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Is BYOD Going to Die by Lawsuit?

phpv1m6XYAMBring Your Own Device (BYOD) has been a hot topic in tech media and IT discussions since the introduction of the original iPhone. A recent court ruling in California poses a serious limitation to BYOD’s future success. The California Court of Appeal ruled the following in Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service:

“We hold that when employees must use their personal cellphones for work-related calls, Labor Code section 2802 requires the employer to reimburse them. Whether the employees have cellphone plans with unlimited minutes or limited minutes, the reimbursement owed is a reasonable percentage of their cellphone bills.” Continue reading

A Pioneering Spirit at Christopher Newport University

ShipChristopher Newport (1561–1617) was an English seaman and privateer. He is best known as the captain of the Susan Constant, the largest of three ships which carried settlers for the Virginia Company in 1607. These settlers established  what is now know as Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, becoming the first permanent English Settlement in North America. 400 years later, Chris Newport’s pioneering legacy lives on at his school: Christopher Newport University.

Stephan Campbell is the Chief Information Officer at Christopher Newport University. Like all IT professionals and pioneers, Campbell and his team faced challenges. And while their challenges weren’t swampy terrain, lack of fresh drinking water and game, or mosquitoes, like their predecessors, they still faced them nonetheless, including tracking inventory and assets. They believed they were losing thousands of dollars in physical and soft assets each year.

CNU is pioneering the use of service desk to track assets. “[LANDESK] Service Desk delivers all the help desk functions we need and much more,” said Campbell. “It integrates business processes into our service management infrastructure, and provides an interface for software licensing, change management, financial management and all of our other management needs.” Learn more from Stephen and the pioneering spirit at Christopher Newport University here [link to story].

 


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Newport

The Bunker Builds Bulletproof IT with LANDESK

 

Bulletproof IT

Bulletproof IT

Earlier this month we announced that Ultra-Secure Managed Services Provider, The Bunker, invested in our LANDESK Service Desk to meet customer Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and help end-users become more autonomous.

The Bunker is located within ex-military nuclear bomb-proof fortresses and provides Ultra-Secure hosting for government, healthcare and financial services. Due to the nature of these sectors, there is a high expectation from customers for suppliers to offer high levels of customer service.  To meet these expectations, The Bunker needed a solution that made IT simpler by empowering users to monitor and manage their own IT, so that they could perform well against customer SLAs. In other words, they needed a bulletproof IT solution.

By working with LANDESK, The Bunker can alleviate the pressure on the service desk team by putting users at the heart of their own IT by requesting new hardware, software and/or services through the Service Desk Portal. As a result, they can benefit from a rise in employee productivity, whilst keeping customers happy.

It’s great that The Bunker has taken a proactive approach to user-oriented IT so that they can maintain good relationships with their customers by performing well against targets. We’re excited to see the journey between The Bunker and LANDESK continue beyond Service Desk in future.

 

Ten reasons to consider LANDESK Managed Services

Top10In the old days, 15 years ago, organizations tried to be self-sufficient. Some even had staff for taking care of the lawns and manning the cafeteria. Now companies outsource that type of stuff. IT departments are no different. They had their own datacenters, phone infrastructures, and every software solution had its own team. Don’t be offended if you still have staff performing some of these functions—well, maybe not the lawns. It may be time to consider strategic outsourcing. As my teenage boy told me as he tried to get me to jump off a cliff at Lake Powell—do it and your cool!

There are a lot of reasons things have changed. High speed Internet is #1. It’s allowed companies to let their employees work from home and it can allow you to outsource your LANDESK administration.

How do you know if outsourcing your LANDESK solutions is right for you? Let’s start by looking at some common scenarios.

1. You lost your LANDESK administrator

Has your administrator been called up for military duty? Maybe they retired, went on extended sick leave or simply took a new job.

2. It is difficult to find experienced engineers in your area

I haven’t checked, but it’s possible that they are not any level 3 LANDESK administrators in Williston, North Dakota.

3.You are a new customer and need immediate impact (RIO) and don’t have time to ramp-up staff

LANDESK products solve big problems like security and compliance. Both of these need to be addressed quickly. Most of our customers engage our professional services teams to get setup and configured while their IT staff gets trained on administration. We frequently see customers in a rush to get our solutions running so they can enjoy the benefits. Leveraging managed services for the short term is an option.

4. You have budget but are restricted from hiring additional employees

In acquiring additional staff, having investment funds is only half the battle. There are many reasons why organizations are hesitant to add full time employees. There are other options.

