With the cost of on-site support estimated to be seven times that of remote resolution, one of the burning issues facing corporates today is how to manage the support necessary for the high volumes of desktop PCs in their organisations.
That is according to John Brannigan, systems and technology business unit executive: HP at Faritec, who says as PCs proliferate throughout the enterprise, companies are compelled to tackle issues such as remote support, desktop environment management and how to lock systems down to prevent users introducing viruses to the network.
John Brannigan, systems and technology business unit executive: HP at Faritec
"There is an increasing need to manage a widespread network of PCs without incurring the cost of on-site visits for technical support," he says. "For this reason, the advent of the vPro processor from Intel is one of the most exciting developments currently happening in the desktop space."
Brannigan believes this technology is likely to have a far greater impact on businesses than dual and quad core processors, which are not expected to influence business processes on a day-to-day basis.
The Intel vPro processor introduces hardware-based features that use the latest advances in business PC management and security to reduce tedious, inefficient IT practices. It increases the proportion of issues which can be taken care of remotely, enabling remote PC management and enhanced administration from a central point.
"This processor promises significantly enhanced security and control of desktop PCs. For example, security patches can be deployed to PCs even if they are powered down, thereby reducing the organisation's vulnerability to threats and the requirement for onsite visits," Brannigan says. "In addition, infected PCs can be quarantined by automatically disconnecting them from the network. IT can then use remediation software to fix the problem and bring the PC back into the network with minimal disruption to the user's productivity."
Already available on certain desktop PC models, the vPro processor will be embedded in systems as new models are produced and rolled out over time. Although companies are looking at Vista as well as dual and quad core processors, Brannigan does not expect a widespread take-up of any of these technologies in the near future.
"Particularly at a corporate level, companies will wait for any teething problems with Vista to be resolved," he says. "However, they are aware of the need to ramp up their hardware in preparation for a future migration to Vista, which requires additional hardware resources such as 1 Gbyte of memory. Any new PCs which are acquired will probably be bought with these specifications in mind."