Can a chipset help your Managed Services solution?

Several years ago, I participated in a combined case study with Intel and an automation tool to gauge the impact of using an advanced remote chipset such as that provided by Intel vProTM technology. The first area that I found surprising was the fact that a hardware manufacturer was suddenly immersing itself in what was essentially a services equation. Without me realising it, the IT services paradigm had changed so dramatically that now hardware organisations wanted to be in at the ground floor. In fact I even read a Top Ten prediction list a couple of years ago specifically on the chip market and at number 10 was a prediction that chip makers would make a shift to service.

In the case study that I designed and participated in, I focused mainly on power savings. Even though there are many other benefits from remote chipset management, I estimated that most clients would channel their best Jerry Maguire and while I could extol the virtues of remote chip management, they would simply say, “SHOW! ME! THE! MONEY!”

My case study therefore focused firstly on savings. In the case study, I first setup a group of existing PCs that were left to run 24 hours a day. These PCs were installed with automation software that was designed to patch them and keep them running at their optimum. In direct contrast to these older PCs, I setup a group of vProTM enabled PCs that were set to power down each night, automatically power up for patches and other hardware maintenance, power down again and then power up in the morning ready for the users to login. I wanted the users to not experience any downtime from their PCs being turned off each night yet I wanted the power savings.

From a user experience, their PCs were on when they came in each morning and they could logon and start their day. Their PCs ran at their optimum due to the patching and maintenance that was occurring each night. From a power perspective, the results were impressive. There was a 68 percent reduction in power usage over the older PCs that were left on 24 hours a day. That equated to 554kWh per year per PC. If you want to look at the carbon equation, 0.554 tonnes of carbon production were saved per PC which is the equivalent of taking 0.1 cars off the road each year.

Once you start to put those numbers together, you can then start to push the argument to your clients about the additional benefits of remote chipset management. A PC with a frozen operating system no longer requires you to speak with someone. By having access to the PC independent of the operating system, a remote reboot saves you time and frustration. You can access the BIOS remotely to make changes or troubleshoot problems and you could even offer services of asset management to your clients – using the information that you read directly from the hardware.

I have previously discussed the benefits of automation software and, if you have been using this and are seeing benefits to your solution, the next logical step is to further investigate advanced chipset solutions. Many automation packages now have integrated support or you can use specific software from the hardware vendors. My recommendation is to lead with the electricity savings to your clients and follow up with the additional benefits they will see from an advanced solution. Not everyone is doing this yet so it is just another way for you to be ahead of the pack and offering something your competitors are not.

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