Today’s rapidly changing work environment has seen many businesses facing an increase in the number of employees working from home, along with a decrease in revenue. It’s no surprise to learn that organisations seek to move away from the traditional Capex model of hardware spend.
It’s for this reason, suggests Burger Lourens, Acting CTO at Altron Managed Solutions, that the company has launched what it calls Device-as-a-Service (DaaS). An evolution of PC-as-a-Service, he says DaaS encompasses not only the hardware device – which can be anything from a laptop or tablet to a printer or inverter – but also all the services that go with it.
“These services include remote manage-ment, software licences, anti-virus and malware protection, and so on. This is fundamentally what makes it different to a standard rental agreement, which usually only takes into account the hardware,” he says.
“Our DaaS offering includes the procure-ment and financing of the devices, as well as deployment, configuration and installation on-site. We will install all the relevant apps, connect the device to a printer if required and undertake a specified maintenance contract, which runs from one to five years in length.”
Lourens adds that a one-year contract has been found to be suitable for executives that insist on having access to the latest hardware, although a three-year contract is considered the most optimal. Additionally, this can be extended to five years, should the company wish to sweat its assets.
“When the contract ends, we can assist the client with the decommissioning and destruction of the device, or, alternatively, with reinvesting it in a CSI initiative or through a donation to a school. The end-user even has the option to buy the device at its existing market value. In addition, for those industries that require it, we can ensure the complete destruction of the hard drive before anything else is done with the device.
“Over the past year, we have witnessed a tremendous increase in volumes, driven largely by the demand for remote working. At the beginning of lockdown, many organisations needed to enable remote workers quickly, but without having the requisite capex to buy large volumes of hardware.”
It was no surprise, he adds, that many businesses sought out rental devices, particularly those that had services included alongside. This was a critical driver for the adoption of the DaaS model, as it is the services wrapped around the device that truly enable the remote worker to operate effectively.
“Which remote employee would not be happier to not have to personally worry about issues like basic maintenance, anti-virus, patch management and anti-malware, particularly in light of how cybercriminals have been targeting home workers?”
In addition, because the service focuses on all types of devices, it means the same model can be used for network equipment or printers, for example, while for larger enterprises, the same model can apply for servers, switches, routers or access points.
“With work from home likely here to stay, this type of model is the obvious choice to ensure that your employees have access to the devices, services and assistance they may need. Moreover, we are continuously expanding the managed services we wrap around the devices, with the latest on the cards being end-user experience-monitoring and tracking.
With this, we will be able to determine if the remote end-user has the same experience as they would in the office, thereby improving employee – and by extension, customer – wellbeing,” he concludes.