If you are like most IT shop managers, there is no shortage of issues you are confronted with on a daily basis. No matter the size or maturity of the shop, there always seems to be one or two that nag at you time and time again and executive management harp on. It is different for every shop. What keeps you awake at night? Is it not being able to track what you have and where they are? Do you feel reactive instead of proactive? Is there a long lag between the time a vulnerability is identified and you have saturation in your delivery of the fix?
Remember the days before Al Gore invented the internet? Downloading patches from individual bulletin boards... SCREECH! went the modems. You probably thought that the day they come up with a way to stop the sneakernet and send patches down the wire is the day they would stop needing you. Hasn't happened yet, huh? Managers were worried then and they are worried now. How about you? What keeps you up at night?
Hence the beauty of vPro - extending the reach of client system management to below the operating system. This out-of-band management capability provides a great complementary capability to in-band management solutions today... without a $100-$400 add-in card to enable out-of-band capabilities. PLUS - the management and security of the client system is raised.
Hopefully less Ambien or other sleep inducing medication will be needed.
Some additional thoughts\comments:
It may be common that a variety of system management solutions are in place - due to different capabilities, incumbant solutions, etc. Finding more\more companies that are trying to consolidate system management solutions. In some cases - moving from 7-10 individual solutions down to perhaps 1-3. (It'd be great to have just one - yet sometimes reality doesn't align with practicality). This consolidation of solutions will save on licensing costs. Let's say that a system management solution has a $5 or $15 per client system cost. If there are 7-10 solutions used across thousands or tens of thousands of systems - that'd definitely keep the someone up at night.... and may affect net revenues of a corporation.
Add to the scenario that Vista is on the horizon for many customers. The client systems being introduced to the environment today will need to support this platform from a hardware perspective (note: vPro and Centrino Pro systems are Vista compliant). This is could be especially true for a 3-4 year client refresh cycle - when Vista deployment is not in the immediate plans, yet perhaps within the lifecycle of systems being introduced today. Hopefully that will save some hours for sleep.
Combined with a strong system management and deployment solution - the Vista migration and deployment will be eased for major undertakings. A nice bonus here - with the combination of vPro capable systems and client management software, plus in relation to the efforts to consolidate system management solutions - is that system management, patch deployment, migration, and so forth take a stronger stand and importance for IT operations.
However - that might require some additional specialities and training of staff. (uh oh - sleep deprivation). Yet - the up front efforts for longer term benefit - including a better ratio of system support personnel to actual systems - might be the long term benefit here. In essence - this could allow resources to be reallocated to other essential functions and purposes within a company. (Happen to know a few business or IT analysts that developed a great foundation in IT operations and support - and then went to support a business unit. They have the technical knowledge and IT environment knowledge combined with the business knowledge to help revenue generating business units thrive even more!)
If you're staying up at night - perhaps a cocktail of sleep medication and pain relievers will provide temporary relief (PLEASE NOTE: This is not a medically recommended yet is stated as a such to make a point). But from a longer term and strategic planning perspective - maybe a perscription of vPro with enabled OEM and system management solutions might be an alternative answer.