The ability to remotely repair OS issues without a truck roll is just one reason why managed services provider G6 Communications uses PCs built on the Intel vPro platform and Intel Endpoint Management Assistant.
“We can now fully configure PCs remotely, without touching the machine” says the company's VP of operations, David Cox.
David Cox: touch-free configuration
See why G6 Communications has standardized on PCs built with Intel Core vPro processors.
To read the brief, click on the link below (PDF):
It’s common wisdom that more memory makes for a faster PC. But is that actually true?
To put it to the test, IT Support Rhode Island recently compared two laptops, one with Intel Optane memory H10 with solid state storage and one without. The company, an IT support and consulting firm that serves customers in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts, is always looking for a way to keep its customers happy.
And the test results? The laptop with Intel Optane memory H10 launched documents 4x faster than the other device, launched presentations up to 8x faster, and loaded workbooks up to 6x faster.
To learn more about this memory test, we spoke recently with IT Support Rhode Island’s chief administrative officer, Leo Cote. Following are highlights from our discussion.
Leo Cote, chief administrative officer, IT Support Rhode Island
To test the laptop with Intel Optane memory H10, what type of customer and applications did you select?
We deployed a Lenovo ThinkPad T490 laptop with Intel Optane memory H10 with Solid State Storage with one of our clients’ sales reps. He travels often and uses his laptop for many PowerPoint presentations and the company’s CRM software. He’s on the go and is routinely starting his laptop from either a sleep state or a cold state, and he’s been frustrated by the slow response.
How did you conduct the test?
We tested it against another Lenovo system that was a few years old and had a spinning HDD. We tested both startup times and app-load times. The rep often works in large Excel spreadsheets that could take up to 15 seconds to load on his old laptop. On the Lenovo T490 with Intel Optane memory H10, the Excel worksheet loaded in 1 second or less.
Also, the read speeds of the drive were much, much faster compared to a regular SSD. So if you have files that require a lot of read speed, you’re going to see a huge difference.”
What did your customer think of the performance difference?
He liked it for the speed, and he liked that he wasn’t waiting for his PC to boot up. He could get a lot more work done and be more effective. Even if it’s just a couple of minutes less getting an Excel spreadsheet to load, that makes a difference.
The battery life was much better, too—two times as good as the older laptop—and he usually got four or five hours of work out of it. That could have been because of the SSD versus the HDD, or it could have been that the apps performed faster. But the sales rep definitely noticed it.
How does this solution fit into your managed-services offering?
PCs with Intel Optane memory H10 are an easy sell, especially when we can show clients the productivity savings. As a managed services provider, it helps us, too. Now a client reboot is a 30-second process instead of taking 2 to 5 minutes.
You prefer Connectwise scripting and Lenovo systems. Why is that?
We think that the scripting within Connectwise Automate is exceptional. The software saves our techs a lot of time. For instance, when we’re updating Windows 10, we created a script to do that. Really, the automation saves us so much time. It’s why the software is called Automate.
All of our desktops and laptops are from Lenovo. I like their longevity and resiliency. We have very little trouble with them. And we love that all Lenovo desktops can support 3 monitors right out of the box.
> Intel vPro Navigator: your one-stop guide for using the Intel vPro platform
Intel Partner Connect 2020, the virtual event set for Oct. 20, has now announced its full lineup of speakers and programs.
This virtual event connects Intel partners with the industry to learn about innovative solutions, new business opportunities, and Intel technologies.
Intel speakers at this year’s Intel Partner Connect will include:
> Michelle Johnston Holthaus: Executive VP and general manager (GM) of the company’s sales, marketing and communications group
> Greg Baur: VP of Intel’s sales and marketing group, and GM of the global scale and partner organization
> Eric Thompson: GM of partner enablement
> Steve Long: GM of client computing
> Rose Schooler: GM of data center
> Brad Haczynski: GM of IoT
> Laura Crone: GM of nonvolatile memory solutions
> Jason Fedder: GM of data center memory and storage sales
At this year’s Intel Partner Connect, you’ll be able to attend breakout courses, plus sponsor and Intel business-unit showcase booths. Here are some of the programs now on the schedule:
> Intel Partner Alliance program: Join the overall introduction, then select a deep dive into how the new program can help cloud service providers, distributors, FPGA designers, independent software vendors, manufacturers, OEMs, service integrators, and solution providers.
