Intel Small Business Advantage Platform Boosts Productivity, Security

The Small Business Advantage Platform includes productivity and security features like a USB blocker and PC Health Center.

Chip giant Intel announced the availability of Intel Small Business Advantage (SBA) for laptops and desktops. The platform is based on the 2nd Generation Intel Core processor family, which includes a host of security and productivity features for small and midsize businesses (SMBs).

The SBA, announced at the company's Developer Forum in Beijing, is available on Core i3, Core i5, Core i5 vPro, Core i7 and Core i7 vPro processors with Intel 2012 business chipsets.

The SBA platform is designed to help small-business owners focus on their business by automatically enabling PCs to run at peak performance, back up data, and check for the latest software updates and virus protection for a more secure computer. Intel said SBA can help small-business owners prevent interruptions in PC performance, which can lead to a decline in productivity, and the possibility of small businesses missing deadlines, shipments or releases.

Intel Core processors with SBA were designed to help maintain and protect PCs automatically. Through a user interface, SBA can be configured to run routine data backup and software updates at any time, even after-hours, so PCs are ready to go as soon as the user turns them on. SBA also continually monitors security software, and alerts the user and business owner if the PC has been compromised by known viruses.

For example, PC Health Center automatically runs regular software updates and maintenance tasks after-hours, even if the computer is turned off. The PC will power itself on to update software, defragment disk drives, and delete cookies and temporary Internet files. When the tasks are completed, the PC will power itself back down. Core processors with SBA can help reduce energy bills. If an employee forgets to turn off a PC, the Energy Saver feature will power it down automatically, reducing after-hours energy consumption. Energy Saver can power PCs down and up again when needed, and can also turn PCs on as the workday begins.

Other features include backup and restore functionality, so if a backup is missed or an error occurs, the software automatically notifies the user. In the event data must be recovered from a backup, a guide helps users through the process. For the USB blocking feature, a password-protected configuration allows for control of input and output while listing exceptions for backup devices. PCs can be customized to block selected USB devices, including mass storage, cameras, printers and more. SBA can be configured with Intel Anti-Theft Technology on eligible PCs to further strengthen security.