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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 $50. 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.

Total User Management is not Only Easier to Use, But More User-Focused

Ever been frustrated at a random reboot?

Ever been frustrated at a random reboot?

In my last post, I introduced you the latest version of Total User Management, and gave you an overview of just some of its new improved features. For this article, I was hoping to drill down a little bit further and offer more insight into how Total User Management is not only easier to use, but more user-focused.

I think we’ve all been there, IT specialist and lay person alike. You’re right in the middle of something important—usually time sensitive in nature—when your machine decides it wants to reboot and patch right in the middle of everything. Now, let me give you a better idea of just how archaic this really is with an analogy. Continue reading

We’re Listening – Total User Management Focuses on Simplicity, Scalablity, Security

Have you ever put yourself in a developers shoes and asked yourself, “How would I improve this product if I had the chance?” Well we have. That’s the exact reason we asked our Product Advisory Committee what they would do to improve our product. And you know what the crazy part is? We listened and they really noticed in this latest release of LANDESK systems and security management products. The result is a product we are thrilled to release. Total User Management with 9.6 enhancements is now easier to use, more scalable for enterprise and it’s focused on the user.

  • Easy to use- Who doesn’t want an easier to use product? But when we say that it’s easier to use, we’re also talking about decreasing the time it takes for you to manage all of your systems. For example, to create a provisioning template takes seven steps instead of 110. I don’t know about you but I think it’s easier to climb seven steps instead of seven stories. 9.6 allows you to save time by identifying which patches are most important to your organization and enabling you to implement them quickly.
  • Built for enterprise- The fact is, the faster you can react to a threat, or patch your machines, the less likely you are to be compromised; it’s as simple as that. Think of the Starship Enterprise. What happens if the shields are slow to come up? They die! This brings us to the enterprise (not the starship). Scalability is always an issue when it comes to managing thousands of machines. Software distribution and patching has taken a quantum leap in speed. You choose which packages to distribute and when and then it’s done in minutes to an hour versus several hours. The speed of the accelerated push technology is like flying a Piper Cub single prop airplane and then jumping into an SR-71 Blackbird. The difference in speeds is breathtaking. Just sit back and experience the g-force!
  • Focused on the user- Self-updating agents is a major reason why 9.6 doesn’t get in the way of user’s. This could possibly be the last agent you will ever install! By A user and his devices monitoring and enabling you to schedule when reboots occur, 9.6 stays out of the way of user efficiency. This means less headache for you (via end-user complaints) and more productivity for employees. The system can be configured to leverage when the user is usually not very active, or is not using crucial programs, to determine when the best time to reboot will be. It’s the best of both worlds. Your systems stay up-to-date and secure, while employees don’t have any reason to curse IT. There’s also a new user portal that works across all devises and patches can now be activated on a self-service basis from the portal.

Some would think we made these improvements in order to attract new customers or remain ahead of the curve. That’s true, but a big reason we made these improvements was to make our customer’s lives easier. We did it because we truly understand what tools make an organization that much more efficient.

Total User Management 9.6 is coming July 22, 2014! Stay tuned for more in our series on all the helpful tricks and additions that will be available soon.

Watch This: Winnning the Race by Improving IT

Can IT keep pace?

Can IT keep pace?

Welcome to an interactive blog! That’s right, this time, if you are reading this, you are going to have to put a little effort in. Not much, just a bit.

Here’s how it works. I’d like to write about a video I’ve been showing recently. However, what I write won’t make any sense, unless you’ve seen the video.

So… You need to watch it. It’s only about two minutes long, and shows an Indianapolis 500 racing car pit stop in 1950. Then it shows a Formula One racing car pit stop in 2013.

Take a look now by clicking HERE, watch it, then come back to carry on reading. Continue reading

Is it Time for IT to Do an Uber?

A typical black cab in London

A typical black cab in London

What excitement in the UK. This week London taxi drivers ‘caused gridlock’ when they protested en masse against… what? Take a guess? Was it the situation in the Ukraine? Syria? World Cup rules? The price of doughnuts?

Nope. It was a protest against the mobile app Uber. Now, I’m going to pretty much assume that anyone reading a LANDESK Blog is going to be relatively tech-savvy. At least to the point where you probably know that Uber is an app that can be used to bring a local mini-cab to your mobile location to pick you up for a pre-agreed rate, and payment is electronic so no cash is needed. So I won’t explain all that. Continue reading

LANDESK Announces Leading 2013 Partners of the Year at Interchange

Steve Daly and Reza Parsia Announces the Americas Partners of the Year

Steve Daly and Reza Parsia Announces the 2013 Americas Partners of the Year

We announced our selections for the 2013 Partners of the Year at our Interchange conference on May 19, 2014. The awards were given to top-performing partners in the Americas that played a significant role in LANDESK’s success in 2013.

Interchange is our annual gathering of LANDESK customers and partners designed to facilitate an information exchange between LANDESK employees and the people and organizations using its software. It is a fun way for us to showcase up-and-coming technology, share the latest and greatest product information, insights and tips, facilitate technical training, and allow the company to gain insight into customers’ needs.

“These awards are a great way to recognize our fantastic partners for the services they provide that make our success possible,” said Reza Parsia, director of the North America channel at LANDESK, “The awards go to the best of the best and we hope it inspires others to achieve the same success. The way that these companies and individuals have excelled deserves to be acknowledged.”

Americas Partner of the Year - CDW

Americas Partner of the Year – CDW

This year, 12 awards were given out; nine of these honoring a specific company for a core competency. The remaining three were awarded to individuals for outstanding service.

The winners are as follows:

Americas Partner of the Year: CDW
APAC Partner of the Year: SCSK
Americas Alliance Partner of the Year: Lenovo
Latin America Partner of the Year: Exite
Americas NSP Partner of the Year: SHI
Americas ESP Partner of the Year: Pangea Systems
New Partner of the Year: TSPi
Americas MSP Partner of the Year: Allied Digital
Americas Service Partner of the Year: Pangea Systems
Sales Engineer of the Year: Chris Mack, Renner Brown
Deployment Engineer of the Year: Tom Farrugia, Pangea Systems
Partner Sales Rep of the Year: Lino Felise, Technology Solutions Provider, Inc (TSPi)

LANDESK and our community of partners have helped thousands of customers around the world architect, implement and optimize IT systems lifecycle management solutions. For more information on our partners and program, please visit http://www.landesk.com/partners/

LANDESK Acquires LetMobile

Following our incredible momentum from 2013, I am excited to announce that this morning LANDESK Software announced it has acquired secure mobile gateway provider LetMobile.

We are excited to welcome the LetMobile team and their innovative technology to the LANDESK family as we continue to deliver on our vision of user-oriented IT. As you will see over time, this integration makes a lot of sense because LetMobile has a similar approach to LANDESK, one where the end user is front and center. Continue reading