User-Based vs. Device-Based Pricing

With the increasing impact of BYOD on businesses, it makes sense to look at the difference between user-based and device-based pricing. Different sources such as studies from Cisco report that people are carrying around 3 devices each. Another statistic I recently saw reported that people in Great Britain are switching their focus from one device to another more than 20 times per hour. Wow! Talk about a little ADD. Who knows, it might even be worse in the Americas. Maybe ADD in technology parlance should stand for Added Device Disorder.

But what does this added device disorder do to your IT budget? If you’re currently licensing everything based on each device, the cost will skyrocket over the next few years. This short animated video talks more about the dilemmas you could be facing:


I thought I’d run a few hypothetical numbers about user-based pricing versus licensing based on devices. The savings are significant as you can see in the following simplified diagram graphic:

User based vs device based pricing

Again, I’m just running hypothetical numbers and you’d have to do additional analysis on your needs and how much BYOD growth is occurring in your company. However, before you make your next investment, check out the user-based pricing only available with our Total User Management or Secure User Management solutions. It may save you 30-50% over a three-year period just in licensing fees.

XP to Win 7/8 – Passive, Active or Proactive Migrations

Recently, I sat in a three-day conference with our Product Advisory Council with people from multiple levels of IT. A few of the customers in that Product Advisory Council are heavily involved in large migration projects from XP to Windows 7/8, so they were very interested in what we are doing with Provisioning and Software License Management for the purpose of migrating to the latest Windows offerings.

What are the options for Windows migrations? You really have three migration options: 1) Do very little or nothing and hope the problem goes away over time, 2) Get someone to help you do a one time migration, so you don’t expose your company to compliance and security risks, or 3) Use the migration to strategically fix multiple issues in IT where you have more than just a new OS at the end of the migration? This begs the question, if you Which direction will you take?could do either the second or the third option in the same amount of time, wouldn’t you opt for the third?

A little more detailed look at each option expose that the first option with tactics likes adoption by attrition, migrating manually over a long time-frame, or not migrating because of budgets constraints are not much of a strategy at all. The second option is worthwhile to help you plan and execute the migration, which would automate how you move all user data and profiles to a fresh image on your user’s machines — LANDESK can do this — but there would still be additional work after the initial migration. However, the third option is a way to look at additional IT concerns and solves them within the scope of your Windows migration project. Here’s what you would have after a LANDESK Windows 7/8 Smart Migration:

  • Enterprise hardware and software asset management toolset
  • Consolidate current server and licensing costs for…
    • Remote Control Tools
    • Software Deployment Tools
    • Imaging Tools
    • Patch Management Tools
    • Power Management Tools
    • Application Blacklisting Tools
  • New automated strategy around PC lifecycle
  • Toolset for Windows vNext migration

I guess it comes down to what you want – a destination or a standard you reach and stay in for a long time; like remaining on XP until beyond its end-of-life, or a way to move forward in IT and make the journey a little easier for the future.

Write the User-Oriented IT Constitution

Now that the BYOD revolution has changed the landscape of business productivity for nearly every organization as well as changed the expectations of users with their IT departments, it’s time to look at creating a user-oriented constitution for IT.

Recently United States celebrated Independence Day.  That’s the day when the people said they could govern ourselves better and were creating a new government.

LANDesk’s America’s Field Marketing Director came up with a related analogy for User-Oriented IT. He brought up the fact that when the iPhone and the iPad came out and users started bringing them to work, it was like the Declaration of Independence, with users stating that they could be productive without IT. In other words IT no longer controlled all the assets that made people productive at work.

After the American colonies won their independence, they were faced with the issue of banding together and becoming a nation or remaining independent states or colonies. It took a concerted effort by many delegates to create the US Constitution, which outlines the governing principles by which to “form a more perfect union” or government. It took four months to create the US Constitution, nearly a year for the states to ratify it and another year and a half to fully implement all three branches of the government. The question that has to be asked is this: In a governing sense did the Declaration of Independence provide freedom or did the Constitution, or is freedom created in the actions and responsibility of the everyday people?

IT faces similar questions. Now that the BYOD revolution has changed the landscape of business productivity for nearly every organization as well as changed the expectations of users with their IT departments, it’s time to look at creating a user-oriented constitution (read: strategy) for IT. It would include checks and balances between users and IT, where more responsibility and initiative is taken by the users, which would give them more choice and freedom. Meanwhile, IT could still have control and protect the data that’s the lifeblood of the organization.

This document is really your IT strategy and how you will adopt certain policies and processes to accommodate the revolution of BYOD. Making sure the user enjoys greater freedom and choice will ensure the strategic position of IT into the future as well as increase the overall productivity of nearly every user in your organization.

Here are seven characteristics of what a User-Oriented IT Constitution or Strategy should include:

  1. Establish productivity gains as goals of the constitution
  2. Align IT spend with business process and show what percentage of the IT investment will go toward increasing user productivity
  3. Identify governance, policy, and security guidelines
  4. Write it in such a way that it spells out the principles of governance more than the details of policy. Detailed policies could be included in an accompanying document.
  5. Provide clear guidance on who owns or is responsible for what in the user-oriented IT experience (e.g., the goals of a self-service model. What will IT provide and what experience and responsibility will the user have.)
  6. Make it easy to articulate the strategy to Business Leaders or involve them in its creation.
  7. Provide for the incremental evolution of IT that demonstrates how current IT operations and management will continue and co-exist with new methods

Once the strategy is in place, it needs to be accompanied by a straightforward action plan for delivering on User-Oriented IT—preferably in phases. You may want to consult with LANDesk professional services about developing the action along with your strategy. That way your IT department can continue to demonstrate your strategic position by empowering every user in your organization.

Much like the implementation of a new government after a revolution or maybe writing an amendment to a constitution so the government works better, this project takes some time and should be done in stages. After all, it took the United States roughly three years to create a new form of government and implement it. With today’s technology, you should be able to do it faster. However, see if you can outline your constitution/strategy and an action plan that details an 18-month to three-year implementation for user-oriented IT in your organization. If you do this, you’ll demonstrate to your organization how strategic IT really is and how much managed freedom you can provide to the entire organization.

SP1: Service Pack or Super Pack? You Decide.

This week LANDesk is releasing 9.5 SP1, which further strengthens LANDesk’s ability to deliver user management solutions like the Secure User Management Suite. This 9.5 SP1 release provides updates to improve reliability and also great new abilities related to user management, broad platform support, endpoint security and software lifecycle management.

This 9.5 SP1 release provides enhancements and updates to nearly every product and technology in the Secure User Management Suite, which includes:

  • LANDesk Management Suite
  • LANDesk Security Suite
  • LANDesk Data Analytics
  • LANDesk Mobility Manager

and add-on products like:

  • Cloud Services Appliance (Gateway)
  • Antivirus with Kaspersky Lab 10 Endpoint Integration

There are so many updates, we’re not sure if it should be called a Service Pack or a Super Pack. You decide…

For full details about 9.5 SP1, check out What’s New in 9.5 SP1.

User-Oriented IT Conversation In Red Rock Country

The LANDesk Management Suite and Security Suite release coming this summer was code named Balanced Rock. Here is a picture of our Product Management team and a few others standing under Balanced Rock in Arches National Park.

Sometimes we like to mix a little fun with our work at LANDesk. A few weeks a ago, our Product Management Team took their motor homes and camping trailers and headed to the red rock country of Moab for a few days. The goal was to plan out a future product releases that fit into our Secure User Management Solution.

What Does User-Oriented IT Mean to You?

During the planning session, we talked a lot about User-Oriented IT and the requirements this vision will drive in the next level of features in LANDesk’s Total User Management and Secure User Management Solutions. One exercise we went through asked the question of the team, “What does User-Oriented IT mean to you?” We mapped out different phrases and themes from this exercise and we got a pretty good idea of what Product Management thinks. I’d like to ask the same question of our Blog readers, “What does User-Oriented IT mean to you?” We’d really like you to be a part of this ongoing User-Oriented IT discussion.

