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Dust off Your Atlas, It’s Time for an Automation Road Trip

GettyImages-74181378Many areas of your ITSM environment are ripe for automation, and like any part of your service management operation, taking a maturity path approach assists you on that journey. Each journey needs a road map, but where you start is equally important.

So where do you start? 

Einstein is widely attributed with saying that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

Possibly channeling Einstein, analysts recommend IT organizations focus on moving redundant and repetitive tasks into automation processes. But before you start, understand that automated processes are only as effective as the planning that goes into their development.

Before automating processes, re-evaluate them

Too often ITSM teams consider the elements in closest proximity to their own environment but don’t incorporate considerations that affect the business at large. Automation requires user-centric planning.

To map out the current workflow and ensure its optimized and makes sense for the users it touches, you must keep engaging with business users directly or through business productivity teams. Only then should you review which optimized processes to automate.

Initial maturity steps 

Start by reviewing any routine, low-complexity, resource-intensive tasks, e.g., password resets. Employing automation to reduce call volumes will deliver immediate value to the operation and the business user experience.

Any repetitive request is an opportunity for automation

Enabling business users to access self service and reset passwords automatically reduces direct contact with your team, offers an enhanced experience, and saves administrative costs.

Business users that get locked out of systems are unproductive. Automating other components of your self-service function will help you manage a larger volume of requests more efficiently, plus you’ll decrease the time it takes a business user to receive the new services needed to be productive.

Consider a software request for example. Let’s say a business user wants Adobe Acrobat® and initiates a request in self service. Once the request is submitted, it triggers the start of a workflow. The software request requires approval from the requester’s manager. An approval-request email is sent automatically. No one needs to remember who these requests are routed to— the workflow goes from step to step without any intervention needed. The process is handled, recorded, and captured or escalated according to service levels automatically.

And let’s not forget the business user who requested the service. Nothing’s more frustrating than having to request information updates constantly. Ensure that status-update communications to users are part of the automated process.

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To Err Is Human: Making the Case for Automation

ITSM servise conceptAlexander Pope said, “To err is human, to forgive divine.” Pope was talking about sin, but this principle applies to a key gap in many ITSM structures.

In the race to stay competitive, many corporations are finding creative ways to do more with less. The result: service management teams must confront increased demands with a limited headcount.

Automation enables key IT and business processes through new business initiatives such as digitization to serve business users who demand exceptional experiences and who don’t tolerate IT failure.

What’s more, automation offers a predictable and repeatable sequence of steps from start to finish and takes the same route each time. It reduces risk and eliminates ambiguity by following a tested path consistently.

In a service management environment, a workflow passes from one person to the next as it progresses through different stages. It’s at these handoff points where tasks can fall through the cracks or workflow is interrupted, resulting in a breach.

Imagine automating that workflow. Your processes can run faster and more efficiently while lessening the risks of human error.

What once took weeks can be accomplished in hours or days or minutes, maximizing the productivity of all involved.

There’s been a growing requirement recently for ITSM teams to “shift left” for cost and efficiency reasons, but without the necessary injection of resources at the front end. Talk about challenging.

Whether you’re aiming to work faster, maintain consistency, or reduce costs, automation can help.

Automated service management processes let you refocus your time and resources on strategic activities that support business initiatives and goals.

It’s often assumed that automation means delivering more of the same. However, effective automation also provides opportunities to mature and unify individual workflows into a continuous set of processes and capabilities that work collectively.

Automation enables a better quality of support and user satisfaction through faster response times, improved quality, and a broader range of services delivered. In addition, automation helps streamline communication and minimize costs.

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Think You’re Awesome? Let Your Users Be the Judge

GettyImages-484925160When you’ve spent hours developing and designing your ITSM self-service, chat, or walk-up experience, it’s easy to be biased because you’re so close to the project and forget whether it truly satisfies your business users’ needs.

But what do those users think about your operation? Are they satisfied?