5. Your staff is needed for other key projects only they can perform

You know your staff and their strengths. You also have projects you need them working on. How often do you put projects on hold because your employees too busy to get to them? You may not be able to outsource your project but you can outsource your LANDESK administration.

6. Your need is not big enough for a full headcount

Every LANDESK solution doesn’t require a full time headcount to be managed. Have you ever tried to hire two-thirds of a person? It’s messy! I’ll never do that again. LANDESK has the staff to provide you 1/3, 2/3’s or 7/8’s of a headcount. We will charge you for just want is needed for your success.

7. Your organization does not have the processes in place for managing devices

Most organizations leverage LANDESK for installation and configuration of their solutions. Maybe you want to take that a bit further and have us get the processes and best practices in place before deciding to do it yourself.

8. You need someone to manage long term projects such as: patching, OS deployment or software distribution

 

There is no substitute for experience. You may have great staff that just doesn’t have experience is a certain area. You can send them to training and be patient while they get up to speed. You can also leverage LANDESK to help.

9. Your company is outsourcing so internal staff can focus on core competencies

Each organization has different needs and priorities. Maybe you think email needs to be managed internally. Maybe you think your LANDESK solution can be managed by LANDESK.

10. You would like service level agreements on your IT solutions

Everyone likes a guarantee. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Our statements of work specify what we will provide and that’s what you can expect.

Feel free to come up with your own reason to use LANDESK Managed Services. Feel free to share your thoughts with me. jerry@landesk.com

Vegas or Bust: Tackling Resource Constraints

What do you have more of? Time or money?

What do you have more of? Time or money?

In years past, I was considering a major home improvement project. While debating the pro and cons of each approach to the project, the discussion centered around how much to do myself and how much would it cost. During these discussions, one of my friends made the statement,  “Which do you have more of, time or money?” Just like the home improvement project, IT projects have the same resource constraints, time and money. It seems that we can always find one but its tough to find both.

With 80% of IT budget being used for KTLO (keeping the lights on), and reduced headcounts, IT is facing the same constraints of time and budget. As an IT organization, we have to determine what we have least of. We have now identified the biggest resource constraints. After we have identified where we are constrained, we then have to have a strategy to resolve this.

In personal finance there are a number of theories and people who pitch them. We have Smallest Payment First Debt Snowball Method (aka The Dave Ramsey Debt Payoff Method) or we can use leverage to grow wealth. Both of these strategies work and both have limitations. The first step is to pick a strategy and to use continuous processes to improve our implementation of that strategy. In IT, we have the same challenges and we need to pick a strategy. We know that there are constraints so does the strategy align and work with in these constraints.

If we are going with the snowball method, we should identify which resource is most constrained, (time or money) and then identify some low hanging fruit. Even if the gains are small, they can then be applied to help remove the next constraint snowballing the effect. If we find that time (number of man hours) is the biggest constraint then we need to identify what can be automated, what can be moved to a self-service, and even outsourced. As we identify these items, we will have a tendency to just want to go after the biggest gain first. But its like paying off a mortgage, most of the time, its more than we can accomplish in a reasonable time frame and we end up getting frustrated. But if we can identify small debts that can be paid off (automated, moved to self-service, outsourced or just removed from support) then we get a larger pool of resources to tackle the next debt.

Well its time to pick a strategy. Will you leverage up? Borrow some time (usually working overtime) and spend all the budget on a new project that will return huge? Or will you look for constraints, pay off a small debts and reinvest in paying down more debts until you have a rich portfolio of time and money?

As we planned, worked on and then released LDMS 9.6, we continually discussed was what we could implement that would ensure that customers have a greater return on their investment, in both time and budget.  I am excited about this release and the features that enable us to save time and money.

Well I am off to Las Vegas, to invest in the latest high return scheme. I am sure that it will pay of this time! Chime in on your strategy, what’s working? What’s not?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Your Kicks From 9.6: Total User Management Social Media Contest

Soapstone external photo You may have already seen some of the fun we’ve been having here at LANDESK, as we host a social media contest for our employees in order to celebrate the launch of Total User Management 9.6. In fact, as this is being typed, employees around the office are scavenging every nook and cranny of the office, trying to find clues that lead to riches beyond their wildest dreams… well, if those riches constitute awesome gift cards and gift baskets. But why are we telling you this? Certainly not just to rub it in. We are telling you this because we saved the best part of our contest for you.

We want you to celebrate with us, and in the meantime, possibly make yourself a little better off in the world for participating. We saved the best prizes for you guys. I would love to tell you what they are, but you are just going to have to stay tuned and see for yourself as we begin our contest next week. Watch your emails’ and LANDESK’s social media channels for details on what is coming your way.

I can, however, tell you that the contest will be similar to how are employees are participating currently. There will be two ways to win:

  • Win It- In this competition we will send out instructions on how to participate via email and social. Then, you register your social media handle with us so we can track your participation. Next, send out the image or message we ask you to share and you will immediately be entered into a daily drawing for gift cards, and to win the grand prize at the end of the contest. Your name will be place in the drawing once for every day you participate, so stay on top of it in order to maximize your chances.
  • Earn It- This competition takes action. In order to win this contest, you’ll have to create content in to win points. As you complete the social media activities we give you on a daily basis, we will give you a point amount assigned to that activity. At the end of it all, the person with the most points will walk away with the grand prize. Don’t be discouraged if you miss a day though, different day’s activities can be worth substantially different points, so hang in there.

We hope you will join along in celebrating the launch of Total User Management 9.6 (available July 22), which is easier to use, optimized for enterprise and more user-focused. Stay tuned for more details and good luck!

Superheroes, Starships and a Button Marked Easy: The Total User Management Competition for Inter-Office Supremacy

Enterprise and LANDESK go hand-in-hand.

Enterprise and LANDESK go hand-in-hand.

Confused by the headline of this article? If you worked at LANDESK, those three things would make perfect sense to you. If they don’t, it’s because you either haven’t been participating in our launch game for the release of LANDESK Management Suite and Security Suite 9.6 (available today, July 22, 2014),  or you don’t work here. In either case, let me bring you up to speed.

In the spirit of friendly competition, and to help people learn what enhancements LANDESK 9.6 adds to our Total User Management solution we decided to invite employees to participate in a veritable Coliseum of inter-office games. Pitting employee against employee in a game that would test their wills’, and push them to the brink… Ok so it’s a social media and scavenger hunt game, but it has been competitive nonetheless.

3 ways to win

So let me explain how this competition is currently taking place and shaping up. There are three ways to win: Win It, Earn It and Find It, which align nicely with our three themes for LANDESK 9.6 — Easy to use, Enterprise-enabled, and User-focused.

  • Win It is the easiest. Every day, we post a link to a blog or something to tweet. Those who take the time to retweet the link enter themselves in a drawing for a daily prize worth up to $25. We choose a winner every day, and that is about as simple as life gets. Much like the simplicity that the latest version of Total User Management with LANDESK 9.6 offers, but not half as rewarding. The grand prize drawing is worth $400.
  • Next is Earn It. This contest is where the competition heats up. Participants must retweet, create content and post individual comments in order to earn points toward a $500 gift certificate. Currently, we have people from across the globe participating. The race is close, and even if one started the competition today, they still have a fighting chance at winning a $100 gift certificate, as long as they accumulate over 50 points.
  • Finally, we have the Find It option. Now, this competition is only occurring in our Salt Lake office, because it’s a hands on scavenger hunt where participants receive clues from an app called Aurasma (if you haven’t checked it out yet, you should). In order to gain a head start, employees must tweet out a picture of objects they have found using the clues from the app. Every picture tweeted is worth a two minute head start for the final scavenger hunt. The winner of the final scavenger hunt will receive a gift basket with a variety of gift cards, worth up to $600.

How’s it going?

Currently the competition is fierce and very close. But if you are an employee, don’t dismay. There is still plenty of time to enter and at least give yourself the opportunity to win one of the drawings. We have already drawn three lucky Win It winners. There is still the opportunity in two more drawings, as well as the drawing for the $100 dollar gift certificate if you earn over 50 points. And there’s still time to gain important time advantages in the scavenger hunt.

What about me? 

Now, I know what you’re thinking if you aren’t a LANDESK employee. You’re probably saying to yourself, “Man that would be fun to win some prizes, I wish I worked there!” Well you’re in luck my friend. We will be hosting similar contests for our customers and partners beginning within the week, so stay tuned for emails and social media posts about the games. We’ve saved the best prizes for our customers and partners, so you can get excited about LANDESK 9.6 too! We look forward to playing these social games with you.

What does LANDESK 9.6 and the Starship Enterprise have in common?

No, it doesn’t have anything to do with wiping out Romulans or Klingons! It does, in fact, have to do with the speed of LANDESK Management Suite 9.6. The Starship Enterprise (1701-D) in the Next Generation, had a normal maximum operating warp speed of warp 9.6. Coincidental? Maybe. It could go a little faster if you pushed the warp core.

Each new version of the Enterprise came with an astounding change in speed and range.

In the original Star Trek Scotty had to contend with warp 5.2  and so the infamous words “I’m giving it all she’s got Captain!” were heard

In the original Star Trek, Scotty had to contend with warp 5.2 “I’m giving it all she’s got Captain!”

LANDESK 9.6 also comes with greater speed to manage the end-users. Take for instance software distribution and patching. You can now distribute applications, operating systems and patches more than 20x faster. This means if you have a critical patch to get out to everyone, the window for how long the organization is vulnerable is much smaller when it takes only minutes to distribute a patch across an entire enterprise, instead of a few hours. It’s faster and more efficient too, generating even less traffic on the business network. That type of speed and efficiency can keep your shields up and at full strength to keep your business safe and productive.

Just like taking the Enterprise out of space dock for the first time, it’s your turn to try out the newest LANDESK 9.6. Take it for a test flight and feel what warp 9.6 is like. Coming July 22!

Move Over Grandma, Here Comes LANDESK 9.6

My grandmother lived in an amazing time in history. Through her lifetime she saw the emergence of cars, airplanes, spaceships and computers. By the end she was working on becoming a MS Word guru and adopting cell phones. It is just amazing to see how technology has progressed in her lifetime. Grandma and typewriter

Looking back through her life, I think of how she had to communicate with her five sisters and mother who lived across the country.  Since long distance phone calls were expensive, here are the steps of keeping up with the family back in the mid-twentieth century:

  1. Pre-write a letter with a pen and paper.
  2. Find the typewriter with the sticky “t” key.
  3. Load typewriter with 6 sheets of paper and 5 pieces of carbon paper. Both of these items were very scarce during WWII.
  4. Type with such force that it nearly breaks the typewriter to get through all 6 sheets of paper.
  5. Hope to goodness that you didn’t make a typo – no spellcheck.
  6. Find 6 envelopes and stamps and make a trip to the post office.

And presto, in a little over a week, her family would get a communication from her. Contrast this with taking out your smartphone, snapping a picture of your kids and sending it to your entire family in the blink of an eye.

What does this have to do with LANDESK 9.6? LANDESK (LD) has worked hard to make the process easier for IT folks. With each new version, managing systems is becoming more like our social media example and much less like my dear grandmother.

During Interchange 2014, we worked on what would be the best way to show the efficiencies gained in our new provisioning process in LD Management Suite 9.6. Our plan was to show a video of the existing product version to create a migration template and contrast that with Rex McMillan, our Product Manager, creating the same task live with the new version.

As with all best laid plans, ours went awry. Just like watching a racecar from the sidelines, Rex was so fast that we were unable to switch to his live machine quick enough to show him actually create the task. Take a look at these videos:

LANDESK Interchange Keynote on Creating Provisioning Templates

LANDESK – Old Way of Creating Provisioning Templates

Provisioning is an important task and one that IT administrators do on a regular basis as they onboard new employees, change out hardware or migrate to the latest Windows® version.  Streamlining this task makes it much more efficient for the IT admin to effectively repeat this process and even upgrade the user to the latest software titles in the process.

It worked out in the end. Rex was able to show how he considerably decreased the amount of time taken and increased efficiency in creating the completed task. With each new version, LANDESK is making life much easier for IT; it’s like upgrading your typewriter to a smartphone.

This is just one of the many new features coming in LANDESK 9.6 making its debut July 22, 2014!

Inventory Management and Patching Helps Spread Smiles

There’s nothing like a child’s smile and Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children’s) is making children smile by creating an environment where they can heal. For almost 50 years CHOC Children’s has stood as a distinguished non-profit children’s hospital, committed to providing the highest quality medical care to all children, no matter what their family’s financial capacity.

Replace Inefficient Tools, Manual Deployments and Improve Security

CHOC Children's Success StoryA few years ago, Tim Brooks, Director of Information Security, at CHOC Children’s wasn’t smiling because of the IT challenges CHOC Children’s was facing. CHOC Children’s IT Department was rolling out software by hand. Distributing software manually was the IT department’s most time-consuming task.  Secondly, facing inaccurate asset inventory, and dealing with unreliable patching.

Brooks and his team researched the leading vendors in the marketplace. He knew who the top players were so they did a proof of concept on several systems, installing them onsite and rating them with our own scoring system. Brooks needed a tool with a single console layout, detailed reporting, scalability and many other features set it apart from the other products. Find out here how Tim Brooks solved his IT challenges with automated management and accurate real-time inventory management and patching.