Are You Ready to Grab ‘n Go with Chromebooks?

Are You Ready to Grab ‘n Go with Chromebooks?

At Experteq, we have been at the forefront of the Modern Workplace for years. Our mission is to modernise workplaces and give workforces a seamless, effective and efficient user experience. We are excited by any technology that enables business and people to work flexibly while maintaining enterprise-grade security.

 

When Google introduced its internal Chromebook Grab and Go solution, it was interesting and intriguing to us right away. The concept of being able to walk into work and be productive regardless of whether you have brought a laptop along, or not, was compelling.

 

A Chromebook is a laptop that stores apps and data in the cloud, rather than on the laptop itself. They typically run the Linux-based Chrome OS and can run a variety of Android and Linux apps.

 

Initially, we saw use cases for people who have experienced a hardware issue, or casual workers who have not been issued a company machine.

 

More recently, especially in the time of COVID-19, we have seen use cases in Healthcare for secure, sterile devices being used by hospital and health workers – then sterilised again once their work shift is complete. By marrying Google’s concept with other secure enterprise infrastructure like Citrix/Microsoft technology, Experteq can rapidly deliver a full user experience to people using low-cost Chromebooks from “Grab ‘n Go” locations throughout your facilities.

 

Enjoy the read. Please do reach out to the Experteq team if you believe Grab ‘n Go could help you and your team. You can also access the complete Google story of why they came up with their Grab ‘n Go program, here.

 

An introduction to Experteq Grab ‘n Go

 

The self-service loaner laptop solution – Grab ‘n Go – enables business users to borrow a low-cost laptop when they require one for work. Once they finish with the use, they can sign out and return the Chromebook to the laptop shelf, so it is ready to use for the next person. The creation of the program, which began at Google, was an initiative for Google employees to stay agile and productive. The self-service process is simple, secure, and convenient. There is no check-in, check-out, or waiting in line. It literally is a Grab and Go solution. Better yet, it does not need to involve the personnel in the IT department. Users usually bombard IT departments with requests to fix major and minor device issues. So, their lack of involvement enables them to focus on other, more essential tasks. The program is typically for your frontline colleagues, as well as shift, visiting and remote workers, seeing as they require devices for short periods.

 

 

 

Why Grab ‘n Go?

 

Enabling and encouraging your team to use laptops increases their productivity because laptops are portable, convenient, and allow for workplace flexibility. However, laptops are expensive and can easily get lost, stolen or damaged. A colleague might spill coffee on their laptop, or it might crash without someone saving their work. These accidents are routine, and it can take hours or even days for your IT department to supply a loaner laptop or recover lost information. More often than not, users forget their laptops at home or need a portable device for meetings. Visiting staff and shared devices are common Healthcare use cases.  There are enough use cases as to why an organisation must have a plan so that you can prevent significant loss of productivity and turnover. Experteq’s Grab ‘n Go solution enables your users to conveniently access a low-cost Chromebook and get to work rapidly, assisting them and your company, as you are immediately reducing downtime. Your IT department can then resolve the problem, or replace the laptop with ease, without taking time away from other important productive work.

 

Security is your top priority

 

A significant benefit of the Grab ‘n Go Chromebook solution is the security that the Chrome OS provides. Loaner Chromebooks must be secure because numerous users access sensitive documents and business classified applications. The configuration with unique features assists in keeping them secure. The built-in Chrome OS features and settings enable their core functionality. For users who require access to other Windows-based applications, Experteq configures the Chromebooks to access your Citrix environment and hence can provide a secure Windows 10 virtual desktop as well as native access for Web Applications.

 

Only specified users in the specified domain can use the Chromebook. Users must have a corporate account to use the Chromebook as there are Sign-in Restrictions and guest mode is disabled. The enforcement of policies, even after a factory reset, further enhances the level of security. Forced Re-enrollment is a feature that is instrumental to the security level. After a factory reset, users cannot sign in again until the device is re-enrolled into the corporate domain by an administrator.

 

Pertinent to note, there is no data housed on the Chromebook which is a stateless device. The encryption of user data stored or cached on the Chromebook makes accessing files extremely difficult. Chromebooks can be configured to lock when closed or left idle. The automatic updating of Chromebooks is another advantage and feature that enhances security.  Download and installation of system updates occur in the background. You can apply a setting to enable your Chromebooks to reboot automatically, so the updates come into effect when the next user signs out. Protection from tampering and corruption happens on Chrome OS as the system is monitored at each start by verified Boot.

 

Implementing Grab ‘n Go

 

As a baseline, the Grab ‘n Go program requires a fleet of Chromebooks managed by Chrome Enterprise.

 

Needs and requirements differ of course from customer to customer. You may wish to vary your approach to physical storage for your devices or make use of varying Chromebook models. Your Administrators might want to use custom settings or enforce different loan policies. The loaner programs do allow for this flexibility, meaning you can adapt them to a variety of different environments. There are, however, a few specifics about the solution. These include:

 

  • Shelves – storing Chromebooks is simple in secure cabinets or on open metal shelves, but a cart is also an option. In public environments, secure cabinets can be positioned strategically where staff can access them if authorised. In trusted environments shelves can be in a central location where everyone can find and access them. The shelves are easily recognisable by users, and their purpose is evident. The absence of doors and locking mechanisms ensures there are no obstructions. This makes taking and returning a Chromebook rather simple. The simplicity and open design cater to chargers as well, where charging stations are accessible and readily available to users. Cables, used for charging, are put in front of each shelf, making them easily accessible, where users can place a Chromebook on charge when they return it, making it usable for the next team member. In Healthcare facilities Chromebooks can be attached to medical carts (Computers on Wheels) and used by multiple staff throughout the day, in many locations.
  • Chromebooks – There are many different brands and configurations of Chromebooks from light-weight simple devices to enterprise-grade models with physical durability and/or Antimicrobial/Antibacterial certifications. Due to the number of individuals using each Chromebook, sustainability is essential. Chromebooks are quickly retrieved and returned to shelves, and this does not always happen gently. Chromebooks are sturdy as they must endure significantly more wear and tear than other standard-issue devices. They must also undergo regular cleaning and sanitation practices.
  • User information – when users first sign into a Chromebook, they receive an informative email that includes a return date reminder, instructions on how to extend a loan, as well as information on how to return the Chromebook. The login process is the same as any other device they would utilise as they are logging into the same network as normal.
  • Admin app – Experteq provides a management application to manage the fleet of loaner laptops, allowing IT teams to track users and the inventory of Chromebooks. Data analysis tools integrate seamlessly, meaning simple report generation and insights are possible. You can also enhance usage tracking with extensive data reporting. As soon as a user signs in, the management application knows a loan has started. It also identifies that a loan has ended when another user signs into the same Chromebook. You can use it to enrol devices in and out of the fleet, as well as change the loan duration, and enable or disable guest mode. Furthermore, you can turn reminder emails on or off.

 

Experteq can enable Grab ‘n Go for your Enterprise

 

We can help you deploy, configure and manage your Modern Workplace solution, whether it is Grab ‘n Go – or another technology solution.

 

Contact us today to share your challenges and ask about the recent projects we’ve worked on that mirror your situation.

Frank Mulcahy

frank.mulcahy@experteq.com

Over the last 15 years Frank has been involved in several successful start-up technology companies that solve major business challenges using enterprise technology thinking. Frank is a strategic thinker and is often invited by media and vendors to comment on emerging Industry trends and technology market direction.