A conversation with Michael Nordquist, Intel's director of strategic planning and architecture in the Business Client Group and Ben Murphy, global director of product integrations, from Lakeside Software.
Lakeside Software helps organizations reduce costs and improve end-user productivity by providing visibility into IT environments with digital experience monitoring. Their solution, SysTrack, does this for more than 4,000 enterprises globally.
Michael Nordquist, Intel: With the shift to new modern and digital workplaces, data and apps moving to the cloud, and the explosion of devices that IT is required to support at some level, how are you seeing IT try to respond?
Ben Murphy, Lakeside: The biggest challenge facing IT leaders is a lack of visibility into how the resources and services IT provides are impacting the business. Today, IT teams are taxed with supporting more diverse devices and operating systems, desktops and applications delivered in the cloud and as services, an increasingly mobile and dispersed workforce, rampant cyberthreats, and differing expectations from end users. While many of these changes make the workplace more flexible and enable employees to work in a way that's best for them, one side effect is a loss of IT control. This evolution has led to an uptick in demand for solutions that help IT understand how employees are using technology, how well that technology is performing, and how both of those elements factor into the end-user experience. With greater insight, organizations can simplify IT delivery and support end users' needs even as the workplace changes.
Michael Nordquist, Intel: When I'm out talking to customers, the same pillars apply as 10 years ago. Top items are still performance, security, stability, and manageability. But the capabilities that are required under each of these have really changed. Today, the traditional worker on only one device, always on site behind a firewall, using applications and data that are local, is closer to being the exception than the rule. As a result, we have changed our approach to how we deliver products and solutions within those pillars. With Intel vPro as our commercial platform, we have really evolved. Especially as it relates to manageability in a modern world. What does modern manageability mean to you?
Ben Murphy, Lakeside: In IT, we are no longer behind the scenes, dealing strictly with technical and support requests. Business leaders are relying on us to deliver a great end-user experience while playing a key role in strategic growth. The modern workplace requires more performance, security, and stability—and all of this needs to be managed. Modern manageability can mean everything from managing user access, authenticating identities, provisioning devices, and monitoring performance, to updating and keeping current on firmware and software updates—all without physically touching the device. And in many cases, with the worker never entering the corporate firewall.
Michael Nordquist, Intel: It's great that with all the advances, IT and service providers have the ability to collect a bunch of data. The challenge I hear from so many IT shops is: I'm not sure what to do with all the data? How does it integrate into my current workflow? How do I use it to solve real issues?" A lot of Intel's work over the last few years has been to make that seamless integration easier. Can you talk about what Lakeside is doing here?
Ben Murphy, Lakeside: We've had the unique advantage of a substantial amount of time to build expertise and experience with solving the core issue of trying to cover a wide variety of platforms and use cases for data collection. Our platform is fundamentally based on collecting and normalizing information for our customers in the most efficient way possible—by leveraging the power of the edge. This has been a natural complement to the Intel vPro® platform solutions we've been working with, since Intel designed their technology with the same mindset. From that design point we've had the ability to naturally and easily adapt our technology to take advantage of cloud solutions to cover any connected use case from anywhere, globally.
Michael Nordquist, Intel: We continue to see excitement for the remote and below-the-OS use cases that Intel AMT delivers as part of the Intel vPro platform. With Intel EMA, we extend those use uses beyond the corporate firewall in addition to RESTful APIs that make integration into existing solutions seamless. How will this help your business?
Ben Murphy, Lakeside: Remote manageability is key to support mobility and save IT time and costs. The cool thing is that Intel AMT provides this even when systems are powered down or otherwise unresponsive. Because the model fits so well with our "cloud forward" model, it allows us to extend some very useful capabilities from our platform to our customers to assist with resolving incidents. This fits our XLA-based support model perfectly, since it helps reduce the time that remote workers have to wait for their issues to be fixed. Historically, a device that was completely unresponsive and couldn't even get into a workable OS would have been a nightmare to get running again without someone physically present at the device itself. With Intel vPro technology it's now possible to handle those cases anywhere.
Michael Nordquist, Intel: What do you think of the updated management console? We wanted to offer a more sophisticated and flexible management solution tuned to today's realities, one that can reside within the corporate environment, at the edge, or externally, in the cloud.
Ben Murphy, Lakeside: It's been a great fit for our platform model and making use of the RESTful API set has made it very simple for us to seamlessly join our solutions. This gives us the ability to use our contextual data from interfaces our customers are familiar with to provide a natural flow into Intel EMA to connect to Intel AMT devices in an intuitive way.
Michael Nordquist, Intel: Security is top of mind for today's businesses. How are these technologies contributing to a more secure PC fleet?
Ben Murphy, Lakeside: Because the edge devices that end users work with are increasingly being used in a diverse set of places with a myriad of potential security threats, we've found that it's critical to have a multipronged approach to managing and securing them. To start, using SysTrack, businesses can get immediate insights into software behavior and potential risk. Coupling that with Intel AMT technology allows IT to take immediate action to resolve things that may result in an increased attack surface. Intel EMA provides a highly secure method for us to interact with endpoints from anywhere to cover the wide variety of use cases our customers have.
Let me ask you a question, Michael. What are you doing about future proofing the vPro platform? We look to you to support our solid growth strategy, even as we face constant change.
Michael Nordquist, Intel: One of the advantages of the platform-based approach is that it is built to evolve and accommodate innovations over time. This combines with the assurance of the Intel value—the reliability, scalability, robustness, integrated features, and innovation road map—to give businesses an immediate advantage while preparing them for the future.
We always put customers first to make sure you get the most value for your investment. We think modern manageability is where IT can save time and money, improve productivity, enhance security, and deliver the anywhere, anytime performance for modern workloads and workflows. The Intel vPro platform is best for business,1 in part, because it makes this level of modernization possible.
Thank you, Ben.