Measure to improve and show value

Measuring the performance and publishing the results of successful new initiatives in business-impact terms lets you demonstrate the value ITSM brings to the business.

Referenced in a recent article by LinkedIn, Gartner’s 2015 CIO Survey revealed that only 54 percent of respondents reported that internal customer satisfaction is a major metric. Yet the Society of Information Management Survey 2016 finds that one of the most common metrics of CIO performance value is IT user/customer satisfaction, according to a recent trends study from Business Wire.

Implementations of new initiatives are never one-and-done activities. That is why ongoing user feedback is a necessary component.

Consider providers of feedback as mentors helping you improve. Perhaps the self service channel isn’t being used as much as anticipated. Maybe your business users aren’t booking appointments for 1:1 face-to-face support, but continue interrupting your team at will.

Use feedback to capture and analyze data that, for example, will help improve adoption and deflection rates from other channels such as the phone, or that will help you understand which groups of users fail to or embrace each channel.

Numerous methods exist for gathering valuable user feedback—user satisfaction surveys, web analytics, interviews, and focus groups.

There’s no single right way to understand your business users. Information may come from a variety of sources.

Organizations that continually measure and improve their experiences based on user input are the ones most likely to achieve their goals. This means incorporating processes for regular review and revision in response to shifting business-user behaviors.

By understanding the perceptions and attitudes of your business users and catering to their needs, you can offer experiences that are more engaging, consistent, and memorable.

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Can Your OS Migration Tool Do This?

GettyImages-534165399The heart of IT is about empowering people and being able to serve and secure all types of users, on all the devices they use, wherever they are.

The LANDESK vision of user-centered IT is the balance between providing end users increased control over their devices while providing the IT department the control they need to maintain security, compliance, and productivity.

LANDESK holds to this vision when migrating machines to new operating systems. For instance, IT can allow end users to select when they want to migrate their device plus let them selectively restore the data they want restored.

We work with customers to ensure the solution will meet the needs of each department and their broad spectrum of users. We don’t require you to create customized images that quickly become obsolete.

Still not sold? Here’s why LANDESK is the better choice:


LANDESK has been helping customers migrate operating systems for decades. Our professional services team has assisted many large customers through the process.

Customers in the healthcare and finance industries have faced singular challenges in the migration process due to the encrypted devices in use. Thankfully, those problems are in the past. LANDESK can now migrate devices encrypted with any technology.

Software titles  

Organizations give users machines so they can work more productively. But it’s not the OS that makes users productive; it’s the applications. Workers must have the functionality available to them after the migration takes place.

The LANDESK solution restores to the device either the original application or upgraded titles so users can stay engaged in their work.

User data and configuration 

Users customize their machines in most cases. They also save data needed in the future. The LANDESK solution gathers user settings and data after the user logs in, thus solving the encryption problem. This data is copied to the network in the background. Most users never notice when the operation takes place.

Organizations can determine what data they want backed up. Once the migration is complete, users can select what data they want restored.

KIOSK or multi-user devices 

Since user data is backed up when the user logs in, multi-user devices are supported.

LANDESK professional services 

LANDESK offers extensive experience performing large-scale migrations. Our engineers have designed a highly reliable and flexible migration process that can be customized to your organization’s needs.

The solution is not rigid. Changes can be made globally at any time or for specific groups. Our goal is to provide you a system that will handle your migration needs today and in the future.

Vendor integration 

The LANDESK solution can be integrated with most hardware vendors to allow many conveniences. For example, devices can be auto-provisioned in order to ship the machine directly to the end user rather than going through the IT department.

Restoration of user data to the device begins as soon as the user logs in. The applications used on their old device are also installed on the new device, restoring full functionality.

Picking the time to migrate 

Users generally want to work on newer operating systems, however, they worry about being able to perform their work without interruption. Allowing them flexibility in scheduling the migration buys goodwill. You can free them to choose when they want to migrate or schedule a time with the flexibility to postpone.

