Intel moving workforce to 100pc wireless

4 May 2007

PARIS: Around 84pc of Intel’s workforce are currently working off notebook computers using Wi-Fi and the plan is to increase this to 100pc as soon as possible, a senior IT executive said yesterday.

Addressing a Dell event in Paris on mobile working yesterday, Dr Martin Mueller, director of IT at Intel, said that the end users of notebook computers based their buying decisions on the computer’s performance, its battery life, connectivity and weight.

Since this is one of Intel’s target markets the company is also “driving these vectors” internally, Mueller said.

He said that at present 84pc of machines in use by Intel’s workforce are notebook PCs and that the company is finding that as it proceeds with the strategy the total cost of ownership for Intel is shrinking as workers can work flexibly and more productively.

“At present we can report 5pc time savings, equal to two hours per week. That might not sound like a lot but that 5pc pays for residual cost of ownership you would normally associate with desktops. We are now aiming to go to 100pc notebook usage in our workforce.”

At present, he said, Intel has more than 75,000 internal notebook users and more than 5,000 wireless access points across the company. “Wi-Fi took off like wildfire within Intel.”

Mueller said that a typical campus of 5,500 workers – around the same size as Intel’s Leixlip Fab-24 plant – would have around 500 wireless access points.

The wireless infrastructure is secured through a combination of encryption and device authentication.

Mueller added that in the second half of this year notebooks at Intel will be upgraded to carry the Centrino Duo processor alongside a general migration across the company to Windows Vista.

“These moves will lead to increased productivity and lower total cost of ownership,” Mueller said.

By John Kennedy