February 10, 2011, 1:57 PM — Those focused on the two 10-inch tablets Dell previewed at a launch event in San Francisco on Tuesday were missing the point. At the event, Dell released a massive number of new products to help the enterprise better cope with the onslaught of consumer technologies entering the workplace.
Dell unveiled a major renovation of its enterprise-targeted laptop, desktop and workstation computers Tuesday but in doing so, combined the features that attract consumer users with the demands of enterprise IT. Included are enhancements in tools used for workplace collaboration such as with Microsoft's SharePoint and Lync unified communications platforms.
Dell executives unveiled 39 coming new products, including a revamped line of seven Dell Latitude laptops, a new convertible laptop, four Dell OptiPlex desktop computers, a Dell Precision workstation and two new Precision mobile workstations. The Dell strategy is to marry the security and management control enterprise IT managers demand, with consumer-oriented technology today's knowledge workers grew up with and depend on, said Steve Lalla, vice president and general manager of Dell's commercial client products group.
"Workers have a new impact on IT because they grew up with it," Lalla said. Part of that strategy is designing for the collaboration platforms coming into the workplace like Microsoft Lync and SharePoint, that incorporate social media, instant messaging, video and Web conferencing in order to get work done.
"Collaboration is what we all do every day and we all grew up doing it in our personal lives," he said. As such, the new laptops include improved microphones, speakers and higher resolution Web cameras for conferencing.
Although Dell shared research from IDC stating that by 2013 one-third of the work force will be mobile, meaning two-thirds of them will still be working from an office, so desktop and workstations remain an important part of enterprise IT.