Samsung DeX – Why it makes sense for business
Samsung DeX might be something you have heard about, or maybe you have not.
If you have, great! If not, you might want to check out our previous post that explains what Samsung DeX is in quite a bit of detail.
As a summary, the DeX concept allows you to leave your desktop or laptop computer behind.
Your smartphone becomes the computer, when coupled with the DeX Docking Station, plus a keyboard, mouse and monitor. You get a desktop like experience, with everything powered from your phone.
DeX provides you with what you want from a desktop experience: a big screen, full-size keyboard, mouse and multitasking.
In this post I want to look at DeX from a business perspective. This follows on from our last article, which was from a consumer perspective.
Personally I feel DeX is a more powerful solution for business users than for general consumers. That said, just as with consumers, it wont be for everyone. There are though many instances where it could work well.
Samsung are by no means the first to try this kind of mobile working solution. Back in the PDA days, Palm and others tried to integrate mobile devices with workstations.
More recently, Microsoft introduced Continuum with Windows 10. HP piggybacked on this with their Continuum-powered dock for the Elite X3. On paper Continuum should be the ‘better’ solution, however Windows 10 for Mobile devices have not penetrated the market as much as Microsoft would have liked and Continuum has not been particularly well supported by developers.
If a full Microsoft solution is not the preference for your organisation, Samsung’s could be a nice alternative. They are also working hard on Microsoft & Office integration along with other popular software suites.
From a business user’s perspective the biggest appeal has to be that the handset itself stores all the data. You need not carry a laptop or other computing solution with you. Any worker can then move to any location and continue working as long as a dock and monitor are set up.
As long as you know you are going to an environment with docks ready you just carry your phone as normal. Even if you’re heading to an external location, the dock is a lightweight and portable solution that can be swiftly set up anywhere with a monitor.
With this setup you can be more productive than with just a phone. Right-click on mouse is supported in many applications. You can manage multiple windows and tasks along with dragging and dropping through the file system. These things that are not so easy to perform solely on the touchscreen of the S8.
From the business/corporate employer view, it could keep the cost of hardware down. Workers may already be issued phones, alongside office workstations and other peripherals. Perhaps an extra laptop too! With DeX, all some workers may need is the phone, dock and peripherals, plus a monitor at their desk.
It is also only one piece of hardware to secure and manage. It’s also only one piece of hardware to consider being lost or damaged.
Additionally, there are potential security improvements. Everything is run from the phone, so as soon as that’s disconnected, there is no trace of data elsewhere. Secured through Samsung Knox and corporate MDM software, the S8 is a powerful computer.
The Android configuration is lighter and less power intensive than full desktop equivalents. Still you may need access to full Windows environments. This is still possible through DeX.
If your organisation relies on Microsoft Office, then this is already been integrated with the DeX environment. Users will have a familiar interface as soon as the DeX app loads up.
Costs can be calculated in a number of ways!
Some may consider a saving by removing desktops and laptops from their hardware bill. Still, the phones themselves are quite pricey. Only the S8 and S8 Plus will initially be compatible with DeX. If the system succeeds however, future lower-tier devices may be added.
You also can’t guarantee workers will own an S8. Plus if the company is managing them though an MDM solution, you would likely need to own and issue the devices to workers anyway.
It could also be necessary to double the number of peripherals. If all office workstations are equipped with a DeX dock, keyboard, mouse and monitor, you may also need to issue the same to each worker separately if you expect them to be able to carry out any duties fully at home.
Travelling workers may then have to carry a DeX dock, charger, keyboard & mouse with them. Compared to a single laptop, this may not be any more practical. Although fairly standard these days, ensuring hotel/conference rooms have an accessible HDMI-enabled screen is also necessary.
If your organisation uses specialist applications that only run on Windows, you will need to consider virtual access to these machines via Citrix Receiver, VMware Horizon Clients or Amazon WorkSpaces.
For many accustomed to the laptop or desktop PC this setup could take some getting used to. Training may be required to educate and demonstrate any advantages of the system.
Samsung DeX in action
The following videos show you DeX in a bit more detail:
Some individuals and organisations will love this concept and embrace the mobile focus of this. Others will not be so keen.
Do you work in a corporate environment? Can you see any advantages to this setup in your business or are there too many cons as far as you are concerned?