SWISS International Air Lines was developing a new executive lounge inside the Zürich Airport, and Littlebit Technology — an IT value‑add distributor and solutions and service provider — needed a way to manage a digital signage installation inside the lounge. By employing Intel® Core™ i5 vPro™ processors with Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT), Littlebit was not only able to meet or exceed the technical and security requirements of this complex installation, but they continue to be able to deliver exceptional service while reducing costs.
Businesses and organizations of all types have come to increasingly rely on video displays for key operations like marketing, relaying information to customers and staff, generating impactful customer experiences, and many other applications. However, if a display shows an error screen or malfunctions in some other way, it becomes more of a liability than a benefit. Because there are many potential issues that can occur with digital signage — from system crashes to network problems and human error — such systems require continual management and maintenance in order to deliver business value day in, day out.
Littlebit was tasked with developing a way to manage 31 large displays found throughout the executive lounge. These displays provide travellers with branded content, flight information, and other critical messages. They are built into recesses and niches that help create a premium, exclusive atmosphere. Each display streams dynamic content via an Intel® NUC‑based media player connected to SWISS’s headquarters through the airport’s network, making security a crucial requirement. Also, integrating the displays into the design of the lounge makes accessing or removing them or the media players for service purposes a time-consuming task that disrupts the lounge’s peaceful ambiance.
The key for Littlebit was employing Intel NUC media players with Intel Core i5 vPro processors. Doing so allowed them to manage the devices remotely. These technologies run at the hardware level and allow for full control of computers located virtually anywhere in the world from their home offices in Zürich. With Intel vPro, Littlebit can manage all aspects of a media player’s function without ever having to step foot into the lounge itself.
Nothing spoils the exclusive atmosphere of an executive lounge like a screen displaying an error message, especially when it’s supposed to display important flight information. Reducing downtime as much as possible was a key requirement for SWISS, and Intel vPro technology helps them achieve it by enabling remote remediation almost immediately if any player stops functioning properly. In the majority of cases, a simple reboot solves the issue, and Littlebit can remotely perform that reboot even if the device’s OS is no longer functional. In fact, the device doesn’t even need to be powered up in order to perform remediation. Intel vPro technology allows technicians to have full access to the device in almost any state, as long it’s plugged in to a power source and connected to the network via LAN cable.
The cost of sending a technician in person to restore functionality to a display greatly increases costs not only for Littlebit but for SWISS as well. This is especially true since the site is inside an airport, and technicians must go through security screening that costs a great deal of time. Not only can IT technicians in Littlebit’s home office perform remote reboots and conduct keyboard-video-mouse (KVM) sessions to monitor the status and activity of the displays, but they can remotely push patches to the media players as well. Updates and patches can also be scheduled to run automatically during off‑hours.
The ease with which Littlebit can update software on the media players helps make them more secure, but that’s just one aspect of the security advantages of employing Intel Core i5 vPro processors. Tovoperate inside the airport, Littlebit had to prove that their design for the lounge’s digital signage wouldn’t compromise the airport’s network. In testing conducted by the airport, Intel vPro technology, and its hardware-level security features, helped Littlebit prove that the media players were sufficiently hardened to meet the airport’s extremely strict requirements.
One of the advantages of Intel vPro technology and Intel AMT that helped make this implementation a success is its compatibility with many different types of management software. Littlebit’s display management solution includes a content management system (CMS) and software to manage the IT infrastructure. Because Intel vPro technology works below the OS at the hardware level, it’s able to work alongside the application software to enhance and amplify their operations.
Perhaps the most elevating aspect of the deployment is that SWISS doesn’t even have to ask for issues to be resolved. Intel vPro technology and Intel AMT can be configured to provide automated error messages to Littlebit, which means that Littlebit’s technicians can remotely remediate issues with a player before SWISS even notices there’s a problem. This level of convenience and anticipatory service adds a layer of value and allows SWISS staff to focus on providing rewarding experiences to its clientele.
By employing Intel Core i5 vPro processors, not only did Littlebit ensure that the media player devices have sufficient processing power to support emerging use cases and new types of media and interactions, improving long‑term value, but it has allowed them to meet challenging requirements, provide exceptional service, and reduce service level agreement (SLA) costs. Instead of requiring a truck roll and several hours of a technician’s time, issues can be resolved in just minutes. What’s more, their client has the peace of mind of knowing they have one less thing to worry about.
Can activating Intel vPro technology save you money while improving your products and services? Explore the benefits and find out. Please visit www.intel.com.
Intel® technology provides many advantages for creating digital signage solutions that generate real value. Find out more about Intel and digital signage.