Enable Users, Not Just Devices

Enable Users, Not Just Devices

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I’m Larry Orecklin, general manager of the System Center group. It’s been a while since I’ve blogged here, but as I did last year at Microsoft Management Summit (video here) I wanted to take a moment to add some perspective on Day 2 at MMS.

Before I get to Day 2, let me provide some context on our business today so you can better understand the thinking behind today’s keynote and announcements. For starters, all the server tools and server applications, such as System Center, Windows Server, SQL, fall within Microsoft’s Server & Tools Business (STB). Last week we reported that STB revenue grew 7% year over year to (U.S.) $3.47 billion in the Jan-March 2009 period. While this broke a streak of 20+ quarters of double-digit growth, it does show that customers and partners have confidence in Microsoft’s servers, tools and applications in the economic downturn.  Within STB, the System Center business grew over 20%. In particular, the server management part of System Center grew 45%, thanks in part to customer adoption of server virtualization and server applications.  Related, we also saw more than 1,000 enterprise customers acquire the System Center Management Suite Enterprise license and we saw over 100% growth with Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack to over 14 million seats. These last two items point to the tremendous value we’re delivering to customers.

As for today at MMS 2009, Brad Anderson’s keynote [available here] live and for replay] demonstrated progress towards the user-centric client management strategy we announced last year at MMS. This strategy is about empowering end users to do their jobs effectively, regardless of their location, while adhering to the set of policies and controls that are important for the needs of the business.  Our strategy revolves around three areas: service orchestration, flexible access and a modern client.  Cox Communications, Tuv Nord and Mamut are some of the many customers who are reaping real benefits today by being thought leaders in the current economic climate. You can read the news release here.

I’ll highlight two items from Brad’s keynote. First, Brad discussed Windows 7 and highlights how it will serve as the optimized, modern OS with a host of new capabilities to make it easier to manage remote users in the branch, home and on private networks. Brad announced   that Configuration Manager  2007 R2 would be available within 90 days of the Win7 RTM and demonstrated how ConfigMgr R2 supports key manageability features in Windows 7, including Bitlocker and BranchCache. Brad’s demo showed how deploying Win7 with System Center and MDOP makes deployment faster and easier than ever.  System Center combines with MDOP technologies to help streamline Windows 7 deployments.  This is achieved through seamless integration of virtual technologies at the application and soon, at the OS level. The demo also showed the new wireless support for Intel’s vPro technology which helps IT to improve service while lowering costs through enhanced insight into, and control over, client infrastructure. 

 Next, Brad demonstrated three upcoming products.  

(1)    System Center Service Manager (a CTP in 60 days, beta by end of the year) will provide IT organizations an integrated process framework that can help them orchestrate process, knowledge and workflows making it easier to manage compliance. SC Service Manager will ship with connectors that transform information from Active Directory, SCCM and SCOM to form a baseline CMDB. We expect to offer Service Manager as a standaone license, as well as enhance the value of our Ecal suite with Service Manager. Details will be available closer to product availability.

 

(2)    System Center Online Desktop Manager (due in 2010; beta later this year) demonstrates our adoption of online services to help businesses lower the costs and complexity of keeping desktops up to date and secure.

 

(3)    System Center Configuration Manager vNext (due in 2011) was part of a preview demo, which focused on the administrator and end-user experience to be offered with System Center Configuration Manager vNext.

 

It’s the combination of Windows 7, MDOP and System Center tools that will help customers shift to user-centric management. It’s time to start planning your shift to user-centric management using capabilities today that are delivering real value to organizations, like Cox.  After watching Brad’s keynote [or the brief clips to be posted this afternoon], you’ll see that we’re focused on empowering customers and partners today with an integrated suite of products and technologies, and we’re investing today for future innovations so customers can accomplish great things.

Larry Orecklin

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