With BYOD, you don't need external corporate IT support, but it sure doesn't hurt. Now, CDW, a multi-billion dollar technology sales and support company, will be offering both Chromebook sales and management to their business customers.
Andrea Bradshaw, CDW's senior director and general manager for mobility solutions, said, "Two tech powerhouses—Google and CDW—have teamed up to offer complete Google Chromebook solutions to CDW’s more than 250,000 customers. Here’s why the Chromebook solution’s mobile, cloud-based computing matters:"
- Scalability: Large quantities of Chromebooks all operating under the same cloud-based network to keep organizations connected.
- Deployment: Seamless implementation of Chromebook fleets, including network assessments and wireless configuration to ensure bandwidth.
- Security: A management console that ensures Chromebooks are protected by Web filters and firewalls.
"The partnership not only offers a cost-effective device, but also ease of use for the end user and peace of mind for management," concluded Bradshaw.
Specifically, CDW now offers Acer and Samsung Chromebooks. Sometime soon CDW will also sale Lenovo and HP Chromebooks. On all of these they'll also supply Web-based management and applications—a full, cloud-based computing solution. The CDW will also include an array of network, integration and configuration services. CDW will also be able to support any Chromebooks you already have in-house.
CDW will be using Google's Chromebook Management Console to deploy, scale and centrally manage a company's Chromebook fleet. According to CDW, "With just a few clicks on the management console, IT administrators can apply policies, applications and settings to different sets of users. For example, schools may want to pre-install or block applications, extensions or URLs for different grade levels of students and unfetter access for teachers. Other organizations may require different settings for management and non-management staff. Via the management console, IT can manage user access and control network access, making it easy for users to get up and running, while ensuring they are protected by Web filters and firewalls."
“The organizational benefits of the Chromebook solution are twofold: Ease of use for the end user and peace of mind for management,” added Bradshaw in a statement, “Users can collaborate and connect to the resources they need in the cloud, wherever they are. Organizations can deploy and scale quickly with very little management overhead – and sleep better at night knowing that security protections and protocols are in place.”
Besides system management via the console, CEW is also offering packages with their network optimization and wireless configuration to ensure your company's Chromebooks get the bandwidth they need. In addition, the company will be offering asset tagging and inventory management and configuration services.
“Chromebooks are simple, fast, secure and affordable laptops, and they help people discover, connect and learn,” said Rajen Sheth, Google's Chrome OS group product manager in a statement. “CDW has a great track record in the industry, and we’re excited to work with them to help more organizations experience the ease and cost-effectiveness of Chromebooks.”
I'd said it before, I'll say it again. Microsoft should start worrying about the Chromebooks. Chromebook buyers aren't just people buying cheap laptops, Chromebook buyers are companies, disillusioned with Windows 8, looking for an inexpensive, cloud-based, secure corporate desktop. Do you seriously think CDW would be providing enterprise-level support for a flash-in-the-pan? I don't think so.
Believe it or not, ready or not, the Linux-based Chromebook is on its way to be a serious business desktop competitor.