Employees love the smartphones and tablets they use at home. They love them so much that many bring them to work and increasingly expect their work-related technologies to offer the same simplicity and touch-enabled experiences.

January 17, 2014

3 Min Read
Multi-Mode Devices: The Next Wave of End-User Computing

By Lenovo Guest Blog 2

Employees love the smartphones and tablets they use at home. They love them so much that many bring them to work and increasingly expect their work-related technologies to offer the same simplicity and touch-enabled experiences.

While smartphones and tablets are great consumer devices, they’re not necessarily ideal as productivity tools. Smartphones and tablets were designed to consume content, not create it. Watching a video presentation on a tablet can be a great experience, but editing the same presentation on a tablet can be immensely frustrating.

To keep end users engaged, businesses need products that combine many of the usage modes employees enjoy on their consumer devices with the productivity capabilities of traditional notebooks and applications such as Microsoft Office. One solution to deliver this kind of functionality is “multi-mode” devices.

Multi-mode devices, such as Lenovo’s innovative Yoga convertible, have a number of advantages over laptops, tablets or a combination of the two. Most important, a single multi-mode device can function as a traditional notebook or a tablet, and can be configured based on its use, such as “stand” or “tent” mode to share and display information.

Easy to Use
From an end-user perspective, it’s better to have all data on one device. If users have separate laptops and tablets, they often find themselves looking for important files located on the device they don’t happen to have with them at the particular time. With multi-mode devices, users have all their information and applications on one device, and don’t need to worry about missing an important file, or constantly synchronizing files between two devices.

Similarly, employees with multiple devices have to bring extra chargers and adapters with them on the road. This takes up space and increases the odds that a charger, adapter, or external device such as a keyboard, will be forgotten at home.

Built for Business
A good multi-mode device is built to stand up to the rigors of mobility. Some are even tested to meet the highest standards for rugged and reliable use, including the MIL-SPEC benchmark used by the U.S. military. The same cannot be said for consumer-class tablets or laptops, which can be badly damaged or broken if dropped.

Simple to Administer
From an administrative perspective, multi-mode devices cost less than buying separate laptops and tablets. A recent Intel-commissioned study found the total cost of ownership for a tablet alone varies from just more than $2,000 for a Windows tablet to $2,500 for an Android tablet. Many multi-mode devices also feature Windows operating systems, which most IT staff know well. Securing and managing a single, familiar operating system is significantly more efficient and less costly than introducing multiple operating systems and devices. 

Recurring Reseller Revenue
For resellers, multi-mode devices also offer many benefits. Most resellers have extensive experience and expertise with Windows systems, allowing them to leverage existing skills and give customers effective support.

Many resellers also offer ongoing managed services, which can be a significant revenue stream. The tools and technologies that support these services are typically centered around Windows systems. Supporting separate tablets requires new tools and expertise, which can be a significant investment for resellers.

Strong Vendor Support
Finally, multi-mode devices are available from leading PC manufacturers, including Lenovo, that have invested in a range of attractive and compelling programs to help resellers maintain and improve their relationships with customers. Manufacturers such as Lenovo can offer alternative financing for customers who are capital-restrained, and give compelling rebates and bonuses to maximize reseller profits.

Multi-mode devices represent a smart approach for mobile workers … the next wave of end-user computing.

Kevin Walker is North America Channel Marketing Manager at Lenovo. Guest blogs such as this one are part of The VAR Guy's annual platinum sponsorship.

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