Intel Report Assist Technology RPAT
NOTE 4-18-2012 : When this article was first published it appeared the development was ended at Intel. But, it seems someone has purchased the use of the technology and I'll update this article to refect what the RPAT is used for this year. Update: 6-29-2012 Intel is back into vPro and bundling servers with remote access support services but not like you might want them. It appears new boards are setup to other outsourced services. This might be the end to even thinking remote support for small vendors and Intel server boards. But, as long as we have VPN access we don't need the vPro technology to do the job. Right? (Ask if you don't know how to service servers remotely without 3389 and remote desktop.)
When researching new remote access applications and I found years ago (1999) a KVM style IP controller switch that allowed BIOS level remote control. Running a system under VM and being able to just about everything a technician needs to do was a great appliance to the networking world.
But the cost of this single on-site appliance was out of reach for small and medium business owners.
When Intel's RPAT Remote PC Assist Technology was announced in 2009 this seemed to be bringing back the days of board level control.
When a major laptop supplier started building with this technology it appeared the direction was good.
Then as fast as it came it was gone. Did Intel find issues or was it reserved for a select few in the boardroom backdoor deal?
We still have our $4,000.00 SonicWall setup which requires a few less expensive applications on the remote systems. Very affordable and time proven to be everything local technicians need.
I don't believe their will be a day that 100% of the support will be from online. Today I'm guessing about 40% of the typical service can be done. Virus scan can be run remotely but true virus removal requires that the hard drives be removed from the infected machines and manually audited. So until a remote application can actually remove a hard drive and bring it to me they will aways have limitations.
The issues of remote desktop support are vary few today for the technicians but Business owners need to really understand what the industry offers.
How Remote Desktop companies work.
The business owner signs a contract and promise to pay the remote desktop service provider a fix fee per month. Typically you can calculate $29.00 per computer minum of 10 computers. This does not include your domain controllers, file servers, terminal servers or application servers.
Now, when you read the "Terms of Service, Policy, Scope of Support" you will find it's best to sum it all up by saying "Best Effort Support". They will attempt to correct and resolve your issue but they can not promise it. This is normal for the IT industry and it is also our policy.
But when over the internet service doesn't work we respond with an on-site service call. The sales point for the remote desktop control repair techs point out that the costs of remote service is less than a service call. This is very true and most service companies offer remote service because it saves them time and money as well.
We have a Per call not Per minute service of $25.00 for best effort support. Others offer $1.99 per minute up to 20 minutes. We covery up to 60 minutes at a fixed price. Anytime we find that the problem can not be resolved remotely we stop the call and schedule a service call. The time on the phone is rolled over to the service call at the phone calls rate.
Dollars and Service: $25.00 best effort up to 1 hour. Roll that time at the fixed rate to the service call. Because most of the troubleshoot has completed at a lower than field service rate you can expect no more than a single service hour in most cases.
When you pay per service call you can budget 2 or 3 calls each month for normal PC cleaning instead of paying fees of $29.00 x 10 = $290.00 per month for the same service.
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