5 Ways Intel Unite Just Became A Boon To Partners In Vertical Markets

Intel Touts Conferencing Platform For New Markets

Intel Unite, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company's conferencing software, has typically been offered to businesses as a cost-effective and manageable platform for connecting meeting spaces.

But Intel wants to extend its Unite platform beyond the office, and out into new vertical markets – such as classrooms and retail stores.

"Part of our overarching strategy for Unite is to not just focus on large enterprises, but also on small and medium businesses, as well as targeted verticals like education, retail and health care," Tom Garrison, vice president of Intel's Client Computing Group, told CRN. "This leads to an interesting channel opportunity, as it opens the door for business expansion opportunities so partners can expand into new greenfield areas."

Intel Monday unveiled an array of new features for its Unite platform that the company hopes will boost adoption in these vertical markets. Here are five new features.

New Telemetry Plugin

Intel is providing its Unite platform with a new telemetry plugin that enables IT departments to keep track of various companywide conferencing system metrics – including how many people are in different meeting areas, when meetings started, and which rooms are being utilized.

Garrison said that this plugin provides IT with critical insight into how conferencing rooms are being scheduled and utilized, as well the length, time and occupancy of meetings.

"IT has told us they need more insight into how meetings are happening in their companies, and how resources are being utilized," said Garrison. "Now, with a simple plugin, IT has access to a complete set of data for all appliances in conferencing rooms, how they're being used, and what rooms are being used."

New Capabilities For Tablet

Last year, Intel said it was offering the Intel Unite app on the iPad – and this year, the company has extended Intel Unite's viewing and presentation capabilities onto Android tablets so that users with these devices can use them during conferences.

"Many people present from a PC, but some people like to view content and present from these tablet form factors," said Garrison.

Garrison said that the new capabilities will appeal to users in new vertical markets. For example, in a retail environment, an associate could use his or her tablet as a smart sign to quickly share information with a customer.

Moderated Meeting

Intel is also providing new capabilities for its Intel Unite software so that IT can put certain employees in charge of meetings.

"We think that this capability will be most helpful for education or large keynotes with lots of attendees," said Garrison. "We envision that the moderated meeting feature has the kind of usages a teacher might want because moderators can put certain teachers in charge of meetings."

Moderated meeting is one of several manageability features that Intel Unite offers – IT teams can remotely configure room solution settings through the Administrator Web Portal, for example.

Static Pin

Intel is offering a new feature for Intel Unite called static pin, which enables IT administrators to assign specific pins and allow pins to be set to static for hubs in enterprise settings. While administrators also have the option for pins that rotate every five minutes, Intel is offering the static pin option so that employees can more easily get connected onto Intel Unite software, said Garrison.

"There's certain places where this makes sense, like in a classroom where teachers want to easily connect to the devices in the classroom," he said.

W eb Portal Improvements

Intel wants to make the administrator web portal behind Intel Unite, which IT can handle to manage the conferencing platform, more usable with an array of small improvements.

"There is a hub for appliances going into each conferencing room, and each of those now has a profile for pushing patches onto the device," said Garrison. "We've made it easier to manage those profile configurations and group-like hubs with profiles."