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Intel is helping to give the European managed service market a kick start by launching software based around a Web portal aimed at helping VARs deliver managed services to SMBs.

The chip giant unveiled the Intel Multi-Site Director in Europe, which is available to VARs that will then be able to offer managed services, such as remote management, remote back-up and other services, said Rob Sheppard, Business Client marketing manager for Intel in EMEA.

“Small businesses often don’t have an IT department or in-house specialized IT knowledge. Having their technology managed for them by a reseller allows the SMB to focus on its core business,” Sheppard said.

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The Intel software is installed on the machines that are to be managed inside the end user; it records all of the instrumentation data which remains on a secure server. VARs then have access to this data via the secure online portal. “VARs can then provide whatever services they choose to: remote network management, warranty services, compliance management or extend their break/fix services into software, Sheppard said. “This may not be applicable to all VARs, but it is open to any resellers in the Intel channel program.”

Intel does not plan to launch the software and portal into the United States, because, Sheppard said, the market is already well served by managed services vendors, such as level Platforms and N-Able. “In Europe, VARs have been crying out for help to diversify, and services is a key area for them,” he added.

The launch may also help boost SMB adoption of Intel vPro and Centrino processors. When used in conjunction with the chips, Multi-Site Director allows VARs to manage end-user systems remotely out of hours, without those systems being left on, although Sheppard said the Multi-Site Director is not dependent on Centrino or vPro technology. “Our main focus here is to help European VARs to diversify and get into the managed services market,” he said.

Intel Multi-Site Director will be available exclusively online and will be sold on a “pay-as-you-go” subscription basis from Q1 2008.