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Is Microsoft Surface Pro 3 the Tablet Your Office Has Been Waiting For?

Client Computing | Posted on April 1, 2015

The benefits of adopting enterprise-focused tablets in your workplace are well-established by this point, and they bear repeating. Tablets are portable, versatile options to the traditional workplace notebook, and their dual-function nature means that employers may forego the usual laptop-and-mobile-device combo and commit to a single all-purpose tablet.

While this is true, IT teams are well aware of the barriers to widespread enterprise adoption of tablets. Historically, the leading tablets on the market have been powered by iOS or Android, while the modern workplace is still overwhelmingly Windows-focused. The time and effort to bridge those two worlds (non-Windows tablets to a Windows workplace) is often prohibitive, and no one knows this challenge better than Andrew Stavrou, Enterprise PC and Mobility Architect at Softchoice.

We talked to Andrew about his personal experiences with the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, which, in his words, is a product “the enterprise has been wanting for years.”

The missing link

“The majority of enterprises are Windows environments,” says Andrew. “The iPad set a benchmark for mobile devices, and it creeped into the enterprise space.”

The creep of mobile devices into the everyday office environment makes perfect sense; the rise of personal touchscreen devices at home created a situation where workers weren’t just comfortable with these devices, they were fluent with them. However, the demand to seamlessly integrate tablets into workplaces created a huge IT challenge: These devices were often ill-suited to integrate with a Windows-based infrastructure.

“All IT departments want an iPad solution in a Windows operating system, and in my opinion, the Surface Pro 3 is the perfect solution,” he says.

Why the Surface Pro 3?

As you may have determined from the name, the Surface Pro 3 is not the first of its kind. So what makes this edition different?

“Two to three years ago, organizations were having preliminary Windows tablet trials, but they fell short in terms of usability and needs,” says Andrew. “The technology and performance was premature, and prior to Windows 8, the OS was not optimized for a truly mobile/touch interface. Now it’s exactly where it needs to be. Until Surface Pro 3, we didn’t have a viable option to truly replace the notebook. Now we do.”

And replacing the notebook isn’t just a matter of portability (although no one is going to miss carrying around a bulky laptop bag), it’s a matter of cost. The typical office provides its workers with both a notebook and a mobile device to allow for both in-office work (notebook) and portable connectedness (mobile device). That’s an additional cost of $500-$1,000, depending on the specific device. The Surface Pro 3 is an all-in-one device, marrying the office functionality of a laptop to the portability of a mobile device. One device, tailored to your office infrastructure.

What makes the Surface Pro 3 different?

The ability to interface directly with your Windows-based office infrastructure is the most immediate advantage the Surface Pro 3 has over other tablets, and it goes further than that. The Surface Pro 3 is a mobile device that effortlessly plugs in to peripherals to become a Windows 8.1 desktop machine.

“Everything I can do in the office with a workstation, I can do on the Surface Pro 3, with the added benefit of being highly portable,” says Andrew. “I dock my Surface directly into my usual desktop setup, and it doesn’t lose any functionality. With an iPad, there aren’t any external ports, so there’s no way to connect an external mouse, USB keyboard, or dock with multiple monitors. The Surface Pro 3 addresses all my workplace concerns.”

That’s effortless interaction with your Windows-enabled office, plus immediate plug-and-play peripheral support, which is literally nonexistent in other tablets and mobile devices.

What Softchoice offers with the Surface Pro 3

While the Surface Pro 3 runs on the Windows 8.1 operating system and sports a larger 12-inch display than previous versions, not all offices are as up-to-date when it comes to their OS needs. Fully adopting the Surface Pro 3 means an organization-wide update to Windows 8.1, and that is challenging for any workforce, regardless of size. Luckily, Softchoice specializes in managing and facilitating the transition process.

“I’m a qualified Engineer, and my team and I at Softchoice provide training and assist with every part of a transition. From imaging and on-site deployment of new Surface Pro 3’s, to employee training session on Windows 8.1, we offer a number of robust services.”

The Next Step

If you’re ready to embrace hybrid devices in your business (and bring your infrastructure OS into the present at the same time), contact Andrew Stavrou and his team at Softchoice.

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