The complete Enterprise Hardware solution consists of the following four components:
|Enterprise Server||PC||Enterprise Client||Monitor + Keyboard|
|Connects to the Internet, Telephone Network (built-in PABX and Voice Mail), Cable TV Network; Storage; also runs the Enterprise Software; Price-point: USD 1500 (Rs 75,000)||1 for every 5-6 people, full-featured desktop; Price-point Rs USD 800 (Rs 40,000)||PDA+Phone; one device for everyone in the company, mobile “always-on” connectivity with the enterprise; can also be used from home or outside via RJ11 Tel Line connection; Price-point: USD 100 (Rs 5,000)||Shared infrastructure including monitor, keyboard and perhaps a webcam (1 for every 5-6 people), provides a bigger viewing area for the Enterprise Clients and Video (TV); Price-point: USD 500 (Rs 25,000)|
SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) need to reliably connected to the Internet and its services. The key here is to create a nearly “always-on” (intermittently connected) infrastructure – without this, they cannot be offered software as a service. The solution for this is to offer an Enterprise Server which sits on the company’s LAN, and takes care of not just connectivity and communications needs, but also has the enterprise software stack running locally. This way, the company feels more secure and has access to the service even if the network connectivity is not available. It also gets the benefit of speed and “always-on” connectivity.
The Enterprise Server can connect to three networks: the Internet, the telephone network (also serving as a PABX for the enterprise) and the cable TV network. It also gives the service provider the ability to help manage their local IT infrastructure. Data should be replicated on servers on the Internet also, thus offering redundancy and availability from other locations also.
The cost of a PC at USD 600-700 is still significant for SMEs in emerging markets. The result is that PC penetration in enterprises is low (for example, in India, there are only 3.5 million PCs for a workforce in excess of 100 million). Yet, to get the full benefits of the Internet and collaboration, everyone in the enterprise needs to be enabled with computing and communications. The solution is the Enterprise Client.
The Enterprise Client is basically a low-cost (less than USD 100) PDA with wireless support (802.11b), and supports voice/data. The software needed on the Client is a Web browser, which can interface with the Enterprise Software and other Web servers elsewhere on the Internet. The Client is the window to all the Enterprise Software applications.
The shared monitors (1 for every 5-6 people) create shared resources which can be used as and when desired by employees for needs which require a bigger screen and full-sized keyboard (e.g. attachments, substantial typing).