Software as a Service isn't that complicated of a model to understand, even if you don't work in (or care much about) the enterprise world. Devices as a Service is a bit stranger, but it basically boils down to one word: leasing. And that's exactly what HP is planning to offer as part of its latest business idea for the enterprise world.
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As The Wall Street Journal recently reported, HP is going to offer enterprise customers the ability to acquire computers and devices for a monthly leasing fee, rather than an upfront purchase cost. While that will likely cost a company more in the long run if it sticks with that equipment, it does allow a budding enterprise to better allocate resources in its earlier stages. (Perhaps investing more in a product, rather than the infrastructure to support the business, could allow the company to then become more self-sufficient and own its own hardware at a later date.)
"HP Device as a Service spans every stage of the lifecycle, and can be adapted to meet your exact needs—so you don't pay more than you need to. Add to that the security you get from having your devices managed, controlled, and disposed of safely, and your worries fade away. Now you can provide the devices and experiences users love and the lifecycle efficiencies your business craves—with the economies of scale, global accountability and world-class services that HP delivers," reads HP's description.
The price of these leases would vary with each customer's needs, but HP sees the entire program as more than just a vehicle for enterprise cost savings.
"The real magic is the management and analytics portion that comes in with the 'as a service' model. When we talk to IT decision makers... we find they don't know what devices they have, they don't know where those devices are... how they're performing and whether they're meeting the end user's needs," said Bill Avey, a general manager and the global head of HP's personal system services, in an interview with ZDNet.
In other words, HP can analyze the systems its leasing to a particular company to determine whether users might need more storage or processing power—and either provision those accordingly, or let the enterprise know so it can lease more gear. HP can also determine whether some of the systems it has already leased are a bit too powerful for those using them and, if so, adjust the enterprise's leasing arrangement. HP could also provide replacement parts, like batteries, after determining that an enterprise's rental laptops are starting to have uptime issues.
"At the end of a device's lifecycle, HP will refresh with the latest technology products. We will remove the old units, secure your hard drives (disk wipe, or return them to you) and perform data migration as well as recycle them in an environmentally friendly manner. As new products are introduced, HP will also assess and design a plan to refresh products over subsequent years," reads HP's description.