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The Intel vPro platform and the new normal

Keeping your workforce supported and secure wherever they’re based

A woman in a suit pointing to a visualisation of a network of stylised figures stretching over a map of the world

The seismic changes to our working practices that began in 2020 have affected many different roles throughout business, and the IT department has by no means been spared. It is thanks almost entirely to technology that we have been able to keep working in anything resembling a normal manner, and IT decision makers had their work cut out for them dealing with the many requests and demands placed upon them – and still do.

While agile working has been growing in popularity over recent years, IT departments have for the most part been used to the majority of employees operating under the same roof, protected by traditional security measures and within easy reach if anything went wrong with their devices.

But now, many businesses are operating entirely remotely, and for the time being there is no possibility of direct access to their equipment without resorting to couriering hardware back and forth, which costs both time and money. The dispersed working model is here to stay, with a recent Enterprise Technology Research report predicting that the number of people permanently working from home will double in 2021 across the world.

IT departments need systems that will allow them to properly carry out their jobs in this environment, and workers need technology they can rely on. Fortunately, the Intel vPro® platform offers a robust system that can be managed remotely in this new normal.

Remote access and support

One of the upshots of our new working model is that some business processes that were once quite simple have become much more difficult. In the case of IT departments, immediate physical access to computers, laptops and other hardware is suddenly impossible. You can’t simply stop by to see a colleague if they are having a problem. Offering technical support across dispersed networks has become one of the great challenges of the COVID era.

Of course, IT departments aren’t just there to step in when something goes wrong. Updating software and permissions, patching, monitoring systems and performing maintenance are among their daily operations, and now these must be performed remotely too. Ideally, a company’s devices will all share a common configuration basis that enables a uniform level of manageability, as the more diversity across your devices, the more complicated and inefficient administrators’ work will be, and the more chance there will be inconsistencies and potential exploits slipping through the gaps.

The Intel vPro platform offers a solution to these issues, providing business-grade manageability across devices and a uniform system for monitoring and repair. A key aspect of this solution is Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT), which permits remote access to your Intel vPro devices. Intel AMT enables you to repair and update a remote PC’s OS and drivers, to manage a fleet of devices with remote power-on and the ability to easily schedule updates outside of office hours so that you do not interrupt employees’ work. The Intel® Endpoint Management Assistant (Intel® EMA) feature enables AMT to connect to devices in the cloud – including a full remote Keyboard Video Mouse (KVM) session to access the BIOS or boot menu – and if you are still operating a BYOD policy or haven’t finished rolling out new computers, Intel EMA also allows remote management for non-vPro systems via a Windows agent.

These new normal working practices are here to stay, and so IT departments and workers of all sorts are going to have to get used to operating under these changed conditions. Knowing that support and troubleshooting is available wherever employees are based is vital for us to be able to go about our work with as little disruption and as much confidence as possible.

Technology you can rely on

While remote access is a powerful tool in your IT department’s arsenal in the face of this new remote-working paradigm, it has limitations. Some hardware issues cannot be fixed remotely, and there are only so many hours in the day for troubleshooting.

Our dispersed working model demands dependable and consistent hardware that employees can rely on to perform as it should – and that reduces the pressure on already overstretched IT teams.

The Intel vPro platform incorporates cutting-edge technology to ensure that your devices are robust and future proofed, incorporating the latest processors in the Intel® Core™ i5, i7, i9 and Xeon ranges, as well as supporting super-fast Intel® Optane™ Memory. Long battery life ensures that laptops don’t give up when your employees need them most. The Intel vPro platform also has Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, so that your workers can make the most of the latest wireless speeds when connecting to compatible routers and access points. Choosing the most up-to-date hardware ensures that it is compatible with modern software and will remain so well into the future.

Finally, the Intel vPro platform comes with security baked in. Available on the latest range of PCs, Intel® Hardware Shield goes beyond the standard software-based security measures to incorporate protection against malicious actors right into the hardware. As threats move further beyond application and OS levels, this hardware-assisted suite of security capabilities is positioned to protect against attacks directly at your BIOS – and includes remote recovery capabilities in case of a disaster. With cyber crime on the rise in this era of dispersed working, the tightest security is needed to protect your business and to keep your employees working safely, securely and unimpeded.

Putting the most reliable and future-proofed technology in the hands of employees today will help minimise the maintenance that your fleet of devices needs tomorrow, saving time and money and creating a network that supports your entire business.

In the new normal, the Intel vPro platform helps minimise disruption to your employees, while allowing IT departments to step in and assist them when necessary, even if no one can be on your organisation’s premises. In a business world that demands more flexibility than ever, your IT department needs to be just as flexible to be effective.

Learn more about the Intel vPro platform and how it can help your business

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