Drinks company Gruppo Campari set for Windows 8 tablet rollout

Thursday 28 November 2013

The number of businesses embracing Windows 8 is increasing all the time as the benefits of the operating system - and the Windows 8.1 update - become more apparent to end-users. One of the latest firms to contemplate a full Windows 8 rollout is Gruppo Campari, the global drinks company.

According to ZDNet, the firm has completed a successful trial of Windows 8-based tablet computers in its Australian arm. As such, a company-wide deployment is now on the cards. Speaking to the news provider, Campari's APAC IT manager Loic Herbin explained that 60 Windows 8-based tablet have been in use within the company's sales and marketing team since the summer. He said feedback from employees has been very positive following their introduction in July 2013.

Windows 8 trial 'a success'

Mr Herbin noted that the pilot scheme has now moved to a permanent implementation, with employees able to use the tablets at work going forwards. He revealed Gruppo Campari is considering the Australian rollout a case study for its future mobility strategy.

Indeed, the IT chief is set to travel to his employers' head office in Italy next month to promote the case for a global introduction of Windows 8 tablets. This is because, in his view, the use of touch-screen tablets has offered significant productivity gains to those employees involved in the trial.

Mr Herbin commented that the board is "very interested" in the results of the pilot, and he will be presenting these company executives in December. "From that we will probably roll Windows 8 out," he added. Mr Herbin noted that he will be pressing the case for a migration to Windows 8 tablets very strongly. "I will be saying that it is absolutely a migration we need to do," he told ZDNet.

Windows 8 offers familiarity to users

According to Mr Herbin, the company could potentially introduce several hundred tablets, in order to improve employees' ability to work productively on the move. He said that while Apple iPads had been considered by Gruppo Campari, the decision was made to standardise on Microsoft technology. This was important because teams around the company already use Windows on other platforms - such as desktop PCs and laptops - and giving them familiar solutions to use can support productive and efficient work.

"We decided to go with Windows 8 because to support it was much easier for the IT team, and because Microsoft technologies are something the team already manages," Mr Herbin added. "We are making sure we are only managing Microsoft technologies and not a mix of iPads and Microsoft technologies so we don’t have to retrain staff - that is always a hidden cost - and we don’t need to manage third party applications or find a new application to handle existing issues."

One of the key benefits of embracing Windows 8 on mobile devices is that staff members can continue to use Office solutions, Mr Herbin noted. He explained that in the new Office 2013 there is an interface made for tablet, and using it "is easy to do". With employees able to access solutions such as Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint on their tablet computers, Gruppo Campari has the option of retiring the many employee laptops in use across the company. The laptops and Windows 8-based tablets offer the same family of solutions, so they are effectively duplicate devices, Mr Herbin explained.

"The sales team, when they do customer facing activities, do presentations on their tablet," he noted. And when they require a larger screen or keyboard, employees are able to plug their tablet in to a docking station in the office, Mr Herbin said. This means users can take advantage of a full range of Microsoft solutions whether they are working on the move, or based at their desk.

Find out more about the potential benefits of Windows 8 for your company.

Posted by Jenny Arthur