Systems Management Server 2003 Delivers on the Needs Of the Mobile Work Force

LAS VEGAS, April 30, 2002 — David Hamilton, director of the Management Business Group at Microsoft Corp., today opened the first-ever Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas by providing a detailed look at the feature set for the next version of Microsoft® Systems Management Server (SMS), Microsoft’s change and configuration management solution for the Windows®
operating system. Formerly code-named “Topaz,” the product will become Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003, with the beta version scheduled to be available this summer.

The feature set will include mobile support for laptops running Windows 2000 and Windows XP and non-PC Windows-based devices running Windows CE, Windows-Powered Pocket PC software or Windows XP Embedded. The new support for non-PC Windows-based devices — to become available a few months after SMS 2003 ships — will enable the software to manage inventory and software delivery for handheld PDAs, point-of-sale devices or Windows-based terminals.

“With today’s increasingly mobile work force, the use of handheld devices and laptops poses a management challenge for customers that extends beyond the desktop,” Hamilton said. “Management of the enterprise, from devices to the datacenter, becomes broader, deeper and more effective with Systems Management Server 2003 and its mobile support capabilities.”

Management Beyond the Desktop

Mobile and remote users now comprise up to 30 percent of the typical corporate environment. In addition to non-PC Windows-based device support, SMS 2003 incorporates several features that allow enterprises to fully include their mobile and remote users, alongside their desktop users, in their solutions for software distribution and inventory/asset management:

  • Background Intelligent Transfer Services (BITS), based on HTTP standards and the proven Windows Update technology that delivers 60 million downloads per month, is a critical capability for mobile users connecting over a slow line, enabling them to download software using only the available bandwidth. BITS also remembers where the download leaves off when a PC is disconnected from the network, and resumes the download from that point when the connection is re-established, eliminating the need to recopy files.

  • Location awareness can determine mobile users’ location and provide the critical software they need from the closest source, reducing the impact on a customer’s wide-area network.

  • A user interface for network administrators allows mobile systems to appear alongside desktops in collections, facilitating both asset management and software distribution.

For large enterprise companies such as Marathon Oil Co. and NCR Corp., with thousands of users distributed worldwide, managing their mobile work force is crucial.

“Marathon Oil is a longtime user of Systems Management Server, which is now an important part of our worldwide standardized PC environment,” said Michael Niehaus, IT consultant at Marathon Oil. “With the influx of mobile users, we’re excited about the enhancements in Systems Management Server 2003 and are eager to deploy them to all our clients to further enhance the functionality already provided by SMS 2.0.”

As part of the Early Adopter Program for Systems Management Server 2003, weve had the opportunity to be involved in the development of its features by providing insight on our management needs, said Jennifer Wenrick, global program manager for Global Workgroups Systems Management R & D, IT Services at NCR. The mobile support in SMS 2003 is functionality that we anticipate using to improve management of our large, globally dispersed mobile workforce.

Integration With Active Directory for Streamlined, Effective Management

Tighter integration of SMS 2003 with Windows 2000 Active Directory®
directory service will allow enterprises to use their existing Active Directory organizational structures and global security groups from within SMS 2003. This allows companies to map SMS functionality to business roles and to align its SMS and Active Directory architectures. SMS 2003 does not, however, require Active Directory deployment.

Enterprise customers that utilize the integration between Active Directory and SMS 2003 will gain greater control over software distribution and asset management, while eliminating the costly need to re-create and maintain multiple management structures.

“A directory infrastructure is quickly becoming a strategic component of configuration management,” said Ronni Colville, research director at Gartner Inc. “Companies need to recognize the value of having a policy-based infrastructure in place and leveraging it to successfully handle the increasing business demