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New Approach to PC Configuration From ManageSoft

2005-06-16 - Boston, Mass., USA: ManageSoft, a company which specialises in providing solutions to manage enterprise deployments of client software, has announced the availability of "ManageSoft Refresh," the industry's first intelligent, zero-touch solution for refreshing, transforming, and migrating enterprise PCs.

With many enterprises retiring or updating a significant portion of their PC fleet each year, IT professionals face a continuous cycle of low-value, labor-intensive manual work to procure, configure, and deploy hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of computers annually. ManageSoft say that the Refresh solution radically streamlines the hardware replacement and software upgrade cycle through a structured, automated, zero-touch process that ensures users have the proper role-specific software installed and configured and that each computer conforms to approved corporate standards for license and security compliance.

Users can initiate self-service orders through a portal for a new or replacement PC. ManageSoft scans the user's current PC and uses a dynamic rules engine to assess the user's role, currently installed software, desired configuration, and required security settings. When the new built-to-order PC arrives, ManageSoft automatically installs the appropriate application software and migrates the end-user data and personal settings (the PC's "user personality") to the new machine.

ManageSoft Refresh is aimed at enterprise IT teams that must:
* Refresh - Retire or replace an in-service PC with a brand-new machine that is properly configured and that contains previous user data and settings;
* Transform - Re-configure an existing PC to bring it into compliance with new or revised definitions of standard operating environments.
* Migrate - Move to a newer version of the Windows operating system for an existing PC that will remain in service. ManageSoft Refresh preserves all data and settings while replacing the PC's operating system.

"Companies today are reporting that manual processes for ordering and loading software are driving up IT procurement processes by as much as 20 percent," said Walter Elliot, chief executive officer of ManageSoft. "With ManageSoft Refresh, enterprises can cost-effectively and automatically deploy build-to-order PCs that adhere to corporate standards while significantly reducing procurement costs and IT-deployment overhead. What's more, ManageSoft Refresh also positions IT to leverage ManageSoft's additional software management features such as IT business intelligence and security-patch management - or integrate with Tivoli, Microsoft SMS, or other third-party infrastructure."

Beyond procurement, it's a similar story in lifetime TCO and manageability. As budgets continue to tighten, companies are continually seeking new ways to derive greater value from their IT dollars - including extensions of the typical useful life of PCs beyond the customary three-year cycle. However, according to Forrester Research, the absence of structured refresh policies carries significant hidden cost. "Companies that move to a longer refresh cycle and do not adapt their desktop management policies accordingly will see overall PC support and management costs increase by 20 to 30 percent in years four and five," noted Simon Yates, senior analyst for Forrester.

At Trifusion, a Dell Computer service partner that configures thousands of PCs a week, ManageSoft Refresh is demonstrating significant value. "ManageSoft Refresh replaces a costly and time-consuming manual process by enabling us to dynamically install software to defined specifications for thousands of customized computers to meet our customers' demands," said Corey Bell, chief executive officer of Trifusion. "We rapidly achieved dramatic reductions in the workload and cost of customizing software installations for each individual PC."

ManageSoft Refresh supports a wide variety of desktop computing platforms, including Microsoft Windows XP (Professional or Home Edition), Windows 2000, Windows 9x, Windows Me, Windows NT 4, Red Hat Linux, SUSE Linux, HP-UX, Solaris, and Macintosh OSX. The product is available immediately from ManageSoft and its distributors and authorized resellers. Pricing begins at $50/seat, with significant volume discounts available.

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