Convertibles Coming to the Enterprise?

Convertible hybrid devices can be tablet or laptop.

The release of Microsoft Windows 8 opened the floodgates to a slew of hardware designed to use touch. An emerging form factor among the array of familiar tablets, laptops and all-in-one desktop computers are so-called convertibles. These shape-shifting hybrid devices transform from laptop to tablet to suit the user’s need or whim.

David Buchholz with Detachable Ultrabook Convertible

"I stopped carrying my Kindle and my iPad 2 weeks ago and now do everything from my convertible," said David Buchholz, director of consumerization and principal engineer at Intel IT.

As with smartphones, tablets and Ultrabooks, employees participating in corporate Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs, are bound to start using convertibles at work, particularly as IT departments support the Windows 8 operating system.

In fact, convertibles are already in the enterprise.

There are already a thousand convertibles being used inside Intel, according to the company’s head of IT consumerization programs, and that number is only expected to climb.

For several years, David Buchholz, director of consumerization and principal engineer at Intel IT, has been helping the company embrace the consumerization of IT while also working to keep Intel’s global enterprise secure. His team currently supports more than 25,000 employee-owned smartphones, thousands of employee-owned tablets and hundreds of employee-owned PCs.

Buchholz is keen to expand the BYOD program so that tech-savvy employees who want to can choose their own hardware and be more productive. Recently he spoke about the “enterprise convertible” that he’s been using inside Intel.

How are you doing things differently now compared to before you had the convertible?

I carried multiple devices and used them all separately. I now do everything I used to do with those devices all on this one. Also after getting used to the Windows 8 interface I am using touch much more on this convertible than I ever did on the traditional clamshell Ultrabook. Also, I tend to use the Windows 8 [touch] interface as my “consumer” area and the traditional desktop as my “corporate” workspace.

David Buchholz Typing on Detachable Ultrabook Convertible

David Buchholz of Intel said, "I tend to use the Windows 8 [touch] interface as my "consumer" area and the traditional desktop as my "corporate" workspace."

What convertible are you using?

It is the Fujitsu Q702 with Intel Core i5 vPro technology running Windows 8 Enterprise.

Is it your primary work computer?

Yes, I have been using it as my primary computer for about 4 to 5 weeks now.

What other computing devices do you use and how does the way you use them differ?

I have a MacBook Air I use from time to time for some photography stuff, I had a Kindle and an iPad I used to carry around with me, but don’t anymore.

What specs make this convertible “enterprise-ready” and how does that differ from a BYOD convertible?

It has a vPro chipset in it. It also has a self-encrypting Intel SSD inside it. Most BYOD convertibles have a consumer-grade network, storage, graphics, etcetera, making them not a great fit for enterprise infrastructure and security.

How does demand for convertibles compare with employee interest in tablets?

We are looking at whether if people are offered a convertible will they still need a personal tablet [at work]. I, myself, stopped carrying my Kindle and my iPad 2 weeks ago and now do everything from my convertible.

What are the IT challenges for bringing convertibles into the enterprise?

Moving to a new OS that really supports them like Windows 8 is one step they have to take. Second is touch enabling applications that make sense. This isn’t using your finger like a mouse; this is realizing that many of these now support 10-finger touch, so how do you enable that? You can’t always make the end user default to a keyboard and touchpad. When I get home, I carry just the tablet piece of the convertible around with me. The last thing I want to do is go downstairs and grab the dock just to do some quick work.

Convertibles Coming to the Enterprise?

Convertible hybrid devices can be tablet or laptop.

The release of Microsoft Windows 8 opened the floodgates to a slew of hardware designed to use touch. An emerging form factor among the array of familiar tablets, laptops and all-in-one desktop computers are so-called convertibles. These shape-shifting hybrid devices transform from laptop to tablet to suit the user’s need or whim.

David Buchholz with Detachable Ultrabook Convertible

"I stopped carrying my Kindle and my iPad 2 weeks ago and now do everything from my convertible," said David Buchholz, director of consumerization and principal engineer at Intel IT.

As with smartphones, tablets and Ultrabooks, employees participating in corporate Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs, are bound to start using convertibles at work, particularly as IT departments support the Windows 8 operating system.

In fact, convertibles are already in the enterprise.

There are already a thousand convertibles being used inside Intel, according to the company’s head of IT consumerization programs, and that number is only expected to climb.

For several years, David Buchholz, director of consumerization and principal engineer at Intel IT, has been helping the company embrace the consumerization of IT while also working to keep Intel’s global enterprise secure. His team currently supports more than 25,000 employee-owned smartphones, thousands of employee-owned tablets and hundreds of employee-owned PCs.

Buchholz is keen to expand the BYOD program so that tech-savvy employees who want to can choose their own hardware and be more productive. Recently he spoke about the “enterprise convertible” that he’s been using inside Intel.

How are you doing things differently now compared to before you had the convertible?

I carried multiple devices and used them all separately. I now do everything I used to do with those devices all on this one. Also after getting used to the Windows 8 interface I am using touch much more on this convertible than I ever did on the traditional clamshell Ultrabook. Also, I tend to use the Windows 8 [touch] interface as my “consumer” area and the traditional desktop as my “corporate” workspace.

David Buchholz Typing on Detachable Ultrabook Convertible

David Buchholz of Intel said, "I tend to use the Windows 8 [touch] interface as my "consumer" area and the traditional desktop as my "corporate" workspace."

What convertible are you using?

It is the Fujitsu Q702 with Intel Core i5 vPro technology running Windows 8 Enterprise.

Is it your primary work computer?

Yes, I have been using it as my primary computer for about 4 to 5 weeks now.

What other computing devices do you use and how does the way you use them differ?

I have a MacBook Air I use from time to time for some photography stuff, I had a Kindle and an iPad I used to carry around with me, but don’t anymore.

What specs make this convertible “enterprise-ready” and how does that differ from a BYOD convertible?

It has a vPro chipset in it. It also has a self-encrypting Intel SSD inside it. Most BYOD convertibles have a consumer-grade network, storage, graphics, etcetera, making them not a great fit for enterprise infrastructure and security.

How does demand for convertibles compare with employee interest in tablets?

We are looking at whether if people are offered a convertible will they still need a personal tablet [at work]. I, myself, stopped carrying my Kindle and my iPad 2 weeks ago and now do everything from my convertible.

What are the IT challenges for bringing convertibles into the enterprise?

Moving to a new OS that really supports them like Windows 8 is one step they have to take. Second is touch enabling applications that make sense. This isn’t using your finger like a mouse; this is realizing that many of these now support 10-finger touch, so how do you enable that? You can’t always make the end user default to a keyboard and touchpad. When I get home, I carry just the tablet piece of the convertible around with me. The last thing I want to do is go downstairs and grab the dock just to do some quick work.