Environmentally conscious business owners are finding all kinds of ways to cut down on energy consumption in the workplace. Many use natural lighting as much as possible, going so far as to create an entirely open floor plan so that every employee can turn off their electric bulbs and work by way of that giant light source we call the sun. Others have installed energy-efficient bulbs in every lamp and overhead in the office. Of course, the main draw for most professional spaces these days revolves around computers and related hardware. And while you can certainly put policies in place that require employees to set their computers to go into sleep mode after, say, after five minutes of inactivity, or turn off their power strips when they leave for the night to stop phantom drain, chances are that you could be doing more to save energy in this key area. And there are actually several companies producing software to help you do just that.
The big three players in the arena of energy-saving software solutions for offices of all sizes are Verdiem, Granola Enterprise, and Faronics.
Verdiem first released a computer energy-saving program called Edison in 2008 with the intent of reducing a computer’s energy usage through scheduled “suspension”, which basically amounts to a sleep mode. Although it was originally slated for home use, the company has since expanded to include solutions for fleets of computers.
Granola Enterprise seeks to inform you of your energy usage across IT platforms while offering tools to help you reduce consumption within the office setting.
Faronics and their Power Save software automates the entire process by gathering data on usage and using it to determine when particular systems are inactive so that they can be shut down.
Choosing Your Software
In truth, these programs all offer fairly similar solutions for businesses seeking to cut down on waste when it comes to energy consumption. Each will monitor your system and provide you with an overview of usage if you so desire. Further, they will calculate when to shut down systems that are inactive. And, all of them pretty much guarantee that they can truncate your electrical draw and save your company money over time. So what differentiates them? Is one better than another? While each can likely meet your needs, they do offer some different features that you’ll probably want to consider before choosing one.
Verdiem, for example, not only makes your system more energy-efficient, but it also addresses issues concerning reliability and security. Granola Enterprise, on the other hand, offers CPU power management options in addition to the ability to schedule down time for your system, so you can control your energy draw both during and outside business hours. Faronics analyzes everything from activity on individual CPUs and the network at large to the amount that a mouse or keyboard is being used. Plus, it warns users when a system is about to be shut down and then auto-saves any open programs before powering down.
You have programs for file sharing (winscp), project management (Basecamp, Microsoft Project), and bookkeeping (QuickBooks Pro), so why wouldn’t you use software that helps to streamline your operation by cutting energy waste? For the eco-friendly office, whether inside the home or not, this type of program is a must-have that can save money and the environment.
Do you use anything like this to cut down on your office footprint?