Nevertheless, as an IT department you can plan for the migration to take place at a designated time if the user has deferred the task too many times.

Restoring settings and data

Ultimately organizations own the devices and thus own the liability of what’s stored on them. In some cases, company devices can become encumbered with optional or banned content. For this reason, content such as music, movies, photographs, and even software titles can be prohibited from the back-up process.

After the migration takes place, users are able to selectively restore their content. In many cases, they may find old data that’s no longer needed.


Another advantage is that our solution is highly customizable without hampering scalability. Even geographically dispersed organizations can migrate hundreds of devices a day.

LANDESK Upgrade Services helps you establish a sustainable provisioning strategy that not only works in all the common scenarios, it saves you money.


10 Smart Reasons to Use LANDESK for Your OS Upgrade (Part 1 of 2)

GettyImages-587942672 (1)Instead of barely surviving an OS migration, wouldn’t it be nice to roll out that shiny new OS and a better IT environment at the same time? What if you could do all that and still keep migration costs relatively low?

To the average IT professional, that might sound too good to be true. But you’re not the average IT professional (hint: we only let above average IT professionals read this blog), so it doesn’t come as a surprise to you that LANDESK offers huge advantages when it comes to OS migration.

In this post, we’ll look at reasons one through five. Be sure to check out 10 Smart Reasons to Use LANDESK for Your OS Upgrade (Part 2 of 2) for reasons six through 10.

1. Your software license compliance remains intact after the upgrade

LANDESK creates a “Software License Mapping Matrix” for those programs that are standard among every single computer in your environment (MS Office, Adobe Acrobat Reader, etc.), as well as for “less standard” applications (Adobe Acrobat Professional). You don’t waste budget deploying software licenses to employees who didn’t need them in the first place.

Whether you’re upgrading an existing machine to Windows 7, 8, or 10 from XP, or refreshing hardware with Windows 7 or 8 on it—you need to migrate software licenses based on your mapped plan and your licensing capabilities.

2. Know your upgrade progress at any time

It’s a fair question: “What executive dashboards are available to show me the status of our migrations?”

The LANDESK SmartVue customizable dashboard application for tablets and smartphones provides IT departments and business executives a real-time view of what’s happening in the IT environment based on time and location. You can inform executives of migration progress against plan, e.g., how many machines are being migrated on average per business day, per week, or per month.

And with help from LANDESK Professional Services, you can forecast and display how much time remains in the migration process at the current pace, taking into account that migration success rates drop off dramatically for the remaining 20 percent of machines, typically due to some machines needing more attention or being temporarily unavailable (in storage, users on maternity or paternity leave, etc.).

3. Users have everything they need, including non-standard applications

The Software License Mapping Matrix mentioned earlier enables you to map out and preserve all the apps, packages, utilities, websites, favorites, virtualized apps, MED-V, Spoon, ThinApp, etc. that employees care about and that are critical to the business.

We’re able to detect the versions of those apps and then map where you want those located on the new machine. You can also leverage this ability as an opportunity for standardization, for example, migrating a particular application to the same version of the application or creating a new standard across the organization.

4. Security standards are maintained once you’ve upgraded

The LANDESK OS upgrade solution is not just an imaging component or a systems management tool. It’s a process-based approach that also includes LANDESK® Security Suite, the endpoint security component.

With it you can make sure that machines meet Microsoft Windows vulnerability patch baseline and that appropriate patches for Microsoft and third party apps, antivirus definitions, etc., are addressed to meet compliance standards such as PCI and HIPAA.

5. Users are provided with upgrade scheduling options

Users are less resistant to a migration when they know what’s coming and can have input into the scheduling of changes to their machine. If you’ve experienced a major OS migration previously, you might recall the frustration that arose when scheduling the migration with the end user.

Many times the IT resource would be dispatched to the end user’s desk to perform the migration, only to find that the user was not prepared or could not perform the migration. This type of miscommunication can totally derail the overall migration schedule and generate serious cost overruns and delays.

Using the LANDESK Process Manager web console, you define the policies that govern how the migration process will function in your environment. You can easily schedule the migration event, communicate with end users, and gain the needed approvals to safely move forward. If the end user needs to change the migration date, it’s not an issue. The process engine simply makes the change with no impact on IT resources.

In addition to managing the schedule, the process engine can communicate with the end user well in advance of the migration date. These communications serve as a mechanism to educate and guide the end user through the migration process. The communications can also be used to deliver special instructions or links to more advanced training designed to help the user through the transition. What’s more, because the LANDESK process engine manages the communications between the end user and the migration process, it’s possible to have the end user give the final go-ahead before the migration takes place. This method provides a clear audit trail that documents the notifications and approvals granted by the end user.

What’s more, because the LANDESK process engine manages the communications between the end user and the migration process, it’s possible to have the end user give the final go-ahead before the migration takes place. This method provides a clear audit trail that documents the notifications and approvals granted by the end user.

This seamless integration between LANDESK Process Manager and LANDESK Management Suite enables you to fully automate the migration process and transform an old XP machine into a new Windows 10 device with everything the user needs to perform their job function. But most importantly, you’re able to extend your existing IT resources and accomplish the migration process with minimal disruption and cost.

Check out 10 Smart Reasons to Use LANDESK for Your OS Upgrade (Part 2 of 2) for advantages six through 10.


10 Smart Reasons to Use LANDESK for Your OS Upgrade (Part 2 of 2)

GettyImages-524540663In our first post, 10 Smart Reasons to Use LANDESK for Your OS Upgrade (Part 1 of 2), we discussed the first five reasons to choose LANDESK for your OS migration.

This post looks at reasons six through 10.

6. Simplify your upgrade with fewer images

With LANDESK, there’s no need for multiple images to migrate machines of varying models or manufacturers. Hardware-independent imaging capabilities handle the two toughest pieces that cause “blue screens”— the hardware abstraction layer (HAL) and the mass storage driver—as well as all your plug-and-play drivers.

If you get either the HAL or the mass storage driver pieces in your imaging process wrong, that machine will blue screen, that migration will fail, and there will be associated downtime. And chances are if it happens to one machine it will happen to many. LANDESK takes care of these issues for you.

While problems with plug-and-play drivers don’t cause blue screens, items like appropriate monitor resolution or issues with printers, scanners, or trackpads hinder users from being as productive as they could be. Instead of having one image that contains all the drivers for all possible systems in the environment, LANDESK enables you to download only the drivers necessary for each machine, which could mean reducing the size of the image from 15 GB to 8 GB because in some instances 7 GB of image space is taken up by drivers only

7. You avoid excessive network utilization during upgrade

LANDESK Targeted Multicast™ and LANDESK Peer Download™ content delivery tools reduce bandwidth consumption and server resource usage, eliminating redundant traffic over your WAN and LAN links. Targeted Multicast technology makes it possible to distribute large packages to many users across the network with a minimum of network traffic. You can easily distribute software, even in those WAN environments with multiple hops and low connection speeds (56k).

Instead of sending a package across the wire for each device, only one transfer is made for each subnet. Bandwidth savings increase as the number of devices on each subnet increases. Peer Download is a Targeted Multicast option that forces targeted devices to install a package from a device’s local cache or from a peer on the same subnet to conserve network bandwidth.

8. Machines meet your new naming standards as part of the upgrade

A decision engine determines how a machine will look once it’s upgraded, and this also encompasses PC renaming. You have the opportunity to provide consistent naming standards, whether based on a company prefix, user name, site prefix, country prefix, machine prefix, or any other standard.

