By Kelly Teal
VMWARE VMWORLD — As more businesses look for alternatives to Microsoft Windows, Google and Dell on Monday debuted new products that resellers, system integrators and managed service providers may offer to customers.
The big takeaway? Google has built its Chrome Enterprise operating system into two Dell Latitude laptop models and eliminated the need for separate licenses.
Google introduced its Chrome Enterprise operating system two years ago. The software features fast bootup, multiple layers of security, AI, non-disruptive automatic updates and a cloud-native experience. But Chrome Enterprise lacked dedicated equipment — a reality that Google and Dell have changed.
“Bringing the modern OS to businesses requires more than reimagined technology,” John Solomon, vice president of Chrome OS, wrote in an Aug. 26 blog. “It means providing them with the devices and ecosystem that make the modern OS easy to adopt.”
The hardware part of that vision came to life through Dell. The Austin-based computer manufacturer has built the first Chromebook Enterprise devices, the Dell Latitude 5400 and Dell Latitude 5300 2-in-1, which also include unified endpoint management through Dell’s Unified Workspace platform.
Channel partners already selling Dell’s Latitude portfolio will “help push this device just like our other Latitudes,” an unnamed Dell representative told Channel Partners via email. “We’ve started training to explain the value proposition.”
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Perhaps the biggest channel opportunity lies with MSPs.
“We have really started to see partners look to Chrome OS as a viable solution for them to provide managed services around endpoints as well as ‘as-a-service’ offerings, and customize a solution on top of all of it,” Bryan Lee, director, Global Distribution & Chrome OS Commercial, Google Cloud, told Channel Partners.
And because the Chrome Enterprise comes prepackaged with the Dell Latitude models, removing deployment obstacles, “this gives partners a better foundation to build off of,” Lee said.
Traditional Google Chrome channel partners now get to deal with far easier enterprise licensing requirements. With more than 1,000 resellers across 50 countries, “we anticipate that they will see a better opportunity to combine the solution versus piecemealing it out,” Lee said. “Because it comes from the manufacturer, the end user only has to enroll and enter credentials. It’s a simplified model and hopefully it’ll increase [partners’] ability to invest in Chrome OS.”
To that end, Google updated the Google Admin console, which gives partners, among other users, easier management tools. The interface contains search functions on each page and redesigned workflows that load faster than the previous version of Google Admin.
“These improvements mean IT can spend less time in the console and more time on other business-critical tasks,” Solomon wrote.
As for the laptops themselves, here is what Google and Dell bring to the Latitude 5400 and Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise: