Deployment of Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT) for many enterprise administrators can be time consuming and somewhat problematic if the long range picture isn't fully captured. There are always new 'speedbumps' with any new technology, and if you are new to vPro or Centrino Pro, I hope to shed some light on the silver lining that can be found behind Intel AMT. So let me give you some background on myself to get things started...
I've been working in some level of Information Technology (IT/IS) for the past 15 years at many different levels. Desktop support, server operator, application manager, datacenter support, product manager, etc. so I have some familiarity with day-to-day support models. Currently I'm working in a product group, but I've been one of those "IT guys" at a small/medium business where you have to know a little bit of everything to keep the business running, as well as part of a huge enterprise where you have to really push your knowledge and capabilities to be noticed in the sea of employees.
So - what does all this pertain to? I understand the complexity of deploying Intel AMT, and some of the hesitation in accepting new technology when there are some around that work 'ok enough' for day to day business. I also realize that there is a cost to supporting a customer base of enterprise systems, and ultimately an IT Admin's role results in one large result - price per support model. I've been the technician that has had to run from desk to desk, reparing hardware/software issues and I've also been the manager who is responsible for a monthly bill that accounted for a team of support technicians time and costs. Costs range from support technician hourly rates to software vendor applications and many layers in between. Intel AMT is targeted at lowering some of that "overhead" cost found in your day-to-day support models.
I'm not here to say that Intel AMT will cure every issue in the desktop and mobile computing environment, but it can influence how you perform your daily tasks and reduce your cycle time to problem resolution. Every deskside visit costs more money than a remote desk call, this is widely known across the IT community. Automated call centers (i.e. tech support "butts in seats") are much more cost effective than technicians running from desk to desk to repair issues that can now be fixed remotely.
Intel AMT gives you that capabilty to reach out to a desktop (or mobile) system much in the same way that server operators have been able to remote control their systems for over 10 years now. i.e. ILOE/RILOE cards By using Intel AMT; the office and mobile computing support models has finally caught up to the datacenter's efficiency model, at a fraction of the cost per system.
Planning the Intel AMT support model is probably the most critical piece of the solution. Which hardware and software vendors you utilize may not be entirely up to you, you may simply have to 'make it work' and this involves several facets of the enterprise. The team tasked with enabling Intel AMT needs to understand implications of the support model: DNS, Active Directory, provisioning methods and types, and even processes that will most likely change due to the change in technology. Every new technology has it's 'bubble' where there is added work, but once adopted - the result should enable the IT administrator to reduce overhead time in day-to-day support - and give themselves more time for innovation, strategic planning, reduced costs - or even some vacation!