The edge computing ecosystem and experience become the keys to unlocking hybrid workforce productivity.

As organisations move forward and adapt to the impacts of the lockdown, their focus is increasingly on the edge computing ecosystem and the user experience it can deliver.

This is according to Annelee Le Grange, General Manager: HP at leading distributor Axiz. “We have seen some interesting developments in this space in recent months, as major organisations continue to plan ahead to a hybrid workforce model and seek ways to empower their employees, wherever they are, and support ongoing productivity,” she says.

Edge computing has become a focus for local enterprises, in line with IDC’s predictions of an 80% increase in edge-driven devices to drive global productivity.

Le Grange notes that end-user experience has also become crucial in the quest for a more productive workforce able to create, collaborate and connect conveniently, whether they are working from home, on the road or in the office.

“Enhancing productivity used to mean extended battery life, mobility and supplying software tools. Now, it includes a shift in how end-user devices are used, peripherals supporting an enhanced experience, with a partner ecosystem that focuses on services integrated into a seamless package, to improve the user experience and so drive productivity,” she says.

HP moved quickly to address the new market needs as workforces moved to work remotely last year, says Le Grange. “HP recognises that the computer is now more essential than ever – it has become a crossover work and lifestyle device that has to support all the demands of the hybrid home-office environment.

Among its innovations are the HP 280 Wireless Silent Mouse to reduce the annoyance factor of working side by side with a partner in a confined home office; the HP Elite Dragonfly Max with the most advanced collaboration experience in a business convertible, with a 5MP camera and AI-driven audio optimisation; and the HP Elite Wireless Earbuds, the world’s most advanced earbuds for collaboration, with the noise-cancelling capability and sound situation pre-sets.

Described as the world’s first pull-forward business convertible, the HP Elite Folio adapts to the way people transition between work and life utilising Qualcomm Snapdragon compute platforms to deliver optional 5G connectivity, and up to 24.5 hours of video playback.

And the HP Envy 14 includes HP Enhanced Lighting – an intelligent selfie light to ensure that the user is well-lit for conference calls.

“HP looked at the devices to see how they could change the end-user experience and support this new hybrid environment. But they also recognised that experience depends on more than devices, so they built a partner ecosystem and supported the integration of productivity tools and services to ensure that organisations and their employees benefited from the HP experience,” she says.

The pandemic and lockdown drove some changes in the local market, she adds. “Surprisingly, sales in desktop computers rose significantly in the early months of the pandemic. This may have been a supply and demand issue, or it could be because many employees would not need to be mobile while working from home.” End customers also became more focused on the performance of the tools and the quality of collaboration they could deliver. “Now, when people are on video calls eight hours a day, the device they use cannot be an afterthought. Inferior quality devices and ecosystems make you look unprofessional.”

Axiz is working closely with value-based resellers to maximise the demands of the new hybrid environments, using integrated devices, peripherals and services for leading local enterprises seeking to enable productivity and a better end-user experience.

“At end of the day, it is about the overall experience the vendor is putting together, and HP has created an environment to meet the end-user’s needs in a changing world,” Le Grange says.