Dell has integrated its cloud-based desktop management console with AirWatch's mobile platform to create a single console that allows admins to remotely manage end-user systems.
Dell and VMware's AirWatch also introduced Windows 10 provisioning through the AirWatch mobile management service.
Dell made the AirWatch integration announcement in conjunction with its efforts to expand its PC-as-a-Service offering (PCaaS). Dell's service combines hardware, software, lifecycle services and financing into one solution priced per seat per month.
Thirty-one percent of the commercial PC market is expected to move to a PCaaS model by 2020, according to IDC.
The integration of Dell's Client Command Suite with VMware's Workspace ONE cloud portal with will simplify PC management by enabling unified endpoint management (UEM).
Because AirWatch integrates with Dell Client Command Suite, admins can configure not only applications but also firmware settings from the cloud. The settings can be updated or changed over-the-air in real time.
"Now, IT can optimize power management for peak and off-peak times, get reports on battery and system health to reduce user downtime and data loss, and remotely manage the BIOS settings for increased security," said Brett Hansen, vice president of Dell's Client Software division.
Anurag Agrawal, chief analyst with research firm Techaisle, said enterprises are increasingly asking for more control over configurability, visibility and manageability of end-user systems, whether they're desktop or mobile.
Win10 UEM is what allows AirWatch to manage the devices. AirWatch provides a unified management console that manages applications, the OS (via Win10 UEM) and Firmware/ BIOS (via Dell Command), Agrawal explained.
Most enterprise mobility management (EMM) IT vendors offer above-the-OS workspace configurability that is limited to apps "and they call this different names, including unified workspace," Agrawal said.
"Dell is unique in its offering. It also offers below the OS – at the firmware level – which has several advantages for the enterprise customer," Agrawal said.
The integration of Dell's Command Suite with AirWatch and Win10 allows for lifecycle management, app management, deployment and patch management, he said.
Being able to configure firmware allows admins to control a device based on the user role, environment and security needs. For example, admins can monitor and change power settings, ID and security settings on the BIOS, along with connectivity information. The integration also allows an organization to obtain data on telemetry performance of the device "to provide proactive support either internally through IT or externally through Dell," he said.
[This] "eases both deployment and support timeframe, costs and increases user satisfaction," Agrawal said. "This is a trend that will pick up and increasingly other desktop manufacturers and service providers will have to think through their strategy, for now it is very unique to Dell."