BrandPost: Preparing for the Unexpected With a Distributed Workforce
The pandemic is presenting trying times for everyone, including IT staff. It always has been difficult for IT to support the hundreds or thousands of devices employees use, but when those devices were all in the office, at least IT had a fighting chance. Now, with most employees working from home or somewhere other than the office, IT has to diagnose and troubleshoot problems remotely, a task for which many were not designed.
In addition, issues users have may be quite different from those IT is used to tackling in an office environment. Office and school environments generally are clean and well-equipped to support users’ various devices. Surge protection usually is a given, to protect devices from any power anomalies that can cause significant damage. Users have well-defined places to put their devices, even if it’s a shared workspace environment.
Perhaps most important, IT is nearby should anything go awry. Things such as coffee spills may happen in an office environment, and devices can have problems that keep them from functioning at 100%, prompting IT troubleshooting. In the office environment, IT generally has tools to perform troubleshooting and can visit users in person.
Home environments present device threats
The story changes dramatically when users are working or learning from home. Multiple family members may be jockeying for the few legitimate workspaces, leaving others on couches or kitchen tables. Surge protectors may be limited or nonexistent. Pets may be running rampant. Kids may be underfoot, at any instant threatening to spill something on a keyboard. They also might mistreat devices, resulting in cracked screens or worse.
The point is, in pandemic times, IT has to prepare for and deal with the unexpected when it comes to user devices. However, the job is compounded by how much longer it takes now.
“It’s fair to say IT professionals are more than capable of driving diagnostics. The bigger issue is they don’t have time to do it,” says Jermaine Maldonado, PC Services Business Development Manager at HP. “A single case may take hours to diagnose and triage for resolution.”
Partnering for device-management support
What IT needs is a partner who can help shoulder the support load. That’s the intention behind HP Care Pack Services, a series of packaged services under which HP and its partners help IT quickly resolve various issues with user devices.
For example, HP Active Care provides proactive management for devices, helping IT head off problems before they happen. Active Care provides around-the-clock remote monitoring of devices, and uses artificial intelligence technology to predict when performance indicates an issue is arising.
When paired with another Care Pack, HP Onsite Services, an HP support person could be dispatched quickly to address the issue, even if that means going to a user’s home or a school – while observing all local COVID-19 precautions for a safe, contactless experience. Users also may opt to have HP send a box for a fast pickup-and-return repair.
With the HP Accidental Damage Protection Service Care Pack, HP will repair or replace devices that suffer damage resulting from any of the myriad threats home and school environments present.
Under another Care Pack, the HP Defective Media Retention Service, HP will replace a failed hard drive, but allow the user to avoid the warranty requirement that the drive be returned to HP. Instead, users can retain the drive and dispose of it according to company policy, which is crucial for companies that deal with sensitive data.
In the COVID-19 era, we need to be prepared for the unexpected. HP Care Packs can help IT do just that. For more information, check out this Care Pack solution brief.