GijimaAst will be the first South African company to roll out Intel's new vPro technology later this month when it deploys the platform for the management and support of more than 500 000 outsourced desktops and peripherals within its 500 customers. 

“Highly competitive market conditions have made the management and support of customer’s IT environments and the related costs more challenging than ever," says Johan Vorster, group infrastructure solutions architect at GijimaAst. " With so many outsourced service providers, customers are able to demand higher service level agreements for lower prices.  Four years ago it would have been acceptable to have a four day turnaround on PC downtime, today it is less than a day.”
The company recently completed a POC of vPro and its built-in manageability capabilities using Intel Active Management Technology, subsequently publishing a white paper and a business case study. The solution consisted of a single server running Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 and desktop PCs featuring Intel vPro technology.
The benefit of Intel vPro technology was evaluated in three main areas: inventory management; problem diagnosis and resolution, and software deployment.  
“We evaluated the ways in which technology could increase the remote management capabilities of GijimaAst’s helpdesk, as well as increasing the efficiency of desktop management and support," says Vorster. "Many SLAs state that we carry out a hardware and software audit on behalf of our customers every six months. This is important as customers then use this information to direct them on legally binding processes such as software licence purchasing which, currently, is a labour-intensive process that requires much manual intervention.  Another demand on our IT support staff is the deployment of critical security patches and software upgrades.
“Improved IT efficiencies enable us to offer customers an even more compelling proposition," adds Vorster. " With Intel vPro, GijimaAst can perform more effective asset management on behalf of our customers and eliminate costly manual inventories. This greater visibility is improving the remote management of desktops, enabling us to achieve greater saturation of software updates and critical patches in a shorter period of time. It also enables us to reduce the number of costly deskside visits we must make to resolve computer problems.”
GijimaAst is conducting a series of roadshows on vPro in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, The Johannesburg roadshow takes place on 24 January.