We’re just back from TechEd in Berlin where Brad Anderson announced the release candidate for Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP) 2010 during his keynote. During the session, Brad highlighted one of the key focus areas in this release - the convergence of security and management. FEP 2010 is deployed, configured, managed, updated, and reported on through System Center Configuration Manager 2007, allowing customers to streamline their client management and security operations. Using FEP to merge these disciplines, organizations can improve desktop protection and lower operational costs.
Since we’ve posted the release candidate, I’ve heard a lot of great feedback from trial customers (check out the Customer Evaluation Program), TechEd attendees, and TAP participants on the impact this convergence is already having on their businesses. Customers like Riga Stradins University tell us that the consolidated tools, processes, and infrastructure help them enable new efficiencies:
“The integration of management and security makes our IT organization more agile. We’re more efficient in the way that we use our personnel. We’ve increased the number of people available to respond to security incidents by 20% with no increase in headcount” – Kristaps Cudars, Principle Information Systems Architect
This use of FEP to drive new efficiencies is a persistent theme among the early adopters. With security as part of the console that in many cases they are already using, customers say that their dedicated management personnel can expand their efforts – easily, to help watch over security.
Another interesting comment on efficiency came from Telekom Slovenije. Like many organizations globally, Telekom Solvenije has a single team responsible for desktop management and endpoint security, but the tools they used required completely separate efforts. Already a Configuration Manager customer, and with a long-term contract for their existing anti-virus solution ending, they applied to join the FEP TAP program:
"We had separate silos for managing and securing the infrastructure, even though the same team was responsible for both… The integration of FEP with System Center Configuration Manager lets us break down the silos with our organization and increase efficiency” – Dragoslav Radin, Head of the Division for IT Infrastructure Services
These efficiencies, driven by convergence of security and management, not only allow administrators to do their jobs better and more quickly, as we’ve discussed here, but they also lower hardware, maintenance, and training costs through the use of a single, multi-purpose infrastructure. I hope you will download and try FEP in your environment.