Are Users More Tech-Savvy or Is Technology More User-Oriented?

Part of the conversation around User-Oriented IT within the industry is that the new generation of workers is more tech-savvy than those of past generations. That notion perplexes me a bit. After we returned from a hike to Corona Arch (made famous with World’s Largest Rope Swing on YouTube), I put the question out to our Product Management team “Are users more tech savvy or has technology become more user-oriented?”

There were heavy arguments on both sides of this conversation. Someone pointed out that young people seem to know how to pick up anything and get how it works. Another countered that the technology is getting to the point where anyone can pick up a device and get how it works.  I think it was our User Experience guy that said it was a convergence of both. Think of the Smartphones and tablets today, a child or an older person who doesn’t use computers can pick them up and easily get how to interact with the technology. Another point made was to take a look at how teenagers are often the power users and utilize so many different social apps in order to communicate. In fact, there seems to be a constant shift and evolution in what apps are popular. So I again invite you to comment, “Do you think the next generation of workers is more tech-savvy or is the technology is getting more user-oriented?”

Does User-Oriented IT Mean a Shift in Power or Balance?

Finally, some within the Product Management group thought that User-Oriented IT is an example of the pendulum swinging a little too far over to the user and that there are plenty of things IT does that don’t really impact the user directly. I was quick to point out that within our User-Oriented IT story that isn’t the case. We realize there is a balance between user choice and freedom with IT control. There is a balance of what IT does for the infrastructure and delivery of business critical projects and giving users an experience where they can trouble-shoot, solve, and request services they need. So I offer you the following questions: Does User-Oriented IT give you the impression that the user gets more of the power or that there is a balance? How do you see User-Oriented IT playing out in your organization?

In the end, our Product Management team did a lot of planning, made important decisions about new features and defined much of what will be coming within the next couple Secure User Management releases. However, the conversation continues and we still want your input, so please comment on the following three questions we were debating in the Red Rock canyons of Moab:

  1. What does User-Oriented IT mean to you?
  2. Are users more tech-savvy or is technology becoming more user-oriented?
  3. Do you think User-Oriented IT takes power away from IT or strikes a balance between the user and IT?

3 Things to Look for in a User-Oriented IT Solution

User-Oriented IT is more that handling the challenges of BYOD, it’s using the BYOD challenge to drive your IT operations and service organizations into a better model for achieving higher service levels and user satisfaction—a better model for maximizing user productivity and simplifying IT operations.

Oriented IT is a vision for providing all services, support, and resources people need — anywhere on any device. There are at least three things to look for in a User-Oriented IT solution. Each area addresses a different need within the IT organization. These three areas include:

  1. User-Oriented Management
  2. User-Oriented Licensing
  3. User-Oriented Freedom balanced with IT Control

The first, User-Oriented Management, refers to being able to look at a user within the management system and instantly know all the devices, applications, and resources assigned to that user Is it easy for you to click on a user object in your management system and see whether they have an Android or iOS device? Do you know what system it is running and then from the same object, see what laptop they have, what software they’re running and whether or not that software is in compliance? The benefit of User-Oriented Management is reducing the amount of time to solve problems and increasing the user productivity. This is especially helpful to the IT Administrators in their day-to-day activities.

User-Oriented Licensing, the second area, refers to future-proofing IT budgets. Buying fully integrated management solutions isn’t easy when they are based on the number of devices because it’s difficult to know how many devices users will bring into your work environment.  With User-Oriented licensing, you just have one SKU and that covers the user no matter how many devices they personally carry. That way the only thing that will increase your license count is if your business is growing and you’re adding additional users, which is a good problem to have. IT Directors and CIOs will appreciate the simplicity and the predictability of User-Oriented Licensing as they create the budgets each year for their organizations.

Finally, User-Oriented Freedom with IT Control means striking the right balance between allowing users to have whatever device, application, or service they need, while maintaining the integrity of IT resources and data. IT control also means leveraging better endpoint security, security compliance, power consumption, hardware optimization and consistency, licensing compliance, and change and release management. These added levels of control build greater trust in the overall IT organization.

