About the Author

Adam Smith | Senior Product Marketing Manager

STEM Students Job Shadow LANDESK Employees for a Day

IMG_1325I sat at a table for lunch with two educators and three high school students who came to LANDESK for a STEM-related job shadowing day.

I was impressed with all 30 students who had made the trip from their respective schools in the Jordan School District.

I kept thinking, if these are the youth who will lead us tomorrow, we’re in good hands.

One of the girls stood to represent the other students at our table. Her task was to tell the rest of the group what she’d learned over the past few hours while shadowing someone at LANDESK.

Career paths are not always planned

She said, “What I’ve learned is that everyone I met today didn’t go to school or graduate with plans of being what they are now. So it’s okay to pursue whatever you want because you’ll probably end up somewhere you didn’t expect.” How profound to hear something so true about so many career paths.

Her comments struck home because when some of the employees were called on to share their thoughts, one of our customer support personnel stood and said, “I thought I was a smart guy when I graduated with two degrees—one degree in music education and the other in computer programming. I tried teaching young children music and I hated it. So I did computer programming instead and eventually worked my way up into management. I decided I didn’t like that either and took a job back here at LANDESK in front line support. Some may think that would be a step down, but there are so many very smart people in on our front line support teams. What I really found out about myself is that I like to help people and now I’m in a perfect place to do that.”

There is never a dull moment in software

There were other inspiring comments from both the high school students and our employees. Some comments related to the realization that all software has bugs in it and another that there is never a dull moment because every day is different and challenging.

I couldn’t help but think that these students who shadowed us helped us see our career paths and our jobs in a more positive light.

When all is said and done, we came to LANDESK because it was a good job. The reason we stay is because of the people. I’m grateful for the great team I get to work with every day.

Windows 10 Migrations Can Be Like Fishing Without a Guide

Fishing Guide Pointing Out A Trout At SunsetFinish this statement: “Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you ____.”

If you plan and strategize right, you can do more than just give your users a new operating system, you gain valuable practice when it comes to upgrading machines continuously, no matter what Microsoft throws at you.

As the end of life for Windows XP approached, many companies—especially those operating under regulatory compliance—had to migrate large numbers of machines to Windows 7 all at once. These high-priority projects led to millions in additional costs.

Much of that came from hiring outside consulting firms to identify needs, creating a migration plan, and using their tools to perform the migration. When the experts were done, they took everything with them and left organizations with upgraded machines but not much else.

Get there faster with a guide

When navigating uncertain waters, it’s best to have a guide who can outfit you with the right equipment, show you where to cast your line, then reel in a few fish to show you proper techniques, before letting you go solo.

Most organizations of any size are not migrating everything at once. If your Windows 10 project plan calls for a phased migration that includes, migrating through attrition, providing pushes to specific departments or groups, and individual upgrade capability through a self-service portal—LANDESK can jumpstart your practice.

LANDESK will provide the systems, the knowledge, and perform a portion of the upgrade, giving you a competitive edge and minimize the learning curve.

Catch more without handling the mess

I have an uncle who fly fishes three or more times a week. Yet, he and my aunt hate to eat fish. He’s an artist at catching the fish and an engineer at the “catch and release”, so much so that he’s got it down to a science.

He uses barbless hooks and created a small device he slips onto the line to pop the fish off the hook without having to touch it. He never gets his hands dirty, despite catching 60-80 fish for every six to eight I reel in.

Are your provisioning processes so efficient, you don’t have to touch each device? Every organization uses hardware attrition to upgrade a portion of their operating systems. Usually that means IT receives a new machine, reimages it, and delivers the device to the user who has backed up their data and profile somewhere.

LANDESK can provide practices and processes to help you deliver a device without touching it, just like my uncle and the many fish he catches. You can deliver a new machine, lay down the approved corporate OS image, provision the latest apps and drivers, and restore the user profile all without IT needing to touch the user’s device. This process involves integrating with a distributor, such as CDW, which can fulfill an individual user order with the corporate image and uses LANDESK with AppSense solutions to extract the user profile and provision the appropriate drivers and up-to-date applications.

windows

Feed them for a lifetime

Learn the best way to automate your provisioning and you’ll be casting more often, for bigger fish, with your IT resources. Let LANDESK be your outfitter and guide to get your Windows 10 project up and running (or working more proficiently). We’ll migrate hundreds, even thousands of machines for you so you can jump start your Windows 10 implementations. Then you’ll be able to migrate, update, and patch your Windows 10 devices in a more automated fashion. After all, if you’re going to do a major OS upgrade, you might as well feed your users the devices they need over many OS lifetimes.

