European customers embrace Windows 8

During the past year we’ve been talking about what Windows 8 means for businesses. Now that Windows 8 is officially available across the globe, so many of our customers are seeing first-hand how Windows 8 can benefit their organizations.

This week I’m in Europe. I started by spending some time at Gartner Symposium in Barcelona on Monday and Tuesday, had a stop on Wednesday in London, and am traveling to Warsaw, Poland later this week.

For many of us in the industry, hearing about customer concepts and deployments are beneficial in really bringing the technology to life and will help you realize how these new products and technology can be used to create a competitive differentiation in your organization. Let me take a moment to highlight some of my favorites:

British Telecom (BT) is a multinational telecommunications company headquartered in London. They were looking for a way that their field-based engineers could pick up and update job information while on the go – ultimately choosing to implement Windows 8. With Windows 8, BT’s engineers can easily manage and update their assigned job information and carry out troubleshooting on a variety of job-specific tasks. Additionally, workers will have access to touch-enabled apps on their managed and secure device (in this case, a convertible Panasonic Toughbook) that will allow them to get through their daily tasks more efficiently. BT said, “We’ve now deployed about 5,000 Windows 8 devices that are out in the field today and it’s going really well! We’ve only just begun to leverage the modern apps, but we know that we absolutely will continue to exploit the new platform in our organization.” They are also finding value in Windows 8 features like Virtual Smartcard, DirectAccess and Mobile Broadband, as workers are able to get connected quickly and securely to the information they need through Wi-Fi or mobile broadband connections. BT sees this as a great productivity enhancer for both field engineers and other highly-mobile employees within their workforce, enabling them to seamlessly stay connected.

Poste Italiane is the leading postal service operator in Italy, including mail collection and delivery, printed matter and parcels, telegrams, express mail and online services. There were a few things they took into account when deploying Windows 8 – first, they examined the overall benefits of switching to Windows 8, then analyzed how having a mobile technology solution would impact the company as a whole. With Windows 8, Poste Italiane found that the new interface is very user friendly, easily supports a multi-device platform, and can be easily managed and secured by IT departments. Poste Italiane said, “So far we’ve been hearing really positive feedback on Windows 8 – postal workers are saying that ‘they absolutely love it’ and our sales reps who work on objectives and can work on the road say there is ‘major value in this solution’.” Additionally, Poste Italiane is taking full advantage of the ability to implement business apps and have already started to use four apps, including one for CRM, another for marketing management, one for georeferencing and a unique Kinect app in their postal office that consumers can use to order items.

The Dutch Public Prosecutor Services (DPPS) is the Dutch national organization of public prosecutors comprised of 5,200 employees – of which approximately 800 are public prosecutors. The organization was looking for a way to support their prosecutors, who are by in large mobile workers, with a truly mobile solution so that they had anywhere, anytime access to relevant information. Additionally, given the nature of their jobs, they needed technology that ensures their sensitive information is well protected. They decided to implement Windows 8 because it allowed prosecutors to stay connected to their full office environment – internal applications, content and legal sources – whether at work, home or in the courtroom, while also meeting the high level of security required by DPPS. Overall, DPPS sees Windows 8 as a secure, modern, multi-user operating system that neatly fits within the current portfolio of workplace services. Also, key was the system’s ability to seamlessly connect with Microsoft SharePoint for their existing knowledge management applications. DPPS said, “We’re already getting positive feedback from prosecutors testing our newly developed Windows 8 applications. They are excited about the possibilities it will offer them.”

As always, I hope hearing these customer stories helps you further understand the broad range of possibilities Windows 8 offers to businesses. To find out more about the deployment tools and guidance available to help with your Windows 8 planning and deployments, please visit the Windows 8 for enterprise site.

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