Aug 18 2020

CDW Tech Talk: Imagining What’s Possible in the Future Workplace

There are plenty of opportunities to excel, thanks to technologies that balance safety and accessibility.

Bringing back some semblance of the traditional workplace is going to require a lot of technology, and some of that technology may not look anything like what’s already on the market.

But with a little bit of inventive thinking and the right technology partner, there’s potential to fully embrace — and even excel in — the new normal.

In an afternoon session during the CDW Tech Talk “Optimizing the New Workforce Dynamic,” Hewlett Packard Enterprise ProLiant Server Category Manager Rony Adaimy highlighted a variety of strategies from the company to help businesses continue to operate in a time of change.

Adaimy emphasized that HPE expects to see a hybrid approach to the workplace in the near future.

“The office is not going to be like the same old day-to-day office. It will be more for collaboration,” he said, adding that workplaces will continue to rely on “a lot of remote worker activity.”

MORE FROM THE CDW TECH TALK: How IT teams have adapted to shifting workplace dynamics.

Consider Touchless Solutions for Reopening the Office

When it comes to returning to the workplace, there are a number of small details to consider. Even things like elevator buttons suddenly present risks.

HPE has been working on touchless solutions that aim to balance security and safety, Adaimy said. “Whether it’s from mobile phone identification or world-leading facial recognition,” he said, these solutions can identify authorized employees while weeding out those attempting to trespass.

Touchless approaches can extend to COVID-19-specific solutions, such as tech that can detect high body temperatures in employees, a potential indicator of COVID-19 infection.

“Contactless identification of individuals with elevated body temperatures will give us the ability to proactively send alerts to those individuals and staff in order to keep workers safe and facilities virus-free,” Adaimy said.

Such use cases can apply to situations outside the office as well. Tim Ingersoll, a principal field solution architect for CDW, said during a Q&A session that HPE has implemented a solution at Los Angeles International Airport using high-speed thermal scanners, which are designed to make it easier to pinpoint potential symptoms in travelers while minimizing the need for handheld scanners to reduce exposure.

“They’re using cameras to identify elevated temperatures, and it’ll help ensure people are quickly identified,” Ingersoll said.

How to Maintain Visibility from a Distance

Before the current pandemic, many companies thought nothing of having workers on the road for days or weeks at a time helping to manage systems or infrastructure. But with air travel looking risky, alternatives are necessary.

“The new world definitely brings out a change in travel habits, change in employees’ mobility, and change in resources where you have them deployed,” Adaimy said.

One solution Adaimy highlighted was visual remote guidance, which involves the use of a camera system worn by an onsite worker that is guided by a remote employee.

The solution allows technical workers who would otherwise have to travel to far-flung sites to use their specialized experience remotely.

“This intelligent glass is going to give a remote person the same exact view of what I’m doing in front of me,” he said. “And he can give me directions, add annotations, highlight and delete notes, all remotely, to help me get the job done and deliver on that problem. So, we can solve this issue.”

‌Follow BizTech’s coverage of CDW’s Tech Talk series here. Insiders can register for it here.

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