> Client state of the business update: Learn about the latest key client-computing technologies and partner opportunities.
> Grow your AI-powered business with Intel-based workstations: Discover how Intel’s Xeon processors, Optane tech and more can deliver the price/performance AI pros need.
> Mitigating large-scale DDoS attacks: Hear how Intel SmartNIC on-board programming components can help your customers roll out 5G and edge computing safely and securely.
> Enable world-class solutions: Find out how Intel Optane Persistent Memory enables entirely new levels of performance.
The Americas edition of Intel Partner Connect 2020 happens on Tuesday, Oct. 20, starting at 8:30 a.m. PT / 11:30 a.m. ET. Don't miss it!
Learn more about Intel Partner Connect 2020:
Whenever a customer's PC goes down, the faster you can get them back up, the happier your customer will be.
So just think how happy the customers of Blue Tree Technology are. This solutions provider, based in Riverside, Missouri, has found that by using PCs with Intel vPro technology, it has shortened customers’ hardware repair times by 83%, and OS repair times by 89%.
That’s smart — highly appropriate for a company whose tagline is “Smarter IT for a smarter business.”
To find out how Blue Tree Technology did it, we spoke recently with the company’s manager of client relations, Tom Noon. Following are highlights from our discussion.
Tom Noon, client relations manager, Blue Tree Technology
Why does Blue Tree recommend PCs built on the Intel vPro platform?
Any tool that helps us do our job better and faster – like the remote capabilities of Intel vPro technology – helps us tremendously. Especially as we grow and get more and more remote customers, Intel vPro-based PCs become essential.
Our customers expect us to tell them what they need to support their business. A vPro-based PC is one of those tools that’s easy to recommend. Intel vPro reduces the amount of PC downtime our customers experience, and that increases their productivity.
How have you reduced hardware repair times by 83%?
With a PC based on Intel vPro technology, we can diagnose what’s wrong remotely, and without having to walk the end user through an over-the-phone process.
Simple things — like a boot hanging up on a thumb drive — now take us just 10 minutes to fix, instead of spending 60 minutes on a truck roll.
This also allows us to avoid a diagnostic visit. When we do visit, we can take the right part the first time.
And how have you reduced OS repair times by 89%?
Intel vPro technology’s hardware-based KVM Remote Control lets us repair blue-screened PCs remotely from our desk. That saves a lot of time.
Without vPro, our remote capabilities in this situation are very limited. A typical blue screen would take us an hour and a half to resolve. But with vPro’s KVM Remote Control, we can reduce that to just 10 minutes.
How about reducing the number of deskside visits?
We have customers all over the Kansas City metro area in two states. Before we used vPro-based PCs, we would lose 90 minutes for an average truck roll. Now, with vPro’s remote capabilities, we can eliminate 3 out of 4 of those deskside visits. And any time my technicians are not on the road, they can be working on other projects and service tickets.
How about improved security and compliance through faster patching?
When we have to rely on users to leave their PCs on overnight so that we can patch, it’s hit or miss. We end up chasing failed patches.
But with Intel vPro technology, that allows us to power-on those machines remotely, then get them successfully patched. This saves us time. It also keeps our clients more secure. Especially for our clients working in a HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] environment, this is critical.
Do you get more value from the Datto RM remote monitoring and management platform?
We’ve used other remote-management tools, but we switched to Datto RMM because we use Datto Autotask as our PSA [professional services automation] platform. We needed a single pane of glass to manage our business. Datto’s integration of Intel vPro technology’s remote capabilities just adds to the platform’s value.
