Global drinks company Gruppo Campari is considering the global roll out of Windows 8-equiped tablet PCs following the successful trial of Microsoft's new operating system by the group's Australian arm, Campari Australia.
Speaking to ZDNet, Campari's APAC IT manager, Loic Herbin, said that 60 HP ElitePad 900 tablets running Windows 8 had been piloted by the company Australian sales and marketing team since July this year.
Following positive feedback from tablet users and the local IT team, the pilot has moved to a permanent implementation and a case study on the future mobility strategy for the company.
Herbin is set to travel to Gruppo Campari's head office in Milan in December to argue the case for the global rollout of the tablets, based on the improved manageability of the devices and the productivity gains they enable.
"The group is very interested in the results [of the pilot] and I will be presenting those results next month," he said. "From that we will probably roll Windows 8 out."
"I will be saying that it is absolutely a migration we need to do."
Herbin said that it was difficult to estimate the total number of tablets which could be rolled out globally, but said the number would likely be in the hundreds.
The IT manager said the company had considered using iPads, but had opted for Windows 8-based tablets in part because globally, Campari has already heavily standardised on Microsoft applications.
"We decided to go with Windows 8 because to support it was much easier for the IT team, and because Microsoft technologies are something the team already manages," Herbin said.
"In terms of management, we are making sure we are only managing Microsoft technologies and not a mix of iPads and Microsoft technologies so we don’t have to retrain staff – that is always a hidden cost—and we don’t need to manage third party applications or find a new application to handle existing issues.
"From the user side, the benefits are that we can continue to use the Office pack. In the new Office 2013 there is an interface made for tablet and using it is easy to do."
Herbin added that had the company opted for iPads, its mobility strategy would have been significantly different in that it would have to manage both an iPad and a laptop PC for each mobile employee.
"We would have kept a laptop. The decision to move to Windows 8 was to remove the laptop," he said. "The sales team, when they do customer facing activities, do presentations on their tablet. When they get back to the office they have a docking station and can work on a bigger display.
"They absolutely need that as if they were to work on a presentation, there is only so much you can do with your finger. Of course, if they need to create a presentation they have to get back to the office."
Herbin said Campari was also actively investigating the 8.1 update to Microsoft's new OS, particularly due to the return of the Start button, and the option to enable users to boot straight to the more traditional Windows Desktop interface, rather than Windows 8's mobile interface.