It’s Device as a Service, not Desktop as a Service (And Other Confusing Things about DaaS)

Penny Conway
Penny Conway

No one understands more than me how exhausted you may feel about this “fill-in-the-blank as a service” solution messaging. I find that when I talk to IT Directors or Chief Technology Officers, the terminology is nothing short of diluted and confusing. Recently, as I scrolled through my perfectly curated feed of industry news and #asaservice happenings, the article that turned on a lightbulb appeared, Introducing: Prospecting as a Service. The article beamed with newly discovered capabilities around social selling, email marketing, and [gasp!] cold calling. At the end of the article, I realized this was just a guy pitching his ability to train sales people, with a fancy new name. It made me wonder—is everyone just repackaging the same stuff you didn’t buy yesterday in hopes a new name will sell it today?

Naturally, this made me look deep into device as a service in order to clear up any similar misconceptions you may have.

You’re researching DaaS—but not that DaaS, the other DaaS.

Raise your hand if a simple Internet search or sales pitch has turned into a five-minute research session on figuring out which DaaS is the DaaS you’re looking for. So let me be clear: desktop as a service was here first, and device as a service is the new kid on the block. The latter in its simplest form delivers your hardware, software, and lifecycle management in a single monthly payment per device. Yes, this even includes the devices that you are currently using a virtual desktop image (VDI) through desktop as a service.

DaaS looks, walks, and talks like a lease, but it’s not a lease?

I felt you squirm as soon as you read “a single monthly payment” above. Of course you can afford to buy your devices—no one is questioning that. That is why I’m not talking to you about $1 Buyout or fair market value (FMV) leasing, which are two ways to pay for your organization’s computers. Instead, we are talking about a specific DaaS financial model, built to your refresh strategy and to give you flexibility should your standards change with the evolving workplace. Recently, a healthcare provider shared with me, on the topic of leveraging FMV leasing, “We are a year into one of our leases, and at least 10 desktops aren’t being used because the clinicians just changed their standard to a laptop.”With device as a service operating more like a subscription service, he would have the flexibility to return or exchange these devices to align with the new standards his clinicians required. Instead, his choices were to let the devices collect dust or try to repurpose—on top of still needing to purchase 10 new laptops. This is why DaaS is not a way to finance your computers—it’s a way to finance your future computing needs. 

You don’t outsource, not even a little bit.

If the “DaaS v. DaaS” and “It’s not a lease”confusion doesn’t twist you up, then this one’s for you. One of the easiest things to say—but hardest to explain—about device as a service is that it is not one size fits all. Any provider worth talking to isn’t turning a quote around with a menu of services without a deep understanding of what’s constantly tripping up your IT department. In a recent call with a customer, that understanding was as simple as, “I just can’t handle one more person coming into my office to fix or replace something stupid like a battery or hard drive.”Nothing could have killed my credibility faster than suggesting a 24×7 remote helpdesk support fix for this. Instead, I introduced him to a self-deployed, self-managed analytics tool that could proactively notify him when a device has a health issues and give him the power to control when replacement happens. Just imagine what you could do without all of those interruptions taking up your time.

If you’re still trying to sort out whether device as a service could truly make a difference in how you manage computing, it’s a good time to be alive. At Connection, we’ve started the 30-Day DaaS Challenge that will show you a complete device inventory from hardware to software, where you are currently over or under buying on existing standards, and give you key analytics on device health issues across your organization. At the end of 30 days, you’ll receive a business review from our DaaS specialists, identifying where you have opportunities to decrease spend and create efficiency in your refresh cycle.

And then, I hope, we’ll have cleared the DaaS vs. DaaS confusion up, once and for all.

Penny Conway

Penny Conway is currently the Product Manager for HP’s “as a service” solutions, such as device as a service and managed print services. She works with customers to identify contractual solutions to improve their day-to-day business outcomes. She also has extensive experience with Microsoft in Education at Connection, ensuring schools develop and successfully deploy Windows 10 to improve student and teacher outcomes. In addition to her everyday role, Penny hosts the Connection TechSperience podcast, covering hot topics in the tech industry.

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