Dell's new business systems focus on needs of "consumerized" companies

Dell is announcing a major refresh of its business computing systems today with 24 new notebooks, desktops, tablets and workstation computers - and the company said there's even more in the works for enterprise customers later in the year. Among them is a 10-inch tablet computer running MIcrosoft's Windows 7, expected to launch later this year.

Dell is announcing a major refresh of its business computing systems today with 24 new notebooks, desktops, tablets and workstation computers - and the company said there's even more in the works for enterprise customers later in the year. Among them is a 10-inch tablet computer running MIcrosoft's Windows 7, expected to launch later this year.

I spoke this week wiith Paul D’Arcy, the executive director of marketing for Dell’s Large Enterprise business, who explained that one of the primary drivers of the fresh engineering behind these products was the consumerization of the workplace.

Granted, that concept isn't new. For some time, employees have been coming into the workplace either asking for a specific type of mobile device or computer system, resisting the company-issued Blackberry and insisting on access to the company's network for their home computers or personal laptops.

This becomes really important when college grads start hitting the workforce because so today's graduates have grown up in an world of advanced technology, one where they can Facebook or Tweet or even check their email from pretty much any device.

To walk into a workplace and be seated in front of a desktop computer running Windows XP that has partial Web access and be handed a Blackberry that's only to be used for corporate email is like taking two steps backward.

That's a lot of pressure for IT to be loosening up the rules.

And that's what Dell is trying to address through both hardware and software, D'Arcy said. The new Latitude laptops, for example, come with enhanced security features such as data protection and remote data wipe functionality - tools that give the user the freedom to use the computer's full range of capabilities but also gives the IT folks the peace of mind that they still have control of the company's data.

Likewise, the company - utilizing the tools it picked up with last year's acquisition of KACE, which makes systems management appliances - is helping customers to automate time-consuming manual IT tasks. That's everything from initial computer deployment. remote software distribution, patch management and even retirement.

A number of the systems will be available immediately, while pricing and availability information for others will be released in the coming weeks.