EDS gets into desktops, mobile devices

Alliance with Microsoft, Dell and Fuji Xerox makes inroads

EDS is entering the mid market desktop and mobile management arena under the auspices of the Agility Alliance announced early this year.

It has launched EDS Workplace Services, for desktop and mobile devices, in association with alliance partners Microsoft, Dell and Fuji Xerox.

Workspace Services is about standardisation of product and services in a complex matrix that covers enterprise applications, messaging, collaboration, email, the internet and intranet and voice and video conferencing. In essence, it links multiple channels and devices, based on the Windows XP platform.

EDS estimates improvements in total cost of ownership of up to 30%, depending on the initial environment.

It’s the first market release from the alliance.

“We’re moving from large-scale bespoke outsourcing to standardised industrial processes”, says EDS New Zealand managing director Rick Ellis.

He says Workplace Services is being launched first in Asia–Pacific, with particular focus on New Zealand, Australia and Singapore. It will then be progressively rolled out in other parts of the world.

“We put our hand up to launch it because we thought the New Zealand market was right for this,” Ellis says.

“We’ve done a lot of research and we believe that, for the first time, we have a very competitive market offering to address the mid market.”

Workplace Services is targeted at organisations with 500 or more seats.

Ellis says the service offers a competitively priced means for mid-market companies to take advantage of the global scope and economies of scale EDS can bring. The company manages 3 million desktops and 50,000 servers in 55 countries.

He says organisations are facing challenges as users demand a wider array of workplace devices and services.

“The usage of mobile devices and wireless access will soar, and services will need to be personalised to a far greater extent to individual users. At the same time, organisations will continue to face pressure for operational cost reductions.

“Workplace Services will manage the growing complexity of the vast array of access devices and the management issues presented by an increasingly mobile workforce.”

He points out that there are 160 separate functions in the full service offering.

“Companies today have to go to standardised platforms for a secure environment,” he says.

Under Workplace Services, EDS supports desktops, laptops, PDAs, mobile phones and other mobile devices as well as distributed servers and printers.

Licences will be owned by the client, though EDS can manage them as part of overall asset management.

EDS has been rolling out Workplace Services internally over the past two months.

Workplace Services are based on Microsoft architecture. Dell will supply the hardware and supply chain logistics, and Fuji Xerox will provide printers and printer support.

Other partners in the Agility Alliance are Cisco, EMC, Oracle, SAP, Siebel, Sun and Towers Perrin.

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