To address the need for PCs that can run today’s mix of higher education applications while keeping an eye on still-tight budgets, organizations need a PC that delivers the requisite performance while offering efficiencies that cut operating costs.
While there are signs of an improving economy for some industries, higher education budgets remain tight. “Government support is being slashed, endowments and charitable giving are down, debts are piling up, and expenses are rising,” according to a recent New York Times Op-Ed piece.
In fact, tough economic conditions and a decline in tax revenues forced 41 states to cut higher educational funding this academic year, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. As a result, institutions in many states are seeing their budgets being cut, according to a Washington Post article.
In such tough times, how do you convince your administration to spend money for new PCs? Quite simply, IT departments must educate administrators that aging PCs require huge amounts of staff time for management and maintenance, consume much more electricity than newer models would, and are not capable of supporting newer applications that are routinely used in the classroom.
To address these issues, Lenovo offers All-in-One PCs based on the 2nd Gen Intel® Core™ processor family that can reduce operating costs and deliver the performance needed in the classroom.
Specifically, a system such as the Lenovo ThinkCentre M90z helps free up IT technicians while reducing overhead. Time and cost saving are achieved with Lenovo All-in-One PCs due to a number of factors and system attributes, including:
Fewer desk-side visits required: Many Lenovo All-in-One PCs support advanced management technology afforded by the 2nd Gen Intel Core vPro™ processor family used in the systems. vPro lets IT staff access the PC remotely. Using third-party systems management tools, IT can perform many maintenance tasks, including updating patch installations and system configurations. They can troubleshoot problems, even if the PC is turned off or cannot boot.
Organizations using Intel vPro technology have reported5 ROIs exceeding 400 percent, with a payback period to recoup investment measured in months.
The savings come from reduced time required by IT staff to troubleshoot and fix problems. This freed up the IT staff to take on additional projects. If an IT staffer needs to open up a system, time is saved by virtue of the All-in-One PC’s tool-less design and convenient component layout. This also makes it easier to upgrade hard disk drives and memory. Additionally, an AIO PC’s integrated monitor and CPU means there are fewer components to service and fewer service contracts and warranties to purchase.
Additionally, Intel vPro technology enables IT technicians to deploy security patches across PCs quickly, unlock encrypted drives remotely, and manage data security settings centrally. vPro gives help desk personnel complete control over a PC, with features such as KVM Remote Control.
This allowed a major utility company to reduce travel time for patch management and software problem resolution by up to 99 percent.
Faster recovery when restoring corrupted systems: Users continue to click frequently on links they are not supposed to, or open files from unknown sources. This can lead to a massive PC infection that can crash computers or corrupt root and system files. Restoring such a PC using traditional backup tools can be a time-consuming process. Lenovo All-in-One PCs include Lenovo’s Rescue and Recovery software, which is a one-button data recovery software tool that restores operating systems, applications, and system files in case of a software crash or virus. Lenovo has found that a typical customer will reimage one-third of its installed base over a four-year lifecycle. Rescue and Recovery software saves an estimated $57 per PC in productivity and reduced support costs.6 Synergies between Lenovo and Intel technologies bring additional benefits. Intel vPro works in conjunction with Rescue and Recovery. In particular, an IT staffer using vPro and vPro KVM capabilities can more easily access a troubled PC remotely using Lenovo Rescue and Recovery to repair it.
Reduced power consumption: All Lenovo All-in-One PCs can benefit by activating Windows power-saving settings to turn off idle monitors, drives, and CPUs. Power management can result in up to 69 percent less power consumption,7 as compared to a PC with the same hardware and no power management. This can deliver significant savings for an organization. For example, the U.S. government’s Energy Star program estimates8 that organizations spend between $50 and $150 per year in electricity to run each PC. Given that range, a 70 percent saving in a company with 500 power-saving All-in-One PCs would cut electric bills by $17,500 to $52,500.
Additional electricity savings come from Lenovo features such as an auto-sensing brightness control and climate-saver power supply. Managers can monitor PC power usage and savings with a Power Analyzer feature, as well.
A main point to consider is that Lenovo All-in-One PCs offer enhanced power management capabilities in the form of the Lenovo Power Manager. This software provides additional capabilities not available with Windows. With Power Manager, IT administrators can create power profiles with traits similar to a programmable thermostat for a home heating and air conditioning system. For example, an IT administrator can program multiple specific power behaviors depending on the time of day. This includes the ability to power down all systems in one department at a certain time or wake systems up at predetermined times to allow for a normal patch update cycle and then later return the systems to a low power state. Lenovo Power Manager can significantly reduce electricity consumption and costs.
Easier setup: With a Lenovo All-in-One PC, there is no need to connect cables or crawl under desks to attach devices, and no extra drivers to install for monitors and peripherals. These PCs can be used out-ofthe- box within minutes. In fact, they can be deployed in as little as three minutes each.
Faster problem resolution: If an IT staffer does need to open up a system, time is saved by virtue of the All-in-One PC’s tool-less design and convenient component layout.
Taken together, these features and traits reduce the time needed to support PCs, simplify PC management, and cut electricity use. This leads to lower PC operating costs. Such savings help an organization recoup its investment in new PCs quickly—especially when one considers that all of these costs are increasing every year that older computer fleets are maintained. In particular, these savings can help an IT manager make a compelling ROI case for the new systems.
Lenovo and Intel are well-positioned to be technology partners for educational institutions looking to improve learning outcomes and their ROI.
Lenovo is the AIO desktop U.S. unit market share leader with 33 percent of the market in November 2010, according to The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service. It offers a variety of Intel processorbased All-in-One PCs, allowing colleges and universities to satisfy higher education desktop computing requirements, while reducing total cost of ownership.
All-in-One M Series PCs deliver the performance required to run today’s data- and CPU-intensive educational applications. PCs in this line are easy to manage, have a low cost of ownership, and incorporate many higher end management tools such as Lenovo Power Manager, Lenovo Rescue and Recovery, and Intel vPro technology.
New Lenovo Edge 91z PCs based on the 2nd Gen Intel Core Processor family will offer the requisite performance and manageability needed in academic environments. In particular, the new processors feature improved adaptive performance that adds speed when it is needed and has built-in visual capabilities.
Lenovo All-in-One C Series PCs offer great value. While not supporting many of the higher end management tools, the systems are still easy to set up and use. They are also energy efficient. Additionally, the C Series PCs are ideal for today’s multimedia-rich classroom environments. They offer high aspect ratios for viewing HD and other videos with less eye strain and come with integrated DVD/CD player/burner and stereo speakers.
All of these PCs benefit from Lenovo ThinkVantage technologies, which is a suite of tools designed to significantly reduce IT costs. Lenovo’s ThinkVantage Technologies provide support for image creation and ongoing image management; system migration and deployment assistance; and disposal of PCs in a way that protects sensitive company data. Lenovo offers a variety of enhanced warranty options as well as its ThinkPlus Priority Support service plan on new PCs. Priority Support features 24x7 priority call routing to advanced technical support, as well as multiple administrative tools. The service frees up IT staffs to address critical needs, while helping reduce or eliminate the need for continuous in-house IT support.