Why do you specify Intel vPro technology-based PCs from Dell as your standard?
Dell is a key partner for us. Their systems are very reliable. Also, we like the way Dell keeps a model line going for a long time. It makes management of our systems easier. With less variety in the installed base, our systems are easier to manage.
Also, Dell’s warranty service is great. Plus, whenever we have a special need, such as a 3D modeling solution, Dell is there with recommendations and the right specs.
Intel Partner Connect is the premier confab for Intel partners, and like many events this fall, it’s moved online.
As the name implies, Intel Partner Connect event connects partners with the industry’s ecosystem.
This fall’s Intel Partner Connect event will feature executive sessions, breakout sessions and a Showcase in which attendees can chat online with Intel product experts and ecosystem partners. Check out the agenda.
Attend, and you’ll learn about new and innovative solutions, discover new ways to grow your business, and create new opportunities for driving progress. You’ll also get an inside look at new tech trends and Intel’s current product priorities.
Intel speakers at this fall’s virtual event will include:
> Greg Baur, VP and GM of the global scale and partner organization
> Eric Thompson, GM of partner enablement
> Michelle Johnston Holthaus, executive VP and GM of the sales, marketing and communications group
It’s all happening on Tuesday, Oct. 20, starting at 8 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. ET.
This 5-hour event is open to all Intel channel partners and business leaders based in the Americas. Join us!
“Contain the complexity.” That’s the slogan of BT Mack Technology Group, an Ogden, Utah-based tech provider, founded in 2007, that specializes in three markets: travel plazas, K-12 schools and small businesses.
It’s now specifying PCs using Intel Optane technology to significantly improve performance at a low cost.
To learn why BT Mack has made this move, we spoke recently with the company’s founder and CEO, Larry Welch. Following are highlights from our discussion.
Larry Welch, founder and CEO, BT Mack Technology Group
How did you initially evaluate Intel Optane technology?
We used a Lenovo system equipped with Intel Optane memory for a home-construction company, Kartchner Homes. They do a lot of web-based CRM work, floor-plan designs, and project management, as well as a lot of QuickBooks and spreadsheets.
We tested Intel Optane memory on the CFO’s PC. The CFO has as many as 15 to 20 spreadsheets open at a time. Before we enabled the Intel Optane memory, he was frustrated with the poor performance and slow loading time.
And the result of this test?
After the Intel Optane memory was deployed, the CFO noticed a major difference. When he turned off Optane, the PC would freeze trying to run everything. But with Optane on, the PC ran flawlessly. He thought the PC performed as fast as a workstation with an SSD. So we’ve sold them on Intel Optane with its efficiency.
How does Intel Optane technology help your customers save money?
This particular client wants to be sure they’re saving money. Some of the heavy users in the company have not upgraded their systems yet. But now that the CFO has seen the performance of Intel Optane memory, we expect that he’ll authorize those upgrades. The company is impressed with the performance, which saves them time and money.
Would you recommend PCs equipped with Intel Optane memory to your other clients?
We do have other clients who would be interested in using PCs featuring Intel Optane memory. For example, we work with an insurance company that is soon moving to a new building. They’ll want to upgrade to all new PCs at the new office, and we’ll recommend Intel Optane memory to improve their efficiency.
Why do you prefer PCs from Lenovo?
We use Lenovo as our primary OEM. The company’s reliability and performance have been great, especially the Tiny units and the small form factors. Lenovo also has great customer support. We’re impressed with Lenovo’s overall performance.
Ready to help your customers improve PC performance at low cost? Check out Intel Optane technology for personal computing.
Working from home wouldn’t be so bad if the average home PC weren’t so slow. Alvarez Technology Group has a better way: HP’s cool Dragonfly notebook loaded with Intel Optane memory and SSD storage.
Alvarez Technology is an IT services firm based in Salinas, Calif. Founded 20 years ago by Luis Alvarez, the company today serves more than 200 small and medium business clients.
