Intel Offers SBA for Small Businesses Concerned about Computer Security, Maintenance and Updates

By Ed Silverstein April 12, 2012

Many small businesses, which may not even have an IT pro on staff, can get confused about routine maintenance, security and important updates for their computers. To remedy the situation, Intel is now offering a Small Business Advantage (SBA) solution for laptop and desktop PCs.

Intel SBA lets PCs operate at higher performance levels, increases their security levels and backs up their data, the company said.

“Small business owners should be free to focus on their businesses and not left worrying about the virus protection, security and software updates for their PCs,” Intel explained in a recent blog post.

The market for SBA certainly exists. Dan Russell, Intel’s director of business client solutions marketing, told ZDNet some 90 percent of SMBs don’t even have an IT department. Its targeted market is small businesses with between one and 99 employees.

Location in the world is also a minimal challenge, according to ZDNet, because SBA is offered in 15 different languages.

Reviewing the new SMB, PC World noted one feature called “Software Monitor.” It tracks security software and will announce if the software no longer is running.

Another feature highlighted by PC World, “Local Maintenance Timer” (LMT), allows the PC to powered on at a predetermined time so it can do maintenance and backup operations.

USB Blocker is another feature noted by PC World, letting PCs prevent access to unwanted USB devices such as flash drives or cameras.

In its review of SMB, Information Week warned the product will not necessarily “fix the problems it finds.” That challenge – at least for now – is left to IT staff whether in-house or on the outside.

“It requires almost no user action or technical skill,” added the review. “It acts something like an automated help-desk technician, monitoring critical software and checking for updates, backing up data, running a disk defragmentation, deleting temporary files, and so forth.”

Dennis Doherty, software PME in Intel's business client platform marketing group, suggested to Information Week that SBA has many of the features found vPro, but targeted to small businesses.

"It is not meant to compete with vPro, and it is not meant to compete with the MSP," he added in the interview with Information Week. "The functionality is limited but extendable."

Intel is also in the process of developing a highly-promising Internet-based television service, according to TechZone360.

Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Contributor

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