How to plan your PC refresh through the hard drive shortage

With the recent news about Thailand’s floods, you might be wondering what your next steps are for planning your PC deployment needs next year. There’s much you can do to ensure that your organizations needs are met while factories in Thailand work to get back on track.

With half the global PC hard drives made in Thailand, we are seeing prices go up as inventory goes down.

Some PC models or series are more effected than others. The hardest hit will be CTO or Configured to Order systems don’t have the same inventory and lead times are moving from the usual 2-3 weeks to 5-6 weeks for delivery.

Pre-configured models are in good stock today and will be until the end of the year. January is when we will see shortages of many popular models.

Planning your next steps and taking action will be the best way to ensure that you can still meet your deployment requirements for the end of 2011 and early 2012. [Read more…]

BYOC: It’s easier than you think now.

 Important considerations with BYOC strategy

 Employees who are given laptops by their company might use their hardware eight hours a day. The remaining eight hours of awake time, in the evening or on in transit, they might connect to the office to check email or catch up on work they didn’t get a chance to do during the day but realistically they’re going to use it mainly as a personal device – watching YouTube, gaming, surfing, listening to music, writing their long dreamed of novel.

Now an increasing number of IT decision makers are asking: If I’m giving employees a $1,000 laptop or a $500 thin client, and I’ve virtualized my OS, applications and user profiles and they’re all running in my data center instead of locally, why not go a step further? Why offer users the option to buy or bring in their own laptop – HP, Sony, Mac, iPad, whatever they like – and give them an allowance or stipend that represents the 50% time they’ll use the device for company work.

In fact, the Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) model being considered or adopted by an increasing number of organizations as a way to significantly cut costs. Employees are given a pre-determined amount to buy their own device and often asked to sign up for a maintenance plan with the laptop’s manufacturer – the theory being that if there’s a hardware problem, the hardware company gets a call before the IT help desk. So the organization saves two ways – in terms of capital costs and dependency on IT.

Before you jump into BYOC, it’s a good idea to consider some guidelines: [Read more…]

What are your options when your existing PCs aren’t compatible with Windows 7?

Want to save time and money on your Windows 7 deployment? Virtualize!

 If you’re a stalwart IT decision maker who stuck by Windows XP for the last decade, you’re finally coming face to face with the reality of a Windows 7 world. And you’re probably asking yourself: so how do I make the move?

For many organizations, the number one problem will be one of hardware. Until now, all you had to do was run a 10-year-old operating system, so power and performance weren’t much a concern. But Windows 7 is a powerful operating system whose requirements don’t align too well with all those old PCs sitting under your employees’ desks. And upgrading 200 or 1,000 or 5,000 PCs along with rolling out a new operating system is a hefty chunk of change that many if not most organizations simply don’t have right now.

 So again, how do you make the move?

 As with the challenges in storage and servers, the smart and money-saving answer for switching your OS may be in virtualization.

In fact, by virtualizing the Windows 7 operating system, you can extend the life of those antique PCs. How? [Read more…]

The 3 Challenges Of The New Desktop Environment

There’s a perfect storm out there and it’s causing a radical change to the desktop environment.

The proof is everywhere. Start with the prominent use of Windows XP, a 10-year- old operating system causing a mass migration to Windows 7. Next is a sea of aging client hardware, remnants of down-economy budget crises.

Combine these pressures with an onslaught of new tablet devices, exploding into the enterprise, and you have all the ingredients for a complete transformation in desktop delivery practices. “It’s truly a paradigm shift,” says Scott Harper, Softchoice’s Director of Business Development. “End users want to have full access to a customized desktop experience, for all business applications, on any device, anytime, anywhere.”

In the face of this evolution, IT leaders are dealing with a number of key considerations. We explore what Scott sees as the top three challenges of the new desktop environment. [Read more…]