3 ways to address end-user device challenges

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When the pandemic created a sudden increase in demand for end-user devices in March 2020, SHI had to scale operations quickly to not only support its own remote workers (of which we have thousands, myself included), but also thousands of customers managing their own mass move to remote work.

Through the Knox Integration Center, SHI experts performed warehousing, configuration, and shipping of end-user devices, creating the most seamless deployment of devices no matter when and where they were needed. For me, that meant receiving a single box from SHI with a monitor, keyboard, headset, and mouse – all within 24 hours of putting in the IT request.

As Steve Alt, SHI’s VP of Operations, noted, SHI essentially became a “mini-Amazon overnight” to meet this need.

The numbers tell the story best:

  • 433,431 parcel shipments (37.4% increase from 2019) directly to end users working, teaching, and schooling from home
  • 4,082,162 units configured, deployed, and shipped through the Knox facility (42.3% percent increase from 2019)

How SHI tackled the need for more end-user devices

Addressing this spike in demand was no small undertaking. To accommodate social distancing while maximizing capacity, SHI opened its Executive Briefing Center (EBC) as an overflow space for configuration and integration support.

This flexibility allowed for over 10,000 additional devices to be configured and shipped from the EBC. In fact, we saw so much demand that many office-based employees volunteered to help at the EBC.

While SHI was able to accommodate the immediate device needs of its customers, the pandemic has created lasting concerns about end-user device procurement and management.

How SHI addresses the biggest end-user device challenges

In our ebook, “The Great End-User Device Shortage of 2021,” we polled readers on their greatest fear about EUC devices in 2021.


Three concerns stand out, and confirm what SHI’s EUC experts are hearing from customers:

  1. Anxiety over availability of devices (36%)
  2. Worry over having to pre-order and store devices (36%)
  3. How to get devices into users’ hands (21%)

SHI helps customers address each of these fears in three ways.

1. Inventory management and reserved inventory

If you’re worried about where to keep your devices until they’re needed, SHI can store reserved inventory in the warehouse in our Integration Centers. Below, Steve Alt illustrates how he and his team accommodate increased demand for IT equipment.

2. Configuration and deployment

According to a poll conducted by Kevin English, SHI’s Director of Mobility, during the March 9 session in our Hybrid Workforce Webinar Series, 84.6% of respondents revealed they don’t enjoy imaging corporate laptops.  No big surprise there!

With SHI’s Zero Touch X deployment solution, you can leave these woes behind.

This service utilizes over-the-air-provisioning to accelerate device deployments to end users and has proven an invaluable tool for customers supporting business-critical initiatives such as remote working, digital workplace, transformation, and spend optimization.

Over the course of the last year, SHI serviced and supported 150,000 units via traditional imaging technologies for customers needing to outsource device configuration.

And, according to Kevin English, Zero Touch deployments will remain an essential strategy: “IT no longer has the benefit of centrally located end users. Workers are coming back to the office slowly, but deployment in a distributed workforce will continue to be challenging. Thankfully, over-the-air provisioning solutions exist for every platform, which allows IT to manage and deploy devices at scale.”

3. Device as a Service

COVID-19 threw IT leaders some serious curve balls, forcing them to figure out how they were going to:

  • Support staff and deliver a seamless user experience for a more diverse range of device types
  • Procure and provision distributed devices in a cost-effective and efficient manner
  • Deliver support in a distributed environment
  • Manage technology refreshes cost-effectively

SHI’s Device as a Service (DaaS) solution is the answer to these concerns.

SHI bundles the cost of devices, provisioning services, and support into one contract with a monthly, per-device cost. DaaS (sometimes called PC as a Service, or PCaaS) has proven to be a win-win for our customers over the past year. IT is relieved of the day-to-day admin associated with device management, end users get the modern devices they want and the support they need, and procurement and finance can focus on ensuring everything is cost-effective and efficient.

Lee Bazemore, SHI’s Director of Lifecycle Services, puts it best: “Because our customers are having to focus IT resources on the mission-critical tasks involved with supporting hybrid work models, our Device as a Service solution has emerged as the right alternative for customers looking for flexibility. And with IT teams becoming increasingly overstretched, we’re finding that solutions that enable customers to more efficiently and cost effectively meet the needs of their end users are really hitting the mark.”

Make end-user device challenges a thing of the past

These are just three ways SHI supports customers’ end-user device needs. There are many more. Our experts are standing by to help you in this next phase of hybrid working.

To learn more about how SHI can help your organization design and deliver an effective device strategy, reach out to your SHI Account Executive or contact us today.