VARs are also able to add their own custom applications and anything else the customer may need since the notebooks come only with Microsoft Office 2007 already installed. Being able to sell a customer a worry-free computing experience is a key driver that enables this notebook-as-a services model to work, Keating said.
NPC is really about the next generation of computing, Keating said, therefore the service is looking to attract a very specific type of customer in the professional small business industry. Professionals in the legal, financial, and the engineering sectors, are ones that Keating said NPC hopes to target.
"We're going after SMBs (small to medium-sized businesses) who have little to no IT support," Keating said. "Financial advisors, lawyers, accountants and so forth all have important data that needs to be protected and this service addresses all of that."
Tom Ward, the former ATI channel and marketing executive and now vice-president of marketing at NPC, said the company is currently looking to build its VAR base.
"We're not looking for 1,000 VARs," Ward said. "We want to VARs in professional verticals who are already talking to lawyers, small firms and who may be focused on installing specialized software."
Ward added that NPC provides VARs with an opportunity to get back to customers with 100 seats or less. Typically VARs have abandoned the smaller business because of razor-thin margins could sustain profitability. Most of those customers now turn to retail.
"This is a great opportunity for VARs to go back to those four or five person shops or go after companies with 30 employees are less because now the margins are there," Ward said.
Keating is confident that NPC will be a success, although he does admit it will take a lot of time and investment to get users to understand the value of moving towards a notebook services model.
After all, "we're just getting started," he adds. "We want to change the culture of how we deliver notebooks."