25 March 2017

The new technologies that bring future workplaces to life

Dell wants to help customers through digital transformation that is affecting the choice of business productivity devices they want. "Technology is transforming the way we live and work. It is basically affecting our way of life," said Ho Chye Soon, GM, Dell Singapore at the launch of new commercial solutions at the Dell Future Workplace event. "As consumers, we want everything quick, fast, everywhere, every time. We want to help customers through this digital transformation."

Rakesh Mandal, Director & GM, Client Solutions, Dell, added that Dell is the only technology organisation to offer everything that the customer is looking for from a solution standpoint. "The PC continues to be the primary productivity device. That is the space where we continue to zoom in and focus on," he said.

Mandal noted that there has been a large shift in the types of conversations that Dell now has with customers because of the changes in work and play that have occurred over time. Work does not occur over a 9-to-5 day, for example. Mandal said 60% of employees work after business hours, sharing that he does a 'second shift' after dinner and family time himself.

"A lot of us have similar patterns, or work before getting to work," he said.

Security is often a concern as 95% of security breaches originate at the end point, largely because people are not working from secure environments. "You have to make sure you have the right software, the right partnerships that give you the security for your end-devices," said Mandal.

He also shared that there is dissatisfaction about current productivity technology in the Asia Pacific and Japan region (APJ). Forty-five percent of employees said that their workspace is not advanced enough while 42% of Millennials said they are likely to leave a job with substandard technology. Fifteen percent of APJ employees also said they wasted time fixing broken technology, and 37% said slow and glitchy devices had inconvenienced them at work.

Employees are also expecting advanced technology to make things better. One in five employees in APJ say they are looking forward to using augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) in the course of work. Nearly half (45%) of employees in APJ expect to work in a smart office within the next five years.

Milet Bolanos, Regional Dell Account Manager, Asia Pacific and Japan, Intel, explained how Intel processors complement the trend towards workforce transformation. The 7th Gen Core vPro processors are 67% faster in multitasking compared to older technology, and are able to handle highly demanding applications more easily with the Speed Shift feature, she said. New processors can deliver up to 10 hours of battery life as well, and are more secure through Intel Authenticate Technology, a hardware-enhanced multifactor authentication security solution to help strengthen identity protection.

"We need to make sure everyone is productive," she said. "We need to make sure that as our workforce becomes more remote, that we support all the devices that our workforce has. Manageability and stability are key components for workforce transformation."

Collaboration has also received a boost with Intel Unite, which allows content to be shared more wirelessly with displays and other networked devices, versus looking for the right cable to plug into the projector, Bolanos added. "With Intel Unite you're free from cables. At any time and at any point someone else can project, you can even have two to four people projecting simultaneously," Bolanos said.

At the Dell Future Workplace launch event, commercial applications were brought to life in four experiential zones representing different working styles and technology requirements. Featured industries include e-commerce, healthcare and media.

The Desk-Centric Workers zone showcased solutions ideal for people who spend most of their time at their designated workspaces.

In pride of place is the Dell Vostro 14 laptop (bluish screen to the left of the budget-conscious small business owner at the Desk-Centric Worker zone. She spoke of how an ergonomic setup helped her, and noted that the monitor minimises blue light emissions. The compact OptiPlex desktop is easy to use and allows her a larger space for doing crafts that she works on as part of her business, she added.

On-the-Go Professionals are at the workplace in the morning, but are out meeting customers in the day. The On-the-Go Professionals zone features the right devices to keep them mobile and which reconnect easily to do more work.

Dell Latitude 5285 13 2-in-1 was highlighted at the On-The-Go Professionals zone. The device in tablet mode can be used during client discussions, then docked in the office to power the workspace. A portable charger accessory can charge the 2-in-1 for five to six hours, so it can last the entire day.

There were two Specialized Workers zones, one designed for creative professionals, and the other showcasing virtual reality-based training.

Eugene Soh of Dude.sg talked about how artists can make use of the Dell Canvas, which provides a digital work surface on the desktop. "It transforms the work environment into a digitised area," he said.

The Dell Canvas works with the totem accessory, a physical cylinder that can be placed on the work surface and rotated to call up different menus, as well as with a stylus that has different tips for a realistic feel.

Eugene Soh, the dude himself from Dude.sg, showcases the Dell Canvas.
Eugene Soh, the dude himself from Dude.sg, showcases the Dell Canvas.

Virtual reality training can be very powerful as it is experiential learning, said representatives from SideFX. Being computerised it also becomes clear exactly who has taken the training, and to what extent.

In a scenario that can be used to train customs inspectors at border checkpoints to catch smugglers, trainees can search a virtual car to systematically go through parts of the car where contraband may be stashed. Another beta application that was shown involved healthcare, allowing trainee medical personnel to go through patient examination thoroughly.

The Dell Precision Tower T5810 used at the Specialized Workers Zone (Experiential Training) is powerful enough to deliver the VR graphics at 90 frames per second, fast enough that users do not feel giddy when changing perspectives.

Last but not least, the company also had a 'play zone' set up for visitors to try a 'splash test' - soaking a ruggedised Dell laptop with a water gun to show that water does not affect it.

A closer look at the ruggedised Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme 7214.
A closer look at the ruggedised Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme 7214.

Watch the videos on Instagram for:

The Desk-Centric Workers zone

Khor explaining more at the On-the-Go Professionals zone

Soh speaking at the Specialized Workers (Creative Professionals) zone

SideFX elaborating on the Specialized Workers (Experiential Learning) zone

Read WorkSmart Asia blog posts on:

Dell's consumer product launch

The Dell commercial product launch, featuring devices launched at the Consumer Electronics Show 2017

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