Key takeaways:

  1. Provide multiple methods for migrating to achieve a phased migration
  2. Wherever possible, automate your new device provisioning to eliminate the need to touch each device
  3. When using an outside resource, make sure they help you improve your provisioning practice

For more information about how LANDESK can help your migration, make sure you read our Migrating With LANDESK White Paper.

When Data Is Not Enough to Drive Change

IMG_7064Sports Teams Shrugging Off Analytics

I recently attended a great Qualtrics Insight Summit where several people gave thought provoking keynotes. Malcolm Gladwell was one of those speakers and talked about why people won’t take action even when the data clearly shows a better way. He gave several sports examples, including how analytics show professional American football teams should postpone their draft picks and how they should also always go for it on fourth down instead of punting.

2015– A Year of Developing Modern Workspaces

Workspaces(2)I left the software sector for a number of years and then came back. But while I was away, I developed different expectations of what technology should look like in business. Most of those expectations were driven by my experience with social media like Facebook and LinkedIn. It was a few years after I returned before Salesforce came out with their Chatter feature and, just recently, Facebook announced they’re moving into the enterprise–roughly seven years after they reset my expectations about collaborative technologies. It seems even big players in the highly innovative social media realm also move slow when it comes to corporate technology.

I guess it’s because of my time away and that I love following developments in user experience that I’ve been excited to be a part of the Workspaces initiative at LANDESK. I’m impressed as I look back over the past year at how much we’ve accomplished and innovated with our user experience and role-driven workspaces at LANDESK.

Birth of Role-driven Workspaces

A couple years ago, we started working on a couple of use cases. One use case was related to how we can help IT change the way they deliver services, information, content, and applications to end users, who like me, have developed expectations for a more modern way of doing IT. The second use case was for IT to be able to provide enough information upstream in their management chain to show the value of IT. Thus, Fuse (end-user portal) and SmartVue (management dashboards) were born. Roughly one year ago, those two initiatives came together to become LANDESK Workspaces. And that is due in part to working closely with our customers and the discovery that several organizations were creating Frankenstein-like versions of our admin console to give to different roles in their organizations. The purpose behind LANDESK Workspaces then became one of providing role-based information and actions integrated in a modern user experience for different personas within IT, IT management, and the general corporate user.

2015 In Review

So what did we do with LANDESK Workspaces over the course of 2015? Here’s a short timeline of capabilities for each of the different roles:

Q1

Workspaces(1) End User –Could either launch approved apps or provide backend service request for apps.

Workspaces(2)IT Analyst – First IT Analyst Workspace incorporating capabilities from both systems management and service management.

Q2

 Workspaces(1)End User—Simplified logins with auto authentication for corporate machines.

Workspaces(2)IT Analyst—Provided search and user profiles that show all the devices related to each user.

Q3

 Workspaces(1)End User &  Workspaces(2) IT Analyst—Additional visual uplift and themes for both workspaces.

Workspaces(3)Asset Manager—First release of this workspace, which showed significant savings from managing software licenses and provided views into hardware assets. Included summarized views for reclamation, usage info, and hardware warranty information.

Q4

Workspaces(1) End User—Expanded catalog details and screen shots to give a full “app store” experience.

Workspaces(3)Asset Manager—Added software license monitoring page to show devices, apps and software usage in a single place. Integrated action to initiate reclamation processes.

What’s Next in 2016

Stay tuned. There are some very exciting things we’re doing this year to deliver more workspace abilities—visibility, customize-ability, and action-ability. And right now we have a Security Workspace ready to go out the door with the release of our LANDESK Management Suite and Security Suite 2016 solutions. This workspace will provide the information both IT Security and IT Operations people need to know about vulnerabilities they have in their environment.