In its own tests, Alvarez Tech has found that PCs with Intel Optane H10 memory with solid-state storage deliver some big gains over older systems without Intel Optane. These gain include 3x faster document launching, 2x faster loading of Excel workbooks, and far better image clarity and resolution during online meetings.
To learn how Alvarez Tech has done this, we spoke recently with the company’s president and CEO, Luis Alvarez. Following are highlights from our discussion.
Luis Alvarez, president and CEO, Alvarez Technology Group
What type of customer and applications did you select to test the Intel Optane memory H10?
We deployed the HP Dragonfly notebook PC with Intel Optane memory H10 with Solid State Storage to one of our financial-services customers. The customer works with big Microsoft Excel worksheets full of formulas and also spends a fair amount of time in video calls.
Before we deployed the system, our own staff tested it extensively. Everyone had really high praise for the HP Dragonfly.
How did you test the solution?
We tested against a Lenovo system that was less than a year old. It had an SSD, but no Intel Optane memory. I ran the user through her typical apps, and she was really impressed.
The customer uses some incredibly large Microsoft Excel spreadsheets full of formulas. She reported that the HP Dragonfly was much faster than her other laptop, which the bank had purchased for her to work from home. The decrease in wait time improved her productivity, and the touchscreen was superfast.
How did your customer respond to the performance?
She said, “This is what I want to work on. I’m going to give my other laptop to someone else.”
The bank holds a lot of Microsoft Teams meetings, and the customer reported that the video on this PC streamed perfectly, with no stutters whatsoever, and that there was better resolution and clarity. She also said it was so light, sometimes she almost forgot she was carrying it!
How does this HP Dragonfly/Intel Optane solution fit into your own managed services offering?
Now, with so many of our clients considering a permanent work-from-home future, they want to provide company-owned systems to their remote workforce. So we’ll lead with the HP Dragonfly — it’s a great system for that.
In addition, Monterey County (where we live) has a world-renowned aquarium, and the whole county is focused on sustainability and plastics not going into the ocean. So the sustainability message resonated more than I imagined it would. Our client really liked that the HP Dragonfly had recycled plastic — especially because the company has a sustainability commitment.
HP is your vendor of choice, and you’ve also partnered for more than 10 years with ConnectWise. Why is that?
We like Connectwise Automate because of the scripting capabilities. You can automate a lot of manual functions, and that frees up our techs for more strategic tasks.
As for HP, it’s our go-to brand for laptops, mobile devices and desktops. They make every form factor we need. Also, HP has stellar reliability. We’re attaching our name to any PC we give our clients, and the last thing we want is to have a system fail. Then we’ve got egg on our face. And with HP, we’ve never had that happen.
Haste doesn’t always make waste. In fact, the faster you can resolve your customers’ PC issues, the happier they’ll be.
5K Technical Services, a managed services provider in Plano, Texas, has found that one powerful way to speed customer service is with the Intel vPro Platform.
Making this shift has cut the average time the company needs to resolve an OS problem from 45 minutes to just 15. Shortened the time it needs to fix a hardware problem from an average of 30 minutes to only 10. And reduced the number of desk-side visits it needs to conduct from an average of 10 a month to just 1.
To learn how 5K has done this, we spoke recently with the company’s president and CEO, Corey Kirkendoll. Following are highlights from the discussion.
Corey Kirkendoll, president and CEO, 5K Technical Services
Why do you now recommend that your customers build PCs around the Intel vPro platform?
Our business focuses on architectural firms, construction companies and nonprofits. All of these clients rely on powerful PCs and uptime. If they can’t access their computers, they can’t bill. So the Intel vPro platform is a standard for us, because it makes it easy to find issues before they become problems.
We already have many Intel vPro platform-based PCs deployed. We see the potential of how the technology can help us achieve growth without adding headcount, make our customers happier, and make everyone more productive. That’s our goal.
How does the Intel vPro platform help you improve your customers’ security and reduce the time you need for troubleshooting?
