While it’s unlikely that Microsoft (MSFT) Windows 10 will be adopted in droves inside corporate IT environments before 2016, managed service providers should take special note of the fact that most of the new systems that will come with Windows 10 will include the Intel vPro processor that makes it simpler to manage and secure desktop and notebook PCs.
According to Tom Vetterani, vice president of strategy at IT outsourcing and managed services provider (MSP) Compucom, one of the things that MSPs don’t always appreciate is the degree to which the presence of vPro processors in systems helps drive out labor costs for the MSP. Using for example Intel Active Management Technology enables on vPro processors allows an MSP to more easily remotely troubleshoot a host of management and configuration issue. In fact, the PC doesn’t even have to actually be turned on to perform many of those functions.
Vetterani said that results in major saving because Compucom doesn’t need to send technicians nearly as often to the customer site. At a total cost of about $187 per hour to send a technician in a truck to and bare minimum of three hours on average per incident when you include travel time, the savings quickly add up, said Vetterani.
The malware factor
In addition, Intel vPro also enables Compucom to deliver a host of managed security services that results in less malware being deeply embedded in a PC system. That not only makes the customer more secure, it also serves to reduce the number of IT security incidents that an MSP needs to ultimately investigate.
In some ways being a successful MSP is all about putting the right ounce of cure in place to prevent a ton of pain later. While it’s tempting to get addicted to providing high levels of service to customers at a moment’s notice, the truth is that the more boring things are the more profitable the MSP is going to be. Of course, customers don’t always appreciate the business value that serenity provides, so it’s incumbent on the MSP to keep track of all the bad things that never happened because of the quality of the service they provide.
Naturally, none of that is actually going to happen if the customer has equipment in place that is difficult to remotely support. For that reason given the comparatively marginal difference between the cost of PCs that include vPro and those that don’t, MSPs should really sit down with customers before they start rolling out Windows 10 to make sure they understand the difference in the quality of the total experience they can have versus the few dollars they might save on the hardware.
In fact, given the likelihood that managed services are going to be more profitable delivered via vPro, MSPs may even want to consider providing customers that do the right thing a discount on the services they provide. Otherwise, given the increased complexity of the desktop environment these days, many of those customers may very well wind being more trouble than they are actually worth.