The other exciting developments for this year involve the ability for organizations to rapidly build business value dashboards. We’ll also be integrating these comprehensive data views into multiple workspaces, which will give birth to an IT Executive Workspace. With our acquisition of Xtraction, we’re now able to combine data from IT and non-IT data sources to create a bigger picture of IT’s impact on the organization along with more depth and data visualization for business decision making.

 

 

 

Windows 10 – Enterprises Are Finally Part of the ‘10’ Picture

When Microsoft announced its first major update for Windows 10, I was sitting in a room full of our enterprise customers taking instant polls on what their Windows 10 plans are. I had also asked these customers, beforehand, to send me some of their detailed roll out plans. I think their responses and plans are particularly timely because with this most recent Windows 10 release, we’re seeing the first “business branch” that’s available for businesses to start deploying.

WindowsRuleofThirds(1)Rule of Thirds for Windows 10

What Was Gartner Trying to Say at ITxpo – Think Abundantly?

I sat through a few sessions at the recent Gartner ITxpo in Orlando, Florida. I also heard reports from several colleagues about other sessions they attended. Some sessions left people wondering how much they could believe about the future, while other sessions focused on what C-level roles could do now to change their approach to their infrastructure, culture, and experience. Yes, there were plenty of buzzwords, in fact here’s a buzzword bingo list of some of the terms that we heard at Gartner Symposium ITxpo:

DIGITAL BUSINESS ALGORITHM CLOUD
INTERNET OF THINGS BIMODAL TRUST
INNOVATION ADAPTIVE SECURITY TECHQUISITION
ALGORITHMIC BUSINESS SENSOR WEARABLES
DIGITAL MESH SELF-DRIVING CARS AUGEMENTED REALITY
3D PRINTING PEOPLE-CENTERED SMART DEVICES

Notice that almost all of these terms have some kind of positive, abundant, or additive association.

Windows 10 – It’s Gaining Traction but Still Requires Patch’n

kid at the window

In August, 2015 Windows 10 was officially released. Supporting more than 200 million devices, it has already surpassed Windows 8 and continues to grow in popularity. How long before this new OS impacts your enterprise?

Let’s recap some of the good and bad that Windows 10 has given us.

On the good side:

  • Significantly faster
  • Very stable
  • Runs on existing Windows 7 hardware

Windows 10 | This is not an announcement, it’s just a reminder

As Windows 10 availability approached, there was a little commotion around what LANDESK should say about Windows 10 support. That’s when one of our product managers, Rex McMillan, piped up and said, “Don’t you remember what I said on stage in the keynote at Interchange?” I looked at him with a quizzical look. He laughed and continued, “I said we don’t have to worry about Day 1 support for Windows 10, we have it now.” That was 71 days before Windows 10 launched.

As a commitment to support the latest releases, we tested, fixed, and validated with the Windows 10 technical previews. Don’t worry that Microsoft has said Windows 10 is on a continual release cycle, we will continually test, validate and enable you to manage your devices.

Pound for Pound Strongest Leader in 2015 Gartner Client Management Tools Magic Quadrant

I spent roughly sixteen years practicing martial arts. I learned several styles that included self-defense, stand up fighting techniques, grappling, and how to throw an opponent. I also learned to use several weapons—yes, I do have nun-chuck skills. 🙂 Sometimes I like to watch Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fights, but not because of the violence or blood. I’m really more of a pacifist. I prefer to watch the smaller guys compete in the octagon. They’re faster, more agile, land more strikes, and are far more strategic and technical in the way they fight than the heavy weight competitors. However, you won’t see a fight between a featherweight and a heavy weight in the MMA. It’s just not considered a fair fight.

Battle in the Magic Quadrant Octagon

Does A Better User Experience Always Win?

user experience words written by 3d handI saw a Tweet from Aaron Levie (@levie ) that said, “Enterprise software used to be about making existing work more efficient. Now, the opportunity for software is to transform the work itself.” Look across multiple industries and you’ll see a continual transformation in the way people experience not only work, but everything. The Internet of Things is not about the things we can connect, but the experiences connected things create for us.