Leading Peruvian microfinance institution streamlines device management with Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT) and Intel® Endpoint Management Assistant (Intel® EMA).
Transforming Financial Transactions
Caja Huancayo is a leading microfinance institution in Peru with 4,424 internal collaborators across its 190 nationwide agencies. The organization’s rapid growth in recent years demonstrates its industry leadership in financial inclusion and reputation for excellence in customer service. Its primary customer base is small-scale entrepreneurs from rural zones looking for access to capital. Given the challenges of on-site IT support due to distance, access, and the global pandemic, the ability for its IT team to manage network devices remotely was a priority.
Challenge: Peak Productivity Without Extra Budget
Caja Huancayo’s team of IT technicians manages a fleet of desktop PCs in its local banking branches across Peru. The team was tasked with finding a management solution with remote power control, visibility into fleet diagnostics, and technical intervention capabilities to support internal users without service impact. The most common service requests from users include resetting passwords, updating security patches at the workstation level, and assigning computers to new personnel.
The IT team also needed an efficient, centralized “line of sight” to catalog device features and conditions. However, there was a lack of project implementation agility as well as an inability to propose business impact projects to address this gap. Device maintenance had to be coordinated manually, which was inconvenient and allowed potential for human error. With the organizational goal of strengthening service capacity and providing prompt support to internal users, the team knew they needed to enhance efficiencies.
Microfinance institutions like Caja Huancayo emerged as a tool to increase development and reduce poverty by granting small loans to entrepreneurs and small business owners. As a result, more people in rural areas can access financial services to support their entrepreneurial endeavors.1 Since financial service providers are scarce in these regions, Caja Huancayo felt additional pressure to remove roadblocks that could hinder business continuity, such as employee availability and efficiency. COVID-19 increased the challenge, as more transactions needed support with fewer resources. The institution wanted peak productivity while making the most of current rented equipment without spending extra budget.
Caja Huancayo’s head of information security, Enrique Mendoza Caballero, and his team of technicians met with computer manufacturers to explore potential solutions. However, they found no solution with the remote power capabilities they needed.
The institution’s workforce was already using rented devices on the Intel vPro® platform, a suite of PC hardware technologies built for business demands. While Caja Huancayo had been benefiting from built-in Intel vPro platform features like business-class performance, hardware-based security, and PC fleet stability, they did not fully understand how activating the platform’s manageability tools could help address their needs.
“The beauty of Intel EMA is that the tool can detect the Intel vPro devices and automate the configuration process of Intel AMT. The activation of Intel vPro manageability tools is really simple. Gaining centralized device control was easier than we could have imagined.”—Enrique Mendoza Caballero, head of information security, Caja Huancayo
Solution: Simple Activation with Remote Tech Support
Several factors were important for Mendoza Caballero and his technical team when choosing a comprehensive remote management solution.
Intel was invited to evaluate the Caja Huancayo team’s challenges against their goals. As part of the process, Intel explained that the Intel vPro platform remote manageability capabilities could be harnessed at no additional cost, as the technology was already on the fleet’s computers. The team could simply activate the platform’s Intel AMT, then optimize it with support from the Intel team. This technology enables IT teams to remotely power devices on or off as well as troubleshoot endpoints with keyboard, video, mouse (KVM) functions. Additionally, Intel AMT streamlines device administration with efficient patch updates.
In partnership with the Intel technical team, Mendoza Caballero and his team defined the technological innovation parameters by device. The immediate challenge was to activate the fleet of devices with Intel AMT for centralized device control with minimal disruption. Accordingly, the team determined a rollout plan that would support business as usual.
To deploy in an accelerated time frame, the IT team leveraged Intel EMA, a software product that communicates with devices to streamline management. “The beauty of Intel EMA is that the tool can detect the Intel vPro devices and automate the configuration process of Intel AMT,” Mendoza Caballero says.
The first step in the implementation process was to configure branch devices to the Intel EMA server. The server generates and installs an agent that automatically detects and activates Intel AMT on all Intel vPro-powered devices. Devices with this technology activated use a corporate-grade firmware called Intel® Management Engine (Intel® ME), which reports to the EMA server, allowing IT teams to send manageability commands. Mendoza Caballero and his team were impressed by the streamlined approach. “The activation of Intel vPro manageability tools was really simple. Gaining centralized device control was easier than we could have imagined,” he says. The team also leveraged the Intel EMA API for process automation. This includes sending the power-on commands to unattended devices in remote branch offices and centralizing real-time device life cycle information.
Throughout the implementation process, activation questions and challenges were easily resolved through weekly virtual meetings and troubleshooting with Intel technical support. Mendoza Caballero attributes the success of the activation to continuous communication with the Intel team. “Intel’s abilities and capabilities demonstrated what next-level professionalism, dedication, and coordination look like throughout this project,” he says.
Better Service with Energy Savings
Caja Huancayo’s IT team addressed and resolved key business challenges by activating the Intel vPro platform’s remote manageability tools:
- Allowed remote power capabilities without user intervention
- Gained and centralized device life cycle visibility and transparency with equipment manufacturers with data consumed through the EMA API
- Enabled preemptive online diagnosis of computers for faster resolution response
- Increased efficiency and granularity with software updates and security patches
- Reduced employee downtime with smooth onboarding and rollout
- Supported continuous and uninterrupted customer service for banking transactions
Because of new efficiencies enabled by the Intel vPro platform, the IT team loses less time on operational matters. This gives the team more time to focus on responsibilities as well as explore new projects and solutions that generate value for the organization. A potential benefit, suggested by research,2
is that Caja Huancayo may reduce additional IT hires to help manage the PC fleet.
In-branch employees now work more effectively with less downtime because of the modern hardware benefits of quicker IT response times, easier issue resolution, and other productivity improvements; research shows that employees can save up to two hours per month when using Intel vPro platform-based devices.2
This supported Caja Huancayo in upholding its reputation for customer service by allowing employees to be more productive, efficient, and available for customers.
Caja Huancayo also saved money as a result of reduced technician travel time and device repair shipping expenses. The organization simultaneously decreased the CO2 emissions that occur as related to those activities, thanks to the management commands included in Intel AMT.
The institution also saw cost savings from decreased company-wide energy consumption after the activation. Intel AMT features a flexible remote scheduling function that powers down systems not in use and wakes them before the workday begins. By using remote management to handle updates, diagnostics, and patches during off-hours, Caja Huancayo conserved money and energy as a bonus outcome to the original project.
Using the Intel EMA console to activate Intel AMT proved the value of the Intel vPro platform for Caja Huancayo. As a result, Mendoza Caballero and his team have made the Intel vPro platform part of the device criteria for the upcoming organization-wide PC refresh. This decision will help standardize their fleet with high-performance technology.
Key Success Factors
- Simplicity With IT stretched to meet current performance demands, solution deployment needed to be efficient.
- Device Visibility IT needed a centralized view of the device fleet, including hardware components and technical documentation.
- Remote Support The team needed to provide virtual IT servicing support vs. losing time and expenses deploying on-site technicians.
- Economic Sensitivity Limited budget was available to invest in implementing an integrated solution for rented equipment.
- Minimal Disruption The organization required flexibility to schedule updates outside business hours.