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Elite x3: Could a Phone Replace Your Work PC?

Client Computing | Posted on April 5, 2017 by Arun Kirupananthan

How App Virtualization Makes This Possible

Two years ago, Wired Magazine predicted the smartphone could replace the PC as your only computing device. Could this prediction now be coming true, even in a work context?

You’ve always equipped your employees with a desktop or laptop PC. In some instances, you’ve provided a phone, too. But managing all these devices increases support costs.

Computer Economics found that 43% of organizations in the US and Canada planned to increase their capital IT spend in 2016.  Meanwhile, desktop and laptops are both in the top 3 planned hardware investment categories for businesses this year.

To reduce costs, you’ve probably considered lower cost laptop or desktop options. But, expensive hardware refreshes end up eliminating those savings. Covering more than one device per employee only multiplies the expense. That’s why small and mid-market businesses want leaner hardware deployments.

Today’s smartphones offer enough processing power to handle most business tasks. According to Frost & Sullivan, 72% of users say they use phones to access corporate data and systems. Another 71% use a smartphone for collaboration apps.  For many workers, having the power of a PC and the connectivity of a phone in one device would be a game-changer.

The HP Elite X3 combines mobility and business productivity through Windows Continuum and app virtualization.

The Future of Work through App Virtualization

Virtualization lets a mobile device run desktop applications like a PC. A remote computer pushes the interface over the Wi-Fi or data network to another device. The user gains almost all the functionality of a “real” desktop app, albeit remotely. In this scenario, a phone can operate like a thin client. It also adds the advantages of portability and support for an external display.

The cost to deploy and host virtual servers is prohibitive to many small and mid-market companies. So is the cost of IT resources to maintain them. HP Workspace is HP’s subscription service for virtualization. It’s designed for organizations without the infrastructure to support on-premises virtual servers.

Windows Continuum lets you extend Windows 10 Mobile to a connected display with a larger screen. HP Workspace then allows you to run Win32 apps through the X3 device. This makes virtualized workplaces realistic even for smaller organizations, or those relying on legacy Windows apps.

The HP Elite X3 lets users tap into the benefits of Citrix desktop virtual desktop interface (VDI) from wherever they are. The device runs the Citrix Receiver app from the Windows 10 app store. And, HP Workspace streamlines users’ access to your organization’s curated application catalog. The result is a full-featured Citrix VDI usable from an employee’s main communication device.

A Workplace without PCs?

Many people don’t spend all or even most of their workday in the office. For professionals in sales, field services, and public safety, mobility is key. Whether they’re visiting a client, on the job site, or in rapid response, they also need full business productivity wherever they are. Much of this mobile-first workforce only needs access to a desktop for some work-related tasks.

So, how many devices does the average mobile-first worker really need?

For sales professionals, the legwork often happens in transit, onsite with clients, or at trade shows and conferences. They spend much of their time on emails, calls and in presentations. The laptop or desktop experience is often reserved for the catch-up at home or in the hotel room.

Meanwhile, for workers in field services, the “office” is often a noisy job site. Still, they need to access site-specific information, adjust plans and designs, or file billing and reporting. Smartphones also offer digital alternatives to many tools-of-the-trade that rival their manual counterparts.

In the public safety sector, timely access to information is mission-critical. Firefighters, police officers and other first-responders rely on responsive communication to save lives. Public safety organizations also depend on timely and accurate reporting, often from the field.

In these scenarios, the smartphone is a likely “first-choice” device for workers. In a virtualized workplace, it could be the only device necessary. The results are significant hardware savings and more flexibility for high mobility workers.

Ready for a Revolution in Business Mobility?

With the HP Elite X3, Windows Continuum and app virtualization via HP Workspace mobile and PC-like experiences are possible on one device. The X3 supports a PC-like “windowed” experience running many apps at the same time on a larger display. The ability to share Desk Docks and Lap Docks among staff means even greater capital savings. In turn, HP Workspace allows for remote use of critical applications that aren’t yet mobilized or require a desktop interface. These features make the Elite X3 and HP Workspace powerful tools for mobile-first workers.

Learn how to optimize your Windows 10 Mobile deployment or on-premises Citrix VDI with a Softchoice demo.

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