9. Make your hardware refresh as simple as any upgrade

It’s a common misconception that migration challenges are easily solved simply by purchasing new hardware with Windows 8/10 preinstalled. Of course, many users have aging machines and organizations have considered XP’s end-of-life as a business justification to replace hardware. But what about the company’s standard image or the software applications needed by the end user? In addition, what about the user data? How will that get on the new computer? End users won’t appreciate the new system if none of their profile or application settings have been migrated. And network and security teams will have the added burden of getting the users into the domain and ensuring that the devices are secure.

While the refresh process is a viable method for getting a new operating system, many of the same costs and resource demands still exist to support the end user. LANDESK provides the capability to accomplish all the migration tasks listed in the following table so that everything looks the way it should and you don’t end up with a mess.

10. All drivers are updated during your migration

With LANDESK, all drivers are up-to-date as part of the migration. Integration capabilities with Lenovo, HP, and other hardware brands ensure that BIOS, value-added software, ThinkVantage Technologies, HP battery monitoring, and other drivers supported and endorsed by the manufacturer, are kept up-to-date and installed in the first place.

Upgrading from Windows XP, 7, or 8 to Windows 10 can be a challenge, but LANDESK Upgrade Services addresses all the major obstacles. We can provide assistance in set-up and configuration as well as performing the actual migrations. Our project managers keep the upgrades running at a predictable pace, communicating with you every step of the way. You gain a long-term solution that enables you to keep your devices current.


4 Paths to Upgrading Your Old Operating System

GettyImages-153536281As an OS ages out of the update cycle, it becomes a big security concern. Patches eventually dry up, allowing new threats to seek out vulnerabilities. Face it, it’s time to upgrade. But these OS upgrades are NOT ‘one size fits all’.

With that in mind, here are four common scenarios for deploying new operating systems:

1. Migration of existing devices

In this first scenario, a user is running Windows XP. They need to be upgraded to a newer operating system with their data (user profile and files) preserved. They also need the new system to have the same application functionality.

You cannot upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, 8, or 10. In other words, you can’t run setup.exe to update the Windows files. The machine needs a clean install of the new OS.

2. Upgrade of existing devices

In this second example, we have a user running Windows 7 or 8 on a device that needs to be upgraded to Windows 10. For devices running Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, a direct upgrade is available. Since you’re upgrading the operating system in place, the data is left intact on the device.

3. New devices with data migration

This third scenario is a typical device replacement. A user is running Windows XP, 7, or 8 and is getting a new device. They need their data (user profile and files) moved to the new device. They also need their new device to have the same application functionality.

4. Devices without data migration

This last scenario is for a new employee. They have no previous device from which to migrate data and simply need a device provisioned.

The LANDESK migration solution works in all these instances. Whether you need your data migrated or just have an existing device to upgrade, our solution offers the IT department and the end user flexibility.

This really is just the tip of the iceberg. Click below to find out what else you need to do before migrating your system to Windows 10.


Five Ways to Modernize IT Service Management

GettyImages-604896666Five steps. That’s all it takes to modernize ITSM and give your users a better experience. We’ll introduce these concepts in this post and dive into more detail in future blogs.

1. Foster business relationships 

Shadow IT, the unbounded use of technologies in the workplace, is more disruptive on a broader scale now than in the past. If you’re not aware of users’ needs you won’t meet service expectations, and you run the risk of users looking for solutions elsewhere.

When they do, it exposes the organization to potential security breaches, data loss, and noncompliance of software licensing policy as well as creating issues of scalability and supportability.

The ITSM team must engage with business productivity teams to understand what users deem critical to their productivity and respond effectively, adding value to the business.

2. Offer exceptional user experiences 

Your business users are in the driver’s seat, and you must understand and meet the requirements and experiences they expect. In fact, according to a survey published by thinkhdi.com, the top reason why changes were made in support centers was to provide a better customer experience.

Delivering exceptional experiences through the right channels requires a modern approach. One of those significant points of modernization is your self-service portal—the “face of ITSM”—its design, implementation, adoption, and measurement.

3. Adopt automation 

Automating key IT and business processes enables IT service managers to eliminate time spent on manual tasks when service management teams are required to cope with increased demands on a limited headcount while serving business users who won’t tolerate failure.

