Vox pop: Are Chromebooks ready for the enterprise?

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This article appeared in the July 2014 issue of CRN magazine.

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Vox pop: Are Chromebooks ready for the enterprise?

NO

Zoran Tasevski, managing director, Technetics

We evaluated Chromebooks in February for the purpose of pursuing a lead for a new sales-focused start-up business. The idea was to provide the client with their business applications as a service, reducing their cost of capital. We offered Microsoft Office 365 for email and collaboration and customer relationship management from Salesforce. The only up-front cost was the device. We recommended the client consider BYOD and Chromebook. We were surprised that, in the end, the client settled on a MacBook and Microsoft Surface solution, which ran counter to their original brief for a low-cost solution.


 

YES

Don McLean, country manager, Fronde

Chromebooks are absolutely ready for the enterprise. A Chromebook is just a manifestation in hardware of a Google Chrome browser. Google Apps is used by significant companies: Flight Centre, Fairfax, and so on. And Chromebooks run Google Apps really easily. Further, our digital workspace product that’s a combination of Google Chrome – whether that’s a Chromebox or Chrome on any device – Citrix and the ability to run any application virtually, we put that into an AWS environment and run it anywhere. We can liberate workforces from the way they’ve done business in the past for 80 percent of employees. Also, on that virtualised Citrix stack, you can do funky things like save to Google Drive.


 

MAYBE

Brendan Redpath, managing director, Source Central Partners

Chromebooks are mostly ready, but device makers need to work on their warranties. You have to get Chromebooks from a retailer, so you only get a 12-month warranty, but corporates want three years. We’ve done a bit with HP and Samsung and they’re single-year warranties. And we just did a deal with Asus Chromebooks and Chromeboxes. But there are companies that provide third-party warranties, which are like a managed insurance policy. But I don’t know if some of the manufacturers are treating the device as an enterprise device. Whether they’re ready is a different thing. Most of the applications are there because most of what corporates want are browser-based.

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