CDW Joins Chromebook Crusade
"At the same time, it allowed us to figure out whether the customer was eligible and covered," said Behling. "We could then tell customers they were in need and covered, and ask whether they wanted the service. We couldn't do that before."
Chromebooks didn't come without a cost. Mollen Clinics had to build a call center to provide technical support for the nurses at its 4,500 locations. The call center handles password issues, network connectivity problems and basic user support. But Behling says the cost was insignificant compared to the savings realized by transforming Mollen's business process and was less than it might have been with traditional computers, particularly with regard to security.
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"All the Chromebooks could do was what they were intended to do," Behling said. "Creating that controlled environment on the Chromebook was hugely important."
Another aspect was network security. Had Mollen Clinics chosen to use in-store networks at Walmart and Sam's Club, it would have had to perform a security audit at every single location to meet healthcare regulations. Instead, Mollen took advantage of the optional 3G wireless connectivity offered in several Chromebook models.
"Having the Chromebooks work on the 3G network instead of Wi-Fi or a network connection in stores was extremely important for legal and liability reasons," said Behling. Equally important was the fact that Chromebooks store data in the cloud rather than locally.
"We've had no HIPAA-related issues as a result this process," said Behling. "And we would have had HIPAA-related issues if the paper got lost or if we were using machines that stored that data locally."
Chromebooks might not be ubiquitous at the moment, but between Google's new hardware partners, Lenovo and HP, the October expansion of Best Buy's Chromebook kiosks, the appearance of Chromebooks in Google Play (out of stock at the moment), and Google's new channel partner CDW, many industry players appear to be anticipating rising demand for Chrome OS devices.