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How QAD workers get access to Pixelbooks in minutes, using Grab and Go

March 28, 2019
Scott Lawson

Director of IT Architecture, QAD

Editor’s note: Today’s post is by Scott Lawson, Director of IT Architecture at QAD, provider of cloud-based software and services for global manufacturing companies. QAD is using the Grab and Go with Chrome Enterprise program to improve employee productivity when traveling between offices.

We pride ourselves on being a helpful IT department for QAD’s 1,900 employees. We have 31 offices around the world, with IT people in only 16 of them. When employees travel to different offices and forget their laptops—or need us to repair one—the IT team has to scramble to help out, with limited resources.

We’re using Grab and Go with Chrome Enterprise so people can pick up devices wherever and whenever they need them. Once users sign in, they have their applications, preferences, and documents right at their fingertips. Grab and Go is also an easy way to let employees test-drive Pixelbooks as we have an initiative to increase Pixelbook adoption.

Grab and Go is a good match for our business because Chrome is already our preferred browser, and we encourage employees to use G Suite tools, like Google Drive, Docs and Sheets. When Pixelbooks came on the market, we thought they would have tremendous appeal for workers at a company moving toward the cloud. Around the same time, we learned about Grab and Go and realized it could help us avoid the downtime connected with missing or malfunctioning laptops.

Previously, if an employee forgot or misplaced a laptop, it could have taken several hours to provision a new one. Someone in a QAD office without an IT department might have to wait days while we ship one out. With help from Agosto, our Google Cloud Premier partner, we placed Grab and Go racks with Pixelbooks in our Santa Barbara headquarters and our Mount Laurel, N.J. office—the places that global employees are most likely to visit on business.

With Grab and Go racks available, I don’t have to get the IT department involved if someone wants a Pixelbook. We save the hours of software installation time involved in setting up a new device, or shipping it to another office—and employees get to work right away. We think Grab and Go will also come in handy for office visitors like our vendors, who could check out a Pixelbook enabled in guest mode.

Instead of keeping track of loaner laptops on a spreadsheet, like we used to do, the Grab and Go solution tracks the Pixelbooks for us. When people come to the end of their two-week loaner period, they can extend the loan with just a couple of clicks, self-service!

As people get hands-on experience with Pixelbooks from Grab and Go, they see how seamlessly the device, Chrome Browser, and G Suite work together. We manage  Pixelbooks from the Google Admin console and push out configuration changes without touching devices or installing software. Like Grab and Go, these features remove the barriers that get in the way of our work. With Pixelbooks, we don’t need to do anything to the devices, like install software or manage security applications. The Pixelbook simply becomes a portal to Google and the rest of our cloud-based applications.

For us, Grab and Go isn’t just about saving time and money for IT. It’s helping us learn more about what our employees want and need to do their jobs. We plan to use the Softwatch Chromebook Adoption Readiness tool to understand which workers and teams use cloud apps the most, and therefore would be good candidates to use Pixelbooks as their primary devices. We’re getting constructive feedback on Pixelbooks to help future device rollouts go smoothly. Overall, the Grab and Go solution is a low-stress way to help us drive innovation and increase productivity in our organization.

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