One of the things that regularly comes up when discussing ConfigMgr is one of the following:

  • How do I find out who did this?
  • How do I find out where this is installed?
  • Where are my assets?

These are all perfectly good reasons to use ConfigMgr, but I would argue that one of ConfigMgr best uses is actually as an enabler of proactive end user support.  What do I mean by proactive end user support?  A common proactive activity is when your credit card company phones you after you put in a large purchase on your credit card in foreign country to confirm that you actually performed the transaction. Or you may be familiar with “phone home” features in high-end enterprise SANs, networking equipment and even mainframes. 

The idea here is to use information from the environment to allow us to support end-users or our customers before they phone the helpdesk.  In fact, I would see scenarios where it is actually the help desk proactively phoning users to let them know that there may be optimizations that a technician can do either remotely or on the machine to assist them and if they would like to schedule a visit. 

What are the scenarios where I can see ConfigMgr being utilized with this include (I will be working on these items throughout this series):

  • Users with very low (e.g. less than 15% free) disk space on their machines
  • Users with too many applications in their start-up list(s) in Windows
  • Users with too many browser helper objects in IE (especially toolbars)
  • Client-side application configuration with DCM
    • Outlook Cached Mode
    • Windows Desktop Performance settings (VM, Boost Priority)
    • LOB App Settings
  • Intelligent software license entitlement reviews (ok, this isn’t 100% proactive)

While this may seem like a trivial benefit to IT, think of the change in perception it creates with end-users and the business.

This post was contributed by Saud Al-Mishari, a Premier Field Engineer with Microsoft Premier Field Engineering, UK.