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Dell's New Lineup Combines Consumer Features With Enterprise IT

Dell introduced on Tuesday a sweeping new lineup of laptop, desktop and workstation computers designed to welcome the "consumerization of IT," while still serving enterprise demands for support of virtualization, cloud computing, security and other IT priorities.

The computer maker unveiled 39 new products or related IT solutions for business users to be released during the next year, including a revamped line of Dell Latitude laptops, a new OptiPlex family of desktop computers and new Dell Precision workstations. The strategy behind the development of these new products is to incorporate designs and features that today's knowledge workers have come to expect in computers because they grew up with them, says Steve Lalla, VP and general manager of Dell's commercial client products group.

"In some instances, employees have been bringing their own laptops, tablet computers or smartphones into work, a phenomenon called the 'consumerization of IT,'" Lalla said at a launch event held in San Francisco. Dell has found that enterprise customers want to give workers lightweight and stylish laptops, and allow social networking apps and collaboration capabilities, but still manage and secure their IT.

"It's about how to bring all of this new technology together, how to contemplate what compute gets done at the end point, what compute is done in the data center and how to tie that all together seamlessly," he says. All products incorporate Dell Data Protection security, including automatic data encryption and Remote Data Delete for the laptops in the event a machine is lost or stolen.

The laptops and desktops have been designed for, among other things, convenient maintenance by IT staff, adds Ken Musgrave, director of industrial design at Dell. Even though Latitude laptops come in different sizes with different-sized screens, they all have the same-size keyboards for simpler replacement if necessary. The OptiPlex desktop computer comes with the machine and the monitor built as one unit to avoid cabling hassles. Also, the laptops are protected against scrapes and scuffs with a cover made of the same material as the liner used in pickup truck beds, Musgrave says.

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