Google's Chromebooks get another vote of confidence with a new channel partner.
New Chromebook: A Visual Tour
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Slowly but surely, Google's Chrome OS and the Chromebooks manufactured by its hardware partners are finding fans. The latest sign that momentum is building comes from CDW, which sells technology to the business, government, education, and healthcare markets.
On Tuesday, CDW said it will begin offering the full range of Google's Chromebook line, with access to Google's Web-based management console, to public- and private-sector customers.
For Google, the partnership represents an opportunity to expand its enterprise business. Chromebooks have found a place in some companies but they've been more well-received in schools. Last week, Google said that over 2,000 schools are using Chromebooks, twice the number from three months earlier.
Andrea Bradshaw, senior director and general manager of mobility solutions at CDW, in a statement stressed that Chromebooks offer two distinct advantages: ease of use for the user and peace of mind for management.
But that's just a rough sketch of the benefits of Chromebooks realized by Mollen Clinics, the largest independent mass-immunizer in the country.
Chris Behling, president of Mollen Clinics, described in a phone interview how his company previously provided people with flu shots at Walmart and Sam's Club locations. The process involved paper, lots of it -- around 20 million pieces of paper that had to be sent to Mollen's office in Scottsdale, AZ, for scanning, verification and billing.
The burden of having to handle all that paper was significant. It was expensive to process and it delayed billing. "There was a huge cash drag on the business because it took so long to get paid," said Behling. The paper process prevented on-site billing and was an imposition on customers, who had to spend time filling out forms before being immunized, he said.
Behling said that going paperless was the obvious answer, but his company didn't go the obvious route. "We looked at a tablets, smart forms with pens, we looked at everything," he said. "And we settled on Chromebooks."
Chromebooks fixed the problems of a paper-based business process, according to Behling. They made service faster, allowed for on-site billing, and eliminated 80% of those 20 million pieces of paper that needed to be processed. That in turn allowed the company to reduce its seasonal headcount by 20%.
Chromebooks also allowed Mollen to identify additional business opportunities. "They allowed us to expand and improve the services we offer customers," Behling explained. While interacting with Web-based software, the company's nurses, for example, could be presented with scripts to make inquiries that revealed other customer needs, such as whether the customer had received a whooping cough vaccination.
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?