User-Oriented IT is more that handling the challenges of BYOD, it’s using the BYOD challenge to drive your IT operations and service organizations into a better model for achieving higher service levels and user satisfaction—a better model for maximizing user productivity and simplifying IT operations.

Anemic or Robust Data

Would you rather have robust or anemic data before you make a decision?

I don’t know about you, but I feel more confident about decisions that are based upon data—especially when I know that the data is robust and not just information that comes from one source. And that confidence just makes everything flow better and faster, because I’m not second-guessing my decisions and neither is anyone else.

The same is true with data about your IT systems. If you only rely on scans of what’s out in your environment, then you only have one point of reference to your assets. Sure you might know what’s out in your network, but you don’t know how it got there, when it came into your network, how much you paid for the asset, how much it’s costing you to use that asset, what the licenses related to software are, and more.

If you want to be proactive with getting the best and most robust data out there, you need to gather information from all the resources you can. For instance, when you buy a new asset—let’s say one hundred new license of software—how are you able to track who gets the software and the effective license for that software? If you don’t have something like Software License Management and Data Analytics, then the road to getting the information you need will be rough and hard to follow. Data Analytics will not only track the software for you, but it will enter all the information from the vendor about the software.

The same would be true of a new hardware asset, like a printer. Data Analytics can connect via Cloud Aggregators to pull information from the manufacturer about the warranty information, so you know when warranties expire.  Plus you would be able to connect to data that gives you greater descriptions, and data about the lifecycle of the product, such as the number of pages printed. Once all the data is gathered, at the time you purchase the asset, you are ready to put the asset into service and begin the lifecycle with robust, strong data that will help you report and monitor assets along the asset lifecycle.

So I’ll put the question to you, would you rather have simple data gathered through a scan, or more robust data that comes from multiple resources in the cloud such as vendors, manufacturers and resellers? Knowing is half the battle and Data Analytics is something you should look into.

Where We’ve Been, and Where We’re Headed

I looked at my itinerary and realized that I couldn’t remember what day it was, what city I had just come from, where I was at the moment, or where I was going. I had to stop and take a deep breath, relax, and then try to remember the last place I’d been.

One day, early in my career, I stood in an airport looking to catch a connecting flight. People were rushing all around me. I looked at my itinerary and realized that I couldn’t remember what day it was, what city I had just come from, where I was at the moment, or where I was going. I felt anxiety rising inside me and had to stop and take a deep breath, relax, and then try to remember the last place I’d been. It was a big relief when I remembered what city I had just come from because I was able to figure out where I needed to go.

I’ve had a similar lost feeling in convention centers during IT industry shows because every company there was saying the same thing. So much so that it was hard to tell company A, B, and C apart. The messages are the same because the companies are trying to solve the same IT problems. The challenge I have when hearing people say such similar things, is that I often can’t remember if one said it differently than the other.

What sets LANDesk apart is that we’ve  been solving IT problems for longer than most of the companies have been around. So here’s a little statement that helps me and hopefully will help you remember where LANDesk has been and how we’re solving IT challenges right now: Intelligent Choices Deliver Greater Control and Services.

If you need to, rinse and repeat that statement seven more times and you’ll have it down.

Intelligent: Management Intelligence

Where have we been? Using patented discovery and inventory capabilities to know and report what you have and how it’s configured.

Where are we now? A SmartVue app that shows the value and work IT is performing to everyone, including your execs on their smartphones and tablets. Also there are contextual inspectors for more efficient IT administration.

Choices: Any User, Any Device

Where were we? Managing PCs, Macs, Linux and Unix

Where are we? Managing the same desktop platforms but even better – i.e. increased Mac support with Mac code that was even being developed on a Mac. We now also support iOS, Android and Blackberry. And we give you choices on how to license those devices, by node or by user.

Deliver: Deliver Software, Patches, OSs and Remote IT

Where were we? Distributing software and patches automatically to users anywhere they connect to the Internet.

