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Intel vPro Is Making Big Bets On Partner, Ecosystem Enablement, Exec Says

The chipmaker's remote IT management platform is making new investments in channel partners to support device-as-a-service models through a new ecosystem enablement team that is incorporating feedback into future product plans, Intel's Stephanie Hallford tells CRN.

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What are your priorities for the vPro business this year?

For us, we've got this long-standing experience in remote manageability. I would say [there has been a] renewed investment in the last couple years on security. Are we communicating it effectively so end users and OEM sales teams are truly taking advantage of it? Are we really communicating how folks can take advantage of some of these things effectively?

[Recently], we launched our first direct vPro campaign. We're going to be doing heavy social media and blogging [about how IT professionals work, among other things]. And through things of that nature, we're hoping we just start communicating more about the value that vPro brings. The awareness level is is good. The understanding of how to make the most of it is probably lower. And so you'll see us this year spending a lot of time co-marketing and co-educating with the OEMs but also more directly.

The real focus this year, though, you'll see us driving is that security message. With Comet Lake, it'll be the first platform where Intel Hardware Shield is required in order to get that vPro badge. The lead that we'll be talking through is really the benefits out of the box: If you're deploying new hardware, new software out of the box, you're going to be more secure thanks to our cooperation with Microsoft and the work that we've done with our OEMs to build Hardware Shield in. We have a campaign that we've now run for a year with Microsoft. That will shift to be security-oriented, so we're getting to help all these new users and realities help them activate and utilize the devices to the fullest.

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