For patching, the Intel vPro platform is critical. Being able to power-on a machine is remarkable — especially because the standard Wake-on-LAN is not always reliable. We want all our machines secure and up-to-date, and now we can be sure we have patch saturation.
Also, to be able to reboot to BIOS and actually see the screen is a game-changer. We can now troubleshoot without having to roll a truck.
How about using the Intel vPro platform for remote access? Is that saving you time and money?
Without the Intel vPro platform, if we need to reboot or do anything that requires interaction with a PC, we've got to either talk with the customer and potentially interrupt their workflow or we have to roll a truck. But Intel Active Management technology gives us more tools in our tool belt, especially if we need to reboot a machine or get into the BIOS.
You recommend your customers choose Lenovo hardware. Why’s that?
Our customers love how black, thin and sexy the Lenovo PCs are. And we like that they’re rugged and hold up over their lifetime. The support Lenovo provides is really good, too. It makes our job easier if there is a warranty issue.
This isn’t your father’s technical training. In today’s environment of social distancing, training is going virtual.
In fact, over 90% of organizations ether already use live online learning now or plan to use it this year.
Yet there’s plenty of room for growth. Only about 1 in 10 formal training programs are live online. And fewer than 1 in 10 learners use mobile devices to participate in virtual training classes.
The benefits of e-learning are impressive. One survey finds that e-learning takes anywhere from 40% to 60% less time than classroom instruction. Another study shows that e-learning enables students to learn 5 times more material for every hour of training than classroom learning.
Benefits including these are why 60% of organizations expect to conduct more e-learning. And why 70% expect to blend live classrooms with virtual training.
Top challenges of e-learning? They include unprepared participants (cited by 38% of respondents to a recent survey), technology challenges (37%), and unskilled facilitators (25%).
How about you? Now’s the time to get ready to train your customers virtually.
Get ahead with virtual training:
> Download an Intel infographic, Virtual Training in 2020...click on the PDF link below:
Is working from home really more productive than working in a regular office? That depends. Are you following best practices? And is your technology up-to-date?
Here are tips on both the management and tech fronts. They’ll help keep you, your staff and your customers productive while working from home.
> Computer: Consider lightweight laptops for those who will need to move around their house or apartment. Long battery life helps, too. If desk space is an issue, good options to explore include an All-in-One or mini PC. If remote manageability is important, consider PCs powered with Intel vPro technology.
> Docking station: This is a smart, time-saving way to connect multiple peripheral devices while also charging a laptop. For high-speed connectivity, check out the latest Thunderbolt 3-enabled docks.
> Visuals: Reduce eye strain with either dual displays or larger-format monitors. Today’s 4K and UHD monitors, some with LED backlighting, can increase comfort, too.
> Smart devices: A PC and phone is good enough to get started, but for increased productivity, other devices can help. One example is Lenovo’s ThinkSmart View collaborative smart device. It takes on administrative tasks that would otherwise hog the resources of a PC; it retails for $350, making it an affordable addition.
> Headset: With live meetings pretty much a thing of the past, workers are now spending a lot more time on the phone. Noise-canceling headsets help keep their conversations quiet and professional while eliminating neck strain.
> Keyboard: Ergonomic keyboards may look funny, but don’t let that stop you. They really are more comfortable than traditional keyboards. They’re also available in a choice of either wired or wireless, and in both regular and compact sizes. For maximum comfort, combine them with an equally ergonomic mouse.
> Mimic a traditional work schedule: Set a doable schedule. Then stick to it. Also, use calendaring software to keep track of all those Zoom, Skype and Teams meetings.
> Create a dedicated workspace: If possible, everyone should have just one place for work. That should include a desk, comfortable chair, lighting and whatever else is needed.
> Minimize distractions: With a world of content just a few mouse clicks away, it’s easy to waste hours and hours by endlessly checking email, social media, videos and more. Instead, schedule blocks of focused time for your detailed projects.