Configuration Manager vNext: User Centric Client Management

Configuration Manager vNext: User Centric Client Management

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It’s a truly an amazing time to be working with Configuration Manager.  The road map for this product is unprecedented and Microsoft is making huge bets on it long term like never seen before.   I have watched this product evolve over the past 10 years as an admin, consultant and now as a member of a phenomenal product team.  It began as a pretty decent script engine and has become a world class product that people use as the baseline for entry into the management market.  Management has become a mission critical scenario for our customers and all this time this product has done a great job of keeping quality high and pushing the envelope on new features.

Working on Configuration Manager v.Next has been an unbelievable joy, to watch the countless hours spent with customers to define this release definitely makes my day knowing we are doing the right thing.  It is unparalleled in the amount of development and customer focus.  It started with a simple goal of making our admins’ lives easier and helping them to meet the needs of their end users.  Thus the term User Centric computing. Allowing the definition of the relationship between the users and their applications in a way that the admins don’t have to worry about where that user is.  They can trust the system that the user will have the right application at the right time in the right place suitable for the device they are on.  It seems so simple but our job was to remove the barriers and exceptions in technology to why this couldn’t happen.  Many questions have to be manually figured out by admin’s today and one of the big ones is “how do I know which machine is the users?”  Countless hours go into making that translation and now we make that a relatively simple case.

The end users themselves are also very important to us these days, where in the past the best SMS / Configuration Manager installation was the one the end user never knew about.  We put a tremendous amount of effort around end user experience from a completely revamped client UI to a brand new Software Portal where the end user can select software made available to them by their administrator and install it in real time.  No waiting and instant end user gratification.

What I have mentioned here has just barely scratched the surface on the features and functionality of the new release and we are getting really excited to get it in the hands of our TAP and Beta customers in the near future.  So far lots of happy faces with our customers and we will keep working to make this a solid quality driven release.  We believe we are on the right track!!!

Josh Pointer
Principal Program Manager
System Center Configuration Manager
joshpoin@microsoft.com

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  • It's great to see the tools moving towards a user centric model, but there are many challenges to getting there, not least is the challenge of licensing.

    Most licensing regimes do not allow a user centric model to be adopted, they are a primarily focussed on the device/install.

    Are there activities underway to energise the application vendor community towards user centric licensing models.

  • Iam very looking forward to get my hands on a beta version of v.Next. Seems like my wishes regarding a more convinient and appealing end user interface are comming true. We currently invested a lot in developing our own custom user interface for sccm 2007 but as we see ourselves as administrators and not as developers i will be very happy to get rid of that customizations ;-)

    As far as i understood in one of the previous posts in v.Next we will be able to define applicability rules directly within a software package and not as part of a collection ? Comparable to the rules i can define with SCUP ? If i did get that right...THUMBS UP, excellent work. Ive been working with SMS/SCCM since version 1.2 and this Collection Membership Update schedule nevery really convinced me ;-)