commercial mobility solutions that consists of eight new mobile devices and an ecosystem of accessories and new strategic relationships that will allow companies to streamline and simplify their business operations while providing the IT department with confidence that tasks can be managed securely.
They have been built specifically for commercial use in sectors like education, field service, healthcare, public safety and retail. They are typically two-in-one devices that generally run Microsoft Windows or Google's Android™ operating systems, feature built-in security and can be tailored to meet specific use-case requirements with a focus on embracing business mobility.
Some of them include geeky features that their BYOD, app-driven counterparts do not.
Take, for example, the HP ElitePad 1000 G2 Healthcare Tablet, it has been designed to improve caregiver productivity and enhance patient interaction. The lightweight tablet offers an antimicrobial treatment to protect the product. It can be cleaned easily, and meets IP 5414 specifications. Deployable in any clinical environment, HP said that it helps reduce the risk of medical errors by using the 2D barcode reader to validate personnel, patients and catalog and to administrate medication.
This is something that the IBM plus Apple Mobility solution isn’t likely to offer.
There’s also the HP Duet Pen, the first to use Qualcomm Snapdragon digital pen technology on both a tablet and regular paper. It is included with the HP Pro Slate 8 and HP Pro Slate 12. The pen is part of the HP's Blended Reality Ecosystem, helping employees be more productive and create easily shareable content by writing and digitizing input from the device's screen or via a regular sheet of paper using the HP Paper Folio5.
For workers in manufacturing or in-field environments, there’s the HP ElitePad 1000 G2 Rugged Tablet rated for water and dust and MIL-STD 81016 testing, with up to 20 hours of battery life and a barcode reader to quickly access information.
And There Is More
HP offers ancillary solutions as well. Take HP Services for Schools, for example. It’s a combination of consulting, leadership development and teacher training to help schools use technology to improve student achievement. There’s also HP School Pack, a range of learning tools and IT resources, from eBooks and classroom management to security and onboard IT support. And, finally, HP Classroom Manager, easy-to-use classroom management software that allows teachers to view and control student devices and encourages collaboration.
There’s also the brand new HP Retail Case for ElitePad, which provides retailers with a versatile mobile and fixed POS solution for their employees, with two built-in cradle areas for mounting payment devices and the ability to dock to existing POS solutions. The new solution's design features hand and shoulder straps, giving retail store operators an easier and more comfortable way to access inventory and product availability, as well as improving the checkout experience.
Leveraging Solutions from Top Collaborators
HP is also partnering independent software vendors (ISVs) in healthcare, field service and public safety industries, including Cerner, Intergraph and SAP, along with system integrators and service providers to deliver complete business solutions focused on mobility.
Intergraph, for example, is announcing Intergraph Mobile Responder, which extends Intergraph's Computer Aided Dispatch solution to emergency responders in the field. HP’s Rugged Tablet is part of a joint partnership between HP, Intergraph and Microsoft.
The SAP® Enterprise Asset Management (SAP EAM) solution is planned to be an integration centerpiece to help bring innovative workflow solutions to vertical customers and industries, extending the mobility service value chain for service and inventory management coupled with the HP ElitePad 1000 G2 Rugged Tablet.
Maybe BYOD Isn’t the Answer
We’ll admit it. At first we said no way. Who wants yet another device in their lives? Yet when we took a close look at what HP has to offer, in some cases tablet and other devices built specifically for the job may be better and provide much needed solutions that existing apps do not and cannot.
Will these new solutions cause a seismic shift in the mobility business? Coughlin certainly seems to think so.
"No other company is better suited to address commercial mobility than HP,” he said. “Our devices feature built-in security, manageability and durability. When paired with our ISVs' robust solutions, HP has created an ecosystem that helps companies to powerfully and securely harness the promise of mobility."
But do they come with FaceTime, YouTube and Tinder? We know you’re dying to ask. We suggest you put those questions to your boss.