, August 1997 — NCRI Study Shows Microsoft Systems Management Server Dramatically Reduces Total Cost of Ownership of PCs
“Investing in Desktop Management Productivity,” a recent report issued by Northeast Consulting Resources Inc. (NCRI), an independent consulting firm focusing on business and IT strategy, highlights how 10 companies utilizing Microsoft® Systems Management Server dramatically reduced desktop support costs to realize an average cost savings of $1,200 per desktop annually. According to NCRI’s findings, more than half the companies surveyed reported savings in the range of millions of dollars per year by automating troubleshooting, software distribution and inventory tracking functions.
Integrated desktop management is a relatively minor investment compared to the savings possible. With all initial planning, evaluation, training and rollout costs taken into consideration, NCRI’s report finds that Systems Management Server fully pays for itself in an average of 14 months, giving companies an internal rate of return (IRR) that averages a remarkable 315 percent over five years. Larger enterprises with more than 5,000 desktops gain even higher returns, with an IRR of over 400 percent. According to NCRI, “The fastest payback measured was eight months for an initial installation of just 2,500 desktops. The same system now supports nearly 9,000 desktops and saves the company $1,500 annually per desktop.”
Measured Annual Per-Desktop Savings Using Microsoft SMS
Systems Management Server can be used as a standalone solution or as an integrated service to heterogeneous enterprise management platforms. The savings realized using Systems Management Server complement the wide range of savings offered by these platforms.
NCRI believes that the tight integration and comprehensive nature of Systems Management Server’s inventory, distribution and help desk/troubleshooting services is the reason for the significant savings and high value measured. To calculate the savings derived in this study, NCRI chose to evaluate only hard cost savings per desktop. While measuring savings in productivity or efficiency will result in higher returns and greater savings per desktop, this measurement requires subjective evaluation, which fell outside of the scope of this study.
Using Systems Management Server to deploy software resulted in an average annual savings of $876 per desktop. In fact, automated software distribution was found to be as accurate as manual distribution – and much more efficient. According to the study, “One customer deployed a critical software bug fix to 9,000 desktops within 24 hours of its release. Done manually within the same time frame, the task would have required the support of 450 technicians.”
More than half the companies surveyed have saved over $1 million annually in help desk costs by using Systems Management Server to centralize help desk troubleshooting and diagnostics. One of the companies studied, the report notes, reduced its help desk costs by $4.2 million a year. Much of the savings can be attributed to quicker problem resolution using Systems Management Server. The report found, on average, help desks could resolve PC support calls 62 percent faster. NCRI also found that help desks escalated 43 percent fewer calls to second- or third-tier support groups.
Microsoft Corp. is now well established as a leading provider of desktop management solutions. As NCRI’s report finds, Systems Management Server helps customers dramatically reduce the cost of owning and managing PCs, and Microsoft is committed to maintaining a leading position in efforts to reduce the total cost of ownership of desktop PCs.
The study evaluated the use of Microsoft Systems Management Server over a five-year period. Results marked with the
symbol are the actual measured savings companies achieved in year 3.
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