For service managers who must cope with increased demands, such as digital business requirements, automation is a strategic enabler. As well as eliminating the time spent on manual tasks, automating key IT and business processes in a phased approach that satisfies business users who don’t tolerate failure will reduce manual errors.

4. Demonstrate business value 

Traditional IT performance and team productivity reporting has its place, but alone doesn’t reveal how IT assists the business or business users and how IT can offer insights to drive future strategy.

Modern ITSM requires modernized reporting that supports a CIO’s ability to show the value IT brings to the business. It’s time to embrace a value-based reporting approach that ties IT performance and measurement to the business outcomes and financial impacts your C-Level executives are measuring. Business value dashboards offer the rolled-up single view you can provide your CIO.

5. Support enterprise agility 

To take advantage of the digital era, enterprises now realize they must offer strategic responses faster and to execute effectively. This demands pervasive agility across the enterprise. ITSM teams are already focused on improving or building consistent, repeatable processes that reduce time to action and improve productivity.

Initiatives that prove impactful within ITSM can extend to the delivery and management of business services beyond the realms of IT. Service management teams become a consultative role model for the enterprise, and your integrated, process-driven ITSM system enables the agility that supports business strategy.

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10 Reasons Why You Should Use LANDESK for Windows 10 Migration

GettyImages-613054782Most organizations are running a variety of versions of Microsoft Windows. Whether you still have devices on Windows XP or are on the latest version of Windows 8.1, there is an upgrade available to you.

Windows 10’s release in 2015 keeps everyone thinking about provisioning new operating systems. Organizations frequently make operating system decisions based on how much pain they can handle rather than on the benefits gained by the latest version.

LANDESK’s OS provisioning solution handles all the common migration scenarios. From updating existing devices to the purchase of new devices, LANDESK can upgrade your OS, restore user data AND ensure all the productivity applications are reinstalled.

In case you need any additional convincing, here are ten solid reasons why you should LANDESK to help with your OS migration:

1. Your software license compliance remains intact after migration.

LANDESK creates a software license mapping matrix so you don’t waste time and money deploying software licenses to employees who didn’t need them in the first place.

2. Know your migration process at any time.

Executives love this. LANDESK SmartVue dashboards and reports give you up to the minute information on the migration process, e.g. the number of machines migrated that day, week, or month, as well as how much time remains at the current pace, and more.

3. Ensure you users have everything they need, including non-standard applications.

LANDESK preserves all tools employees care about and that are critical to the business like apps, packages, utilities, websites, favorites, virtualized apps, MED-V, Spoon, ThinApp, etc.

4. Maintain your security standards once you’ve migrated.

Machines meet PCI, HIPAA, and other compliance standards for sensitive information. Our process-based approach addresses patches for Microsoft and third-party apps, antivirus definitions, etc.

5. Provide users with migration scheduling options.

Automate communication with users so they know what’s coming and can have input into the scheduling of changes to their machine.

6. Simplify your migration with fewer images.

No need for multiple images to migrate machines of varying models or manufacturers thanks to hardware-independent imaging.

7. Avoid excessive network utilization during migration.

Our Targeted Multicast and Peer Download content delivery tools reduce bandwidth consumption and server resource usage, eliminating redundant traffic over you WAN links and LAN links.

8. Machines meet your new naming standards as part of the migration.

A decision engine provides the opportunity to create consistent naming standards whether based on a company prefix, user name, site prefix, country prefix, machine prefix, etc.

9. Make your hardware refresh as simple as any migration.

When you refresh hardware you still need to handle profile captures, apps, AV revisions, installation and validation. LANDESK addresses all of these areas and more.

10. Update all drivers as part of your migration.

Integration and capabilities with Lenovo, HP, and other hardware ensures that BIOS, value-added software, ThinkVantage Technologies, HP battery monitoring, and other drivers are kept up-to-date and installed in the first place.