Manufacturers of all sizes are turning to the cloud to gain a competitive edge. The workforce of a modern manufacturer utilizes a variety of devices from different locations and facility types like factories, warehouses and offices. Providing employees with a consistent and fast experience is challenging. IT teams must deliver end-to-end solutions complete with support, applications, network, and hardware that will securely empower user productivity.
Modernize the Workplace with Office 365
Some manufacturers struggle with having limited resources, aging infrastructure, all while supporting the increasingly complex needs of a more demanding, mobile workforce. Cloud-based productivity software such as Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Enterprise enable collaboration across teams, devices and platforms for a monthly fee per user. But as new features are added to enhance ways in which teams and individuals can work, or to help IT protect against threats, it’s important to ensure your endpoint devices are properly equipped to optimize these features.
Make sure you are using Microsoft 365 for access to important manageability and security features:
- Windows Defender AV protects against malware.
- Windows Information Protection helps control how information is used and copied between devices, and continuously backs up data for anytime/anywhere accessibility to enhance preservation, compliance and archiving capabilities.
Enable Microsoft 365 Endpoint Security Features
Look for devices with the latest biometric technologies. Fingerprint readers and infrared (IR) cameras allow users to quickly log in without needing to remember passwords, and IT can set up multi-factor authentication (MFA) for increased security.
Encrypt all of the data on your endpoint devices by using BitLocker, part of Windows 10 Pro. This enables you to perform a one-time full disk encryption ensuring any future data stored on the device is encrypted, and making it virtually impossible for data to be accessed in the event a device is lost or stolen. BitLocker requires devices to have a Trusted Platform Module (TPM). As you look to refresh and replace devices, ask manufacturers for hardware (rather than software) TPM to maximize security.
Enhance Collaboration & Productivity
If your end users are web conferencing from their devices, then give their experience a major "upgrade" by sourcing devices that have 2MP (1080p) webcams for video and dual array mics with noise-reduction technology to lower background noise and boost comprehension for all participants.
The average user will type somewhere between 500,000 to 1 million words on their device per year* so why not test keyboards (desktops and notebooks) with your end users and seek their feedback before acquiring new devices?
Microsoft 365 also has some "hidden" features that dramatically improve collaboration, creativity and communication through the use of "inking." Only touchscreen devices with digital pens can leverage such features as sketching and signing documents. But inking features go far beyond this; users can "mark up" documents with feedback and notes for recipients to play them back in the order they were written; highlight and annotate information across multiple documents and web pages; quickly create diagrams; jot and down intelligent notes and reminders via Sticky Notes and Cortana.
* Lenovo human factors research, 2016
3 Considerations for the "Perfect" Keyboard
Ultimately the perceived "quality" of a keyboard comes down to a fine balance between key travel, resistance and, sometimes, layout.
- Key travel: How far the keys can be pressed down… bigger is not always better and shorter key travel can be uncomfortable when typing for prolonged periods.
- Resistance: Also known as "feedback," resistance determines how much "feeling" users get from typing.
- Layout: There is no one-size-fits-all layout to a keyboard. Much depends on user familiarity. Focus on logical and easy to understand layout of functional keys for job roles.