Supporting remote PC users has become super-important during the pandemic, and there’s every sign that it will remain just as important in the future.
A Gartner poll conducted last summer found that over 80% of company leaders plan to let their employees work remotely at least some of the time, even after he pandemic ends. Working from home, it seems, is here to stay. So is the need for remote PC support.
One tech provider fully engaged in supporting remote PC users is 365 Managed IT. Based in Tempe, Ariz., the company offers a full suite of managed services, including IT management, maintenance and support.
365 Managed IT also uses two Intel technologies for better IT functionality and lower service-delivery costs: the Intel vPro platform and Intel Endpoint Management Assistant (EMA).
With help from these two Intel technologies, 365 Managed IT has reduced the average time it needs to resolve a hardware problem by 50%. Lowered the average time needed to reduce a software problem by 66%. And cut the number of monthly desk-side visits by 60%.
To learn more, we spoke recently with 365 Managed IT’s founding co-partner and senior technical consultant, Ken Stewart. Following are edited highlights from our interview.
Ken Stewart, senior technical consultant, 365 Managed IT
You’ve used the Intel vPro platform for its remote management capabilities. How does adding Intel Endpoint Management Assistant make things even better?
It’s great that we don’t have to run a proxy server on our clients’ sites in order to manage PCs built on the Intel vPro platform. Now we only have to manage one server hosting Intel EMA. It simplifies things for us greatly, and that’s really huge for us.
About 40% of our client base is charter schools. They don’t have an on-site IT infrastructure because everything they use is cloud-based. Intel EMA lets us reach them.
This is a huge deal. A lot of the work we do at schools is done after-hours. So we need to be able to reach systems—and if we can’t, we need to be able to turn them on. Intel EMA lets us do this. In the education market, that’s a big advantage.
How does Intel EMA give you a better reach into the growing number of out-of-office workers?
The rest of our customer base went remote with COVID, and a few are just starting to transition back to offices. But based on what I’m seeing in the news, I think most companies won’t return soon.
With so many of our clients now working from home instead of in the office, our calls have increased. Intel EMA gives us the ability to reach systems not sitting on corporate networks.
How did you cut hardware-repair times by 40 percent?
Intel EMA allows us to diagnose PC problems remotely at the hardware level. That means letting us see an issue without rolling a truck.
It seems like many of our remote clients are locked out by forgetting their disk encryption password. With Intel EMA, we can access a PC’s desktop and use a new password to get past the disk encryption. This helps us resolve issues quickly and efficiently.
You’ve reduced on-site visits too, right?
With Intel EMA, we can make far fewer trips onsite. With our prior technology, we were able to resolve about 70% of our tickets remotely. But with Intel EMA access, we can complete up to 90% of our tickets remotely.
If our technicians aren’t spending time on the road, they can close more tickets in less time. We can work more quickly because the Intel vPro platform gives us remote access to the client’s desktop in ways we didn’t have access before.
You work closely with two other suppliers, Lenovo and Datto. Why them?
As a Lenovo partner, we appreciate the company’s customer support as well as the pricing. And our clients like the consistency of Lenovo’s products and how long-lasting they are. Since we’ve started working with Lenovo, our clients have not had any performance issues with the equipment.
As for Datto, they’re a one-stop shop with a focus on MSP markets. That’s been key for us as a Datto continuity partner. We’ve had very few issues, and the support has been excellent. If there was better integration with Intel EMA, that would make the tool even more helpful.
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