We all love tablets and dabble with them for business use. But they’ve lacked the power, the connectivity, screen size, storage and physical keyboards needed for road warriors to consider using them seriously for work.
Until now. For the first time, tablets are now sufficient for most enterprise users, consultants, and small business users to do most of the daily computer tasks needed while on the road or working from home. The key for me was the launch of Parallels Access 3.0, which provides iOS and Android tablets with fast, simple and reliable remote access to your computer from anywhere.
Parallels Access provides 24/7 access to applications running on your Mac or Windows computer as well as all the files stored on your PC, and it works beautifully. When combined with a business-class tablet like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, you can stop lugging your laptop everywhere and do most of your work on your tablet. You can manage and access all your files in the cloud or on remote computers, and copy and paste to your mobile device—or open cloud files on a remote desktop—with a single click.
I’ve been using this approach for a couple of months and now no longer take a laptop to client meetings because I can easily access all the files on my Mac from my iPad, and can run all my Mac applications through my iPad Pro. The iPad Pro Smart Cover includes a physical keyboard, which enables the productive use of more screen space and faster workflows. The split screen capabilities in newer iPads enable easy access to a couple of applications on a single screen, so for example I can launch and run an OS X application while taking notes on my tablet. I can also share files on my Mac from my iPad, and process my daily email from a couch while I watch the news. This includes editing and filing documents emailed to me, which as a writer consumes a major part of each workday.
The third leg in using your tablet to augment your Mac or PC is Microsoft Office 365, which includes a license to use editable versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel on a tablet and enables sharing files between a computer and a tablet via Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage. My renewal for the CrashPlan online backup software comes in a couple of months, and I probably will cancel it then if OneDrive works for me as well as I think it will.
Both Microsoft Office 365 and Parallels Access offer site licenses, and Parallels Access for Business offers centralized administration and billing. This makes this tablet remote access solution a solid choice for SMB and enterprise users. I also rely on Dropbox and Google Drive for storage and Evernote for cross-platform note-taking. I can even access my Mac files from my iPhone, but I find the phone interface to be too small for any significant work.
I tried to implement something like this about six months ago but the technology wasn’t baked yet. By combining a powerful tablet, Parallels Access for remote access and Office 365 for file creation, management and storage, business users can avoid carrying heavy laptops and more smoothly integrate business processes into your daily life. Give it a shot, you’ll never regret it!