Intel in the house.
We recently delivered a Managed Services Boot Camp for some of Intel’s Field Service Reps (FSR’s) to educate them on the challenges Service Providers face when transitioning to a Managed Services delivery model. The objective of this Boot Camp was to develop a training program for Intel FSR’s that will give them the tools and education necessary to help their Partners in the field become more profitable by delivering services to their end-user clients, instead of continuing to try to eke out profits from hardware-only, or project-based deliverables.
We all learned much from this initial Boot Camp, and from our viewpoint, understand much more clearly the challenges faced by product vendors such as Intel and Cisco as they try to alter their Partner’s traditional attitudes toward selling solutions from a transactional perspective to a service, or annuity service-oriented perspective.
One fact that struck me as odd is the reality that many Solution Providers are selling solutions with Intel vPro Technology, but not availing themselves of its benefits by failing to activate its features. Intel vPro is a platform comprised of several specific components: a Core 2 Duo processor, a Q-965 chipset, an Intel vPro Gigabit NIC, Active Management Technology (AMT) and Virtualization Technology (VT) which, when combined allows the Solution Provider to manage desktops and laptops even when Out of Band (powered down). For the most part, this means that as long as they are connected to a network, devices can be powered up remotely, and managed throughout the POST process – providing access to the BIOS, or even allowing re-imaging of the device across the network, in addition to other features – the perfect solution to those service calls when a PC or laptop won’t boot, or is blue-screening, allowing the ability to remotely diagnose the issue, instead of waiting to roll a truck on site to begin more costly troubleshooting.
Although vPro won’t allow us to fix hardware remotely, it adds tremendous value for software-related issues that would normally require an onsite visit. Let’s face it – it’s not that difficult to keep a base image of equipment on a network share somewhere and call it down when needed – vPro now allows us the ability to manage that process much more easily, as well as work outside of the operating system environment without physically sitting at the console. Read more about Intel vPro Technology here.
So if Solution Providers are selling and influencing purchases of vPro-enabled equipment (this typically adds $30 or so to the total cost), why aren’t they activating its features? And for MSP’s whose monitoring tools provide much greater functionality and integration with vPro technology, why aren’t they leveraging the investments they’ve already made in their Remote Monitoring and Management Platforms to increase their utilization and save on truck rolls?