Intel Unite solutions have been available since 2015, but at this year’s InfoComm 2019, Intel is making a huge leap with the product – introducing cloud service.
“Today if you look at the collaboration market, it’s going through an unprecedented level of innovation,” says Tom Loza, Global Director of Sales of Intel Unite Solution at Intel. “We’re starting to see more connected devices and communications platforms. It’s quickly turning into an IT-focused decision – a lot of that because of the connectivity coming to meeting spaces.”
On top of that, there’s a faster refresh of hardware and software due to new solutions constantly being available on the market. The IT team is making the decision – and they’re deciding to update more often than ever. In that sense, having an open management platform that can implement disparate technologies plays favorably with the need to update more often.
The Intel Unite solution offers high-quality, cost-effective, enterprise collaboration that IT pros appreciate for the open, device-agnostic platform. The system can account for most devices, operating systems and plugins. It offers end-to-end data protection, intuitive touch-enabled interface to start meeting, sharing of multiple screens and comments, annotation, and more. It also gathers and provides analyzed data for better business decisions around the meeting room, while IT can manage and troubleshoot remotely.
Intel Unite’s Layered Approach
The Intel Unite Solution advantage starts with Intel Architecture – specifically a subset of that which is the Intel vPro CPUs, chip sets, and Wi-Fi components.
“We’re building a solution on top of that,” says Loza. “The vPro platform gives us a secure encryption engine that we leverage for the kinds of protection that goes with Unite when its distributed. We have the ability to remotely manage these clients with the vPro technology – think of putting a PC in a conference room, which is where the Unite solution will sit. On top of that layer we’re providing the orchestrator of the collaboration session – the Intel Unite Solution.”
Intel Unite is a piece of software that runs on top of the vPro platform and provides the infrastructure for wireless sharing and the open architecture for capabilities to be “plugged in” (think of them as software apps running on top of the platform) to extend the capabilities. For example, Intel Unite can have multiple unified communications software apps (Blue Jeans, Microsoft, Cisco, Zoom, etc.) running on top. Once they’re activated, they drive integration of Unite collaboration solution in any of the software apps. So everyone sees what is presented over any platform, bringing the solutions together.
Intel Unite Cloud Service
As it stands, users have the Intel Unite Hub in the conference room, the same product that has been around for four years. The Intel Unite App supports local, remote, and guest attendees on PCs, phones, and tablets. The way the two components talk is done by the cloud-hosted pin service. Traditionally, the cloud-hosted pin is held on-premises, large enterprise customers will take that solutions and put it in a VM in their network to manage the orchestration of connecting devices when the time comes.
“That has primarily enabled us to go after a set of the market that had infrastructure, and was putting web services in their infrastructure to facilitate collaboration,” says Loza, “But there’s a large market that doesn’t have those services, or is moving toward cloud-based services. So we’ve taken that pin service and augmented that to provide a secondary choice for customers today, and a new choice for customers that don’t have on-premises solutions.”
Customers can subscribe to the cloud service, and the cloud service will manage the pin distribution to the hub and client to provide connectivity. This gives more deployment choices, provides customers a lower-maintenance cost, and gives a broader, more simple solution for SMBs. The cloud service unlocks new markets for Intel Unite, specifically small businesses. It also enables further scale through partners, and expands partner service capabilities.
“It’s also going to create a new opportunity for our service provider partners,” says Loza. “We’re providing a program for our solutions providers to go out and help onboard and bring new customers in via our cloud service.”
You can see a full list of plugins and partners here. For those at the show, check out Intel’s booth, #3300.