Computers That Can Call for Help (and more) When They Need It.

NYC Event Attend the next Taste of Technology Small Business Series in New York City – October 20, 2008 – Monday
computer-help.jpgComputers have come a long way, in some respects. The size options of the computers, of 10 – 20 years ago were much different than the computers you can buy today – a desktop computer the size of a dictionary. Of course the speed of the computer is a lot faster, the overall design (no more beige) and other things.
However, one thing that continues to be pretty much the same, until recently, is that when the computer doesn’t work, you still need a professional to look at the computer. They’re not easy to repair or fix.

Intel’s vPro
, on its third generation, continues to evolve and offer end users (be they smaller businesses are huge companies) an easier way to allow employees to get work done with their computer instead of wasting time waiting for help to come or watching the cursor hour glass on a very slow computer.
Some of the newest features of Intel’ vPro technology include:
Using the new Remote Scheduled Maintenance feature, IT administrators can program PCs for regular tune-ups that have PCs automatically connecting to an IT management program for maintenance. With the new Fast Call for Help feature, the user can get immediate assistance over an out-of-band link by entering a key sequence, even if the computer is completely crippled with a failed operating system or hard drive.
This is not something you would want to configure on your own, but this is something you should DEMAND from your IT consultant.


For those of you who might not have an IT person in your office, Intel’s “IT Director” offers a user-friendly “dashboard” that provides status on key system settings and health parameters, capability to block connection to risky USB devices and a data back-up feature that enables users to work seamlessly through hard-drive failures. This functionality is designed for business with from 1 – 25 computers.
Intel’s vPro, like other technology you can expect to see from vendors in the coming months, presents a “nice” dilemma.
Here are just a few options:

  • Dell’s managed services
  • The support your local IT expert provides (such as CMIT Solutions franchise of consultants, independent conultants such as Green House IT, ProCompare consultants, or partners of HP)
  • CDW, GeekSquad or Circuity City’s FireDog tech services
  • and Plum Choice (a smallbiztechnology.com service provider)

All of these service providers, in one way or the other use vPro to manage your PC or they offer competing offerings that do what vPro does. At the end of the day, you want a technology solution that keeps your computer working at optimal levels. Ensuring your next computer has vPro built-in would be a smart move. If your next computer can’t do a little “thinking”, talk to your local IT consultant.

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook