Level Platforms, Intel to Boost Managed ServicesBy Pedro Pereira | Posted 2006-08-14 Email Print
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Level Platforms is the first managed services platform vendor to leverage Intel's Active Management Technology for remote monitoring and management.
Level Platforms has teamed up with chip maker Intel to take managed services to the next level.
Level Platforms, of Ottawa, integrated into its managed services platform support for Intel vPro, which uses the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip maker's Active Management Technology, or AMT, to identify, repair and protect computing assets. Computers with AMT technology are scheduled to start shipping in September, according to Intel.
In the managed services context Intel's technology, originally targeted at the enterprise, has the appeal of building a greater flexibility into the service provider's arrangement with the customer.
AMT makes it possible to remotely reboot computers for maintenance and repair purposes. If a user forgets to leave the computer on for scheduled maintenance overnight, the MSP (managed services provider) can still perform the work because of the remote rebooting capability.
"It keeps some portion of the PC alive even when it looks like the PC's down," said Kevin Havre, a strategic relationship manager at Intel.
Since the managed services model depends on automation and remote management to deliver on its promise reliability and predictability, this feature is sure to find favor with Level Platforms' channel partners, said executives at both companies.
"It now brings remote control to another level," said Level Platforms CEO Peter Sandiford. "It's really doing something that hasn't been done before."
Through managed services, providers remotely take over IT functions at customer sites, promising predictability of service and costs for the customer. Providers charge utility-like monthly or quarterly fees, thereby also guaranteeing predictable revenue for themselves.
Managed services have spawned a new crop of vendors, such as Level Platforms and competitors such as N-able Technologies, Klir Technologies and SilverBack. However, more established big-name vendors for the most part have either made tepid forays into this new area or stayed out of it altogether.
Intel's partnership with Level Platforms offers a glimpse at the types of partnerships that are possible between the newer vendors and their established counterparts.
"We think managed services providers are going to be definitely an enabler in selling this (AMT) platform to the marketplace," said Victoria Quintana, Intel's SMB marketing manager for the Americas.
From Intel's point of view, integrating AMT with Level Platform's tools is a first step toward a larger strategy.
"We need to make sure that this is the preferred platform for the managed services provider," said Havre.
AMT, he said, promotes greater productivity at customer sites because it allows for off-hours maintenance. And because of the remote capabilities, service providers don't have to travel to customer sites for the maintenance or even for unscheduled repairs resulting from system failure, Havre said.
Sandiford said his partnership with Intel is not exclusive, meaning that Intel is likely to also enter similar partnerships with his competitors, though the chip maker's representatives were mum on it in interviews with The Channel Insider.
Havre said when Intel decided AMT would be a suitable fit for managed services platforms, the company started researching potential partners and quickly hooked up with Level Platforms. "They jumped right on it," he said.