78% interested in a hardware subscription-based solution to equip mobile workforces


Technology buyers are in favour of spreading the cost of equipping their mobile workforces with notebooks, tablets and handheld devices, the latest research reveals. 78% of UK technology buyers said they would be interested in a subscription-based solution to equip mobile workforces. 

Currently buyers say their top considerations when purchasing mobile devices for their workforce are cost (72%) and life expectancy of the product (54%). Yet the majority of buyers still expect to replace their mobile workforces’ devices every 2-3 years. 

Buyers said an “As a Service” approach for mobile hardware, as opposed to paying out in advance with a large, one-off capital expenditure, would help them to purchase up to date technology more quickly (54%), manage costs better (49%) and free up budget to purchase more accessories (34%).                   

The new approach of payments for hardware spread over three years at 0% interest, with helpdesk support and secure, end of life disposal was also attractive to buyers for reasons beyond cash flow. 53% said it would help them to maintain and dispose of devices more effectively and 33% agreed it would be a more secure way of disposing of mobile technology. 

The service elements buyers most wanted included in the subscription model were a three-year warranty (65%), a payment plan with 0% interest (46%), and delivery of devices straight to the workplace (46%). Optional extras they were keen to see offered included Insurance (45%), extended standard warranty (43%), accidental damage warranty (43%), accessories (39%), specialist software applications (34%) and a trade-in programme (34%). 

Despite the enthusiasm for the service, 69% of buyers were unaware of companies offering the service-based solution with 0% interest. 

The independent research, carried out by Opinion Matters on behalf of Panasonic Toughbook, questioned 250 UK technology buyers of notebooks, tablets and handheld devices for mobile workforces. 

“With the rapid advances in design and functionality of mobile devices and the resulting productivity gains for mobile workforces, businesses are keen to keep up to date with the latest developments,” said Kevin Jones, Managing Director for the Panasonic Mobile Solution Business in Europe. “This is resulting in an expensive capital expenditure every two-three years. But buyers are telling us that they would much rather move to a new subscription-based model, similar to the growing popularity of software as a service. Panasonic’s new Toughbook as a Service Solution helps our current and future customers overcome this challenge.” 

Toughbook as a Service

Panasonic launched its new Toughbook-as-a-Service (TaaS) earlier this year. It’s a unique, interest free, monthly payment model for rugged devices. Businesses can now equip their mobile workforces with any rugged Panasonic Toughbook notebook, tablet or handheld device without having to worry about large upfront costs in capital expenditure. 

Toughbook-as-a-Service is an end-to-end subscription, powered by European digital services provider, Econocom. It allows companies to pay for their Toughbook devices monthly, over a three-year period. Uniquely TaaS subscribers pay the same as a cash purchase, even though payments are spread over a longer term – eliminating the need for large upfront costs and allowing organisations to benefit from an OPEX-based solution rather than CAPEX. 

TaaS solutions include access to Panasonic Toughbook devices, delivery, 3-year warranty, helpdesk support, and end-of-life services such as collection, recycling and data wiping. As well as the rugged hardware, customers can choose to add into the monthly payment, on the same 0% interest terms*, options for their solution including vehicle mounts, docking stations, specialist software applications and other device accessories, as well as extended and accidental damage warranties. 

Customers can also choose to personalise their TaaS subscription with a number of optional extras, including a trade-in programme, which allows businesses to upgrade their technology without losing the value of their existing estate. TaaS also provides the ability to bundle in airtime, MDM and data analytics, for example. 

Click here to download an Executive Summary of the research Mobile Computing as a Service: Breaking the expensive cycle of mobile technology refreshes.