The notion of self-diagnosing PCs is hardly new, but most software on the market leaves out one very important factor - the operating system.
Systems integrator ASI Solutions wants to change that. The company has partnered with software firm PreWorX to offer a very different take on an old theme. ASI has begun pre-installing the PreWorX virtual service provider (VSP) utility on its clients' systems to strengthen the maintenance and support aspect of its service offering.
Touted as "self-healing technology", VSP is a server-client-based management system that activates diagnostic tools during the pre-boot stage of the PC start-up sequence. The software then attempts to fix problems without operator intervention.
"We have spoken to corporate customers and they are extremely interested in the product because of the total cost of ownership issue," said Ken Lowe, managing director of ASI Solutions.
Current self-healing software works in a post-boot environment, so any problems that are associated with the operating system cannot be fixed remotely. The time required to service remote PCs is often the most expensive component of service agreements, for resellers and end users alike. By reducing the human intervention required, costs can also be reduced, said Lowe.
"The ability to fix the problem pre-boot is the cruncher," Lowe said. "It is so important because it means if anything goes wrong you can take over the PC, irrespective of the operating system. The PC doesn't even have to be in Australia - it can be anywhere so there are global applications."
Additionally, administrators can view, test and reconfigure remote PCs. VSP also provides a system inventory, checking hardware and software assets each time the PC boots.
ASI also plans to don its distribution cap and bring the PreWorX software to the Australian channel. The product is aimed at the SME to corporate market, and resellers will be able sell the product as a service to their customers, said Nigel Anderson, managing director of PreWorX Australia.
"The vast majority of IT problems are related to the software and the people required to fix those problems are the most expensive part. Resellers can enhance that service using PreWorX technology," he said.
"It is not going to be a lower-tier product, but we do need a channel and we welcome resellers with the skills to integrate the product into their customers' infrastructure."