Where are we now?  Wake up any machine across the WAN to automatically perform distributions and patches. Remote control anyone with any device using HTML 5 remote control – enabling you to collaborate and resolve issues with multiple people while remote controlling.

Control: Security, Compliance, Power Management and Hardware Optimization

Where have we been? Host Intrusion Prevention (HIPS), security dashboards, software license compliance, saving megawatts of power and money, integrating management with top PC vendors.

Where are we? Geo-fenced device blocking, integrated third party anti-virus and encryption, software reclamation, and integrating management with tablet vendors.

Services: Service Management and Self-Service

Where were we? ITIL verified on all 15 v.3 processes; delivered via SaaS, Premise or Hybrid implementations.

Where are we now? Service Catalogs that know what you have and what you’re entitled to and a Mobile Analyst app that helps you solve incidents anywhere from your tablet or smartphone.

It’s good to know where we’ve been, so we know where we are and where we’re headed. LANDesk has been there solving IT’s greatest challenges for users, that’s why we have a 90%+ approval rating from our customers.

Where are we headed?

LANDesk is developing more User-Oriented IT solutions so you can maximize your user productivity and simplify your IT operations. I guess Intelligent Choices do Deliver Greater Control and Services for IT.

Live, Love, LANDesk!

What a Party It Was With Our Customers

Do you know the feeling that comes from the build up to a big event or holiday and one where you work so hard to make sure everything is just right? Then the event or holiday goes just as planned and now you wonder what to do next? That’s how I felt this morning after spending nearly a week in Las Vegas for Interchange.  But what I miss most is interacting and learning from our customers. We learn as much from you as you learn from us during all those breakout sessions, labs, and keynotes.

It was such a wonderful event to spend with LANDesk customers. I really believe LANDesk is pushing even harder to be more customer focused and here’s why:

1) Acknowledging those within LANDesk who focus on customer successes

2) Letting our customers tell our story

3) Getting more extensive feedback from customers.

To make the party even bigger, LANDesk also had their Sales and Marketing conference the Saturday and Sunday before Interchange. In the conference, Mike Hall, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, recognized a few people for their work producing customer success stories that highlight the many ways customers use LANDesk solutions. We also featured several customers videos. No one tells our story better than our customers.

I was also fortunate to work with a team during Interchange that gathered surveys, interviewed customers on video and interacted with several customers. The information we gathered will help our teams at LANDesk make better decisions and communicated better with our customers. We also had a team of User Experience engineers letting customers test the latest software to get their input, which will help us create more intuitive and easier to use products.

No company could ask for better customers than we have at LANDesk and we thank all our customers for partying, learning and sharing their insights and wins with us at Interchange. I just wish the party could go on – well there’s always next year. If you’d like to share your story, successes, insights or feedback with LANDesk, please contact us and let us know your thoughts.

It’s Not the End of The World, But the Beginning of a New Year

We know the world keeps on churning and we keep doing our jobs in IT but changes are coming.

We had a lot of fun with the end of the world scenario here at LANDesk (see our End of the World? videos Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 if you missed them). Since we survived, this is a good time to think about and appreciate the great things we have in our IT life.

First, we are engaged in a world that gives us more information we could possibly consume in several lifetimes. Second, since we work in IT, we make sure everyone can get the answers to anything they want. Third, since we have all the answers, life is now much easier than it was even five, 10, or 25 years ago. Fourth, now that we have the easy life, we can A) kick back and relax or B) try to solve another problem with all that knowledge we have, which would then start the process over again. If you’re in IT, then you probably picked option B. It’s just what we do.

If you picked B, then we’re starting anew. What will that mean in 2013? New goals, new plans, new budgets and new ways to do our job? Hopefully, that will mean solving challenges in a new way, like being able to give users more choices, but maintain control over your IT environment and data.

We know the world keeps on churning and we keep doing our jobs in IT. As my colleague Melanie wrote earlier this week, LANDesk products should give you the ability to choose the first option and kick back and relax more. But I also hope you can help make everyone in your organization more productive on any device, anywhere in the world with LANDesk.

At least that’s what we’re striving to do at LANDesk.