I first discovered System Center Configuration Manager or SMS whilst working for an organisation in Australia six years ago. It was my second IT position, I was amazed by the improvements to ICT core services SCCM can deliver to an organisation.
I was in a support role, the idea that an application could be rolled out just by adding the computer object into a security group, or an operating system just by booting from the network was fascinating. I was inspired by SCCM and needed to know how all of its features can be integrated into the core services ICT departments’ delivery.
Two years later I started working for a small ICT consultancy. I leveraged my understanding of SCCM to show our clients the benefits of SCCM; I had never configured SCCM in a large organisation. I decided to leave the consultancy firm to work for a large organisation so I could fully integrate it into their ICT core services.
There were over five hundred workstations, forty servers, and nine sites, projects that were coming up included the rollout of Microsoft Windows* 7, Microsoft Office* 2007 and the management of software updates.
SCCM was successfully integrated within LCHS; management also came up with a ‘wish list’ which included the ability to install applications and software updates in the middle of the night. Imagine my enthusiasm when I found Out Of Band Management in SCCM.
Out Of Band Management (OOB) leverages from Intel® vPro™ technology, it communicates under the operating system. I must admit I am very new to this technology but really excited that it can automatically power off and on a workstation remotely.
Image management’s excitement when I told them that we can not only turn a workstation on an off remotely, we can even control the bios which allows us to re-image or perform diagnostics. As you would expect they were absolutely ecstatic about Intel vPro.
Here are examples how we have improved our performance:
- How many times does a support team member asked to look at a computer for a remote side while the end user is away, the computer is accidentally shut down; now we can power on the workstation remotely and get to work.
- What about when an end user logs a request and support cannot action the request straight away. When their finally ready to action the request the end user has finished for the day and the workstations is off. Now we can power on the workstation and get to work.
- How about when remote computers have an issue booting, we can now boot into the bios remotely to re-image or perform diagnostics remotely.
- How annoyed do end users get when they have to install Windows Updates? Or what about when management want a new application installed on all workstations with no down time for end users? Now we power up the workstations at 11pm, install the updates or application, and then power down the workstation.
The integration of Intel vPro within SCCM has allowed our support team to perform 99% of first, second, and third level support requests from their desk. We now only need to go onsite for hardware issues, our response times have reduced, which keeps management happy because SLA times are reduced.
These are the features of Intel vPro we use. I recently had the pleasure to give a presentation to other Community Health IT managers; I can confidently say they absolutely loved the product. I have assisted other Community Health’s, local shires and hospitals leverage the many benefits of SCCM and I look forward to helping them leverage the benefits OOB and Intel vPro offer.
I would love to hear about your experiences with SCCM and Intel vPro. Please leave a comment or post a question.