Intel solutions empower businesses to navigate pandemic

By May Pham    January 14, 2022 | 01:30 am PT
Intel has introduced the 11th Gen Intel vPro platform to optimize performance and security for businesses.

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in organizations. This has led to plans that used to take years to deploy now playing out in weeks and months. With uncertainty in the workspace of the future, IT organizations need to be agile to handle the trashing of remote work to working in the office. The next new normal has yet to be defined. Business leaders need to determine a strategy to move quickly as events and technologies unfold.

When it comes to PCs, business deserves more than the status quo. Users need business-class performance, the business needs security features, and the IT department needs streamlined manageability and stability. The Intel vPro platform gives business what it needs to thrive and goes to work right out of the box.

Intel vPro is a platform "built for business." It is a set of hardware and firmware technologies utilized to build business computing endpoints. The vPro value proposition spans four pillars, and business decision-makers who standardize on the vPro platform can benefit from hardware-enhanced protection, advanced maintenance, and validated platforms, all with the performance headroom to handle a wide range of business workflows.

With Intel vPro, users can get access to peak performance. 11th Gen processors boast the all-new Intel Iris Xe graphics processor that delivers a huge jump in performance. 11th Gen processors have also integrated both Intel Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 4, so users get the latest wireless and cable connectivity standards built-in.

Intel has integrated various circuitry to accelerate AI processing, which will allow business applications to add more AI to improve productivity with less performance impact. When combining all of these latest technologies, 11th Gen processors deliver exceptional performance for workers who need to collaborate and be productive.

In addition, the Intel vPro platform also features Intel Hardware Shield to help secure PCs below the operating system (OS), enhance application and data security as well as provide built-in advanced threat detection out of the box. Specifically, below-the-OS security prevents attacks against the Basic Input-Output system and other firmware to enable a secure hardware and firmware foundation for the operating system.

Meanwhile, application and data protection includes encryption acceleration along with other features to protect applications and login credentials from attacks. Lastly, advanced threat protection uses aggressive memory scanning and AI to detect new threats like ransomware and cryptomining.

Intel vPro offers a set of hardware and firmware technologies to empower business. Photo by Intel

Intel vPro offers a set of hardware and firmware technologies to empower business. Photo by Intel

Today, more employees are working remotely than ever before, and that means more devices accessing the corporate network beyond the firewall. Intel vPro Platform comes with Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT) that allows IT to establish a secure connection between itself and a vPro-based PC. Once that secure connection is established, IT can perform a lot of different tasks as part of AMT.

Remote power control continues to be one of the most used features of Intel AMT. With this, IT is able to remotely control the power state of a PC. Businesses use this to automate after-hours patching while keeping energy costs down. They can turn PCs off at the end of the day, yet wake them during the night to perform security updates without impacting productivity. Once they complete the patching they can put the PCs back to sleep to save energy. Lastly, before the workday begins, they can wake those PCs so everything is running and ready when employees arrive.

The other most popular feature is hardware KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse). We are all familiar with software-based tools that we can use to take control of PCs to help fix a system. It is a very powerful tool, but only if the software can run.

When a PC cannot successfully boot, those software-based tools are powerless. That is where AMT really shines because it has a hardware KVM built into the chips. Even if the PC cannot boot, IT can connect with full KVM support to remotely remediate the PC, even entering the BIOS while maintaining the KVM connection.

Meanwhile, Intel Endpoint Management Assistant (EMA) extends the power of Intel AMT beyond the firewall. By using cloud-based management infrastructure, devices do not need a functional VPN to receive support from IT. As long as the AMT-enabled PC can reach the cloud, IT can securely connect to and remotely control that PC. This also allows IT technicians themselves to do their job either onsite or remotely.

The cloud-based infrastructure is also easier to deploy and scale than traditional on-premise infrastructure and can be controlled using a simple web interface. When businesses are running Intel EMA combined with Intel AMT, not only can they fix corrupted applications, but a corrupted VPN is no problem at all, while a corrupted OS can also be remediated remotely.

Accenture, a leading global professional services company, has used Intel vPro technology to remotely access, monitor, and manage devices. It chooses vPro internally for their more than 500,000 employees while using vPro to manage millions of devices among their thousands of customers around the globe.

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