Intel vPro Gets Cloud Boost With Endpoint Management Assistant

CompuCom, the managed services provider arm of Office Depot, is integrating Intel's new Endpoint Management Assistant into its ASCEND digital framework to make it easier to remotely manage fleets of Intel vPro computers.

Intel is expanding its vPro enterprise management platform from on-premises servers to the cloud with the new Endpoint Management Assistant, which the chipmaker said will make it easier for IT teams to manage fleets of vPro client computers remotely, beyond the company firewall.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company announced the new Endpoint Management Assistant for the Intel vPro platform on Tuesday, expanding the remote management capabilities for PCs and laptops that are running on Intel vPro client processors.

[Related: Forrester: Intel vPro Can Give Businesses 155 Percent ROI In 3 Years]

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Stephanie Hallford, vice president of the Client Computing Group and general manager of Business Client Platforms at Intel, said while modern mobile workforces do not have onsite access to IT service centers at corporate offices, they still require repairs, upgrades and updates. With the latest update to vPro, Intel is aiming to address those challenges.

"At Intel, we are modernizing PC manageability with the Intel vPro platform to make it easier for IT to help support employees remotely, even when they are outside the corporate firewall," she said in a statement.

The chipmaker called Endpoint Management Assistant "a sophisticated and flexible management solution" that allows IT teams to "remotely and securely connect" devices running Intel Active Management Technology over the cloud.

Key features of Endpoint Management Assistant include remote software and firmware updates as well as remote reboots, the integration of Active Management Technology into custom or third-party consoles via RESTful APIs and enhanced PC fleet monitoring for secure remote management.

This means IT providers can now, for instance, remotely diagnose a computer's problems remotely and restore it to a working state if the operating system isn't responding or if the device is turned over a cloud application, according to Intel, eliminating the need for physical visits.

Among the first Intel partners to integrate the new capabilities into their solutions are CompuCom, the managed services provider of Office Depot, and software vendor Lakeside Software.

Traci Taylor, director of technology services at CompuCom, told CRN that her company has integrated Endpoint Management Assistant into its ASCEND digital framework and Self Healing Technology for workplace automation. One of the major benefits, she said, is that it moves the provisioning of devices from on-premises servers to the cloud, streamlining the process.

"With the previous on-prem solution, it worked great but what we found there was a lot of management, administrative oversight required to successfully provision and manage those [devices]," Taylor said. "They streamlined it by moving it into the cloud. What they've done is make it easier to provision and take advantage of those vPro capabilities."