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Endpoint Management Software offers Convenient Energy-Savings Options to Save the University Money

Posted: December 13, 2013

IBM Endpoint Manager allows AG IT to deploy software applications and updates in a timely and convenient manner to College of Ag Sciences computers. This no-cost University Service can be used by University units but the expectation is that energy savings will defray the costs of the service. It was once estimated that we can help save Penn State over $800,000 annually and, at the same time, feel good about reducing our carbon footprint!
Example of System Tray Showing "B" Icon

Example of System Tray Showing "B" Icon

The College of Agricultural Sciences has many diverse and distributed needs when it comes to computing operations. AG IT has leveraged a central Systems Management tool now called IBM Endpoint Manager (IEM) which has also been referred to as TEM and BigFix in the past. We're able to use this University service at no cost with the expectation that we will "set the most aggressive power management setting possible for each client resource under their control to help reduce the resources' overall power consumption without negatively impacting the resources' purpose or end user."  We hope to better explain the service and those expectations and to ask for your help!

In short, IBM Endpoint Manager allows us to build new computers, patch and secure computers and "push out" software to you when it's requested. It has already saved us time and resources and we feel sure that our computers are more secure now than in the past because of how quickly we can patch applications that are constantly being attacked and hacked. Our end users are also happy when, for example, we can quickly push out the latest version of Microsoft Office on demand -- even at distant county offices.

Through the use of IBM Endpoint Manager, it was once calculated that Penn State could save over $800,000 in electricity costs annually1!  We would like to make it easy for you to help in that process and at the same time, feel good about reducing your carbon footprint in a very easy and convenient manner with minimal to no disruption of your daily computing tasks. 

First, it's important to point out that power savings will be managed by the end user -- that's you. Ag IT is not going to "flip on" any energy-savings settings without your knowledge or permission. Further, you will be making these changes only if you choose and only to the point of not negatively impacting the purpose of the computer and you -- the end user and the work you do. If your computer is able to help reduce Penn State's electric bill and carbon footprint by going into a lower-energy, standby mode and that doesn't impact your or the computer's work, we are asking you to turn on these settings at the maximum level that works best for you.

For any computer that has IBM Endpoint Manager installed, you should notice what we call a "B Icon" in the lower-right system tray (see image). When you click that B Icon, a support center displays and shows your computer's energy usage and your carbon footprint. It also shows how your computer would run under different power-savings settings. You will see some tabs at the top of the display and one of them is Offers. Click Offers and you should see up to five Power Profiles with varying settings that meet the majority of user's needs. Click them once to read what they set. Click the Accept button to enable those settings and enjoy saving the University money and a lower carbon footprint. At any time, you can go back into the "B Icon" to change it to another level and you can do this whenever necessary -- for instance before a presentation where you may not want a laptop to power off its display. If you don't see the Power Profile that works for you, suggest one! We'd be happy to create a Power Profile offer that fits your needs.

Ag IT is hopeful that we will all do our part to reduce our carbon footprint and to save the University money and we look forward to helping you in any way possible. If you need assistance or would like to see any changes to this service or the existing power management settings, please let us know!

If you don't have the "B Icon" or if you need help finding it, please submit a ticket at http://agsci.psu.edu/it/help-request

1http://news.psu.edu/story/157851/2011/05/17/it-power-saving-initiative-could-save-penn-state-800000-annually