Even With Windows Autopilot, Enterprises Face Device Configuration Challenges

Users lose productivity and patience when it takes hours to download apps and settings to new PCs. HP Device Provisioning Services offers a solution.

Working remotely from home
HP, Inc.

As enterprises move to modern IT management, where users get a more streamlined, “mobile-like” experience with their computing devices, many are running into challenges with the time it takes to fully configure new devices.

With Windows Autopilot, customers exit the image creation and maintenance business. Instead, they purchase devices with a corporate-ready image, such as Windows and Office, and deliver the devices to their employees. When an employee turns on the new PC, it configures itself from a cloud-based profile, registers in Azure Active Directory, and enrolls into a modern, unified endpoint management platform such as Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

The vision is that when a user gets a new PC, it’s akin to a new phone: Power it up, and all your familiar applications are ready and waiting for you, just as they were on your old phone.

Hurry up and wait

However, Windows applications are larger than their counterparts in the mobile-phone world, so the actual experience is more like: Power up the PC, enter an email address and password, then wait while the device updates applications and settings from a cloud-based profile.

How long a user has to wait depends on how fast the internet connection is. In industrialized countries, most locations have reasonably fast connections; spouses and children streaming video for work, school, and entertainment may be a gating factor, as we’ve learned over the past year.

However, in rural areas and some less-developed countries, it may take several hours for a PC to fully download all the applications and settings over a slow internet connection. Such delays are frustrating to employees, and may lead to numerous calls to the help desk, not to mention missed meetings and lost productivity.

Imaging to IT and user specifications

In a large enterprise, device provisioning may be further complicated by the need to adhere to IT policy and configuration standards.

It starts with the Windows operating system version, which Microsoft tends to update every six months. But many customers don’t want to move that quickly, and may standardize on a release from a year or two earlier.

Each user has a specific set of applications depending on job function, along with various drivers and scripts that need to run. There are VPN agents to consider, along with security settings and applications.

Traditionally, enterprise IT groups would create these images in their configuration rooms, a high-touch and expensive endeavor to maintain. The move to the cloud and the use of Windows Autopilot changes that equation, but it’s not the end of the story. If you want to deliver a truly seamless experience for end users in work-from-home settings, where the new PC experience really is like getting a new phone, you need to take additional steps.

The Hewlett-Packard white-glove approach

With HP Device Provisioning Services, HP will partner with you to take those steps. In its own staging centers, HP unboxes each device, registers it through Autopilot, and ensures all appropriate applications are provisioned – whether it takes 30 minutes or several hours. Once the configuration is complete, each unit is powered down, resealed, and shipped to its destination.

When the intended user receives a new PC, they simply power it up, enter their credentials, and it’s ready to use – just like a new phone. The user gets all the benefits of a new device, with no missed meetings or lost productivity.

To learn more about various options available, check out the HP Device Provisioning Services data sheet.

To see more about HP’s Lifecycle Services porfolio, take a peek at the Lifecycle Services main page.

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