HP Spectre
Courtesy of HP
By Barb Darrow
July 1, 2016

Companies that have put off PC upgrades for too long may want to check out a new program under which HP Inc. offers its latest PCs or tablets, along with associated management software, for no money down to corporate customers.

Under what HP (hpq) is calling a Device-as-a-Service program, it charges companies a per-user-per-month fee that covers hardware upgrades, configuration or set up, data migration, and device management.

Tom Mainelli, program manager for devices and vice president for market research firm IDC, said the program has quietly rolled out over the last few months and is good for HP customers and HP alike. The PC market has been under pressure for the last few years.

Thus, any program that assures a steady flow of hardware upgrades is bound to be helpful to HP. The use of aging hardware and software can ding corporate data security and employee morale alike. (No one wants to use a creaky, cranky PC, after all.)

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“Hardware upgrades have gotten pushed to the back burner at companies as they deal with other IT challenges. But if you build in new hardware every three years, the customer benefits and HP benefits,” Mainelli noted.

For more, read: HP Claims World’s Skinniest Laptop

Under this deal, HP will handle the hardware upgrades, security and management software—some of which comes from HP and some from other vendors, but all are managed and maintained by HP or an HP partner, Mainelli specified. Either way, the customer gets that proverbial “one throat to choke” if something goes sideways, he added.

Corporate IT departments hate it when there’s a problem, and suppliers point fingers at each other rather than taking responsibility for fixing it. In this case, HP, or its designated reseller partner, have promised to ensure these issues are addressed accordingly.

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Budget-conscious IT buyers like the no-upfront-cost aspect, and the ability to which can also add or subtract PCs quickly, said Patrick Moorhead, chief executive of research firm Moor Insights & Strategy. An added benefit is that HP provides analytics to see if companies max out some resources and underutilize others.

While most hardware makers offer hardware leasing, this layers on a lot more services, Mainelli said. He noted he is unaware of other PC makers offering a similar service, but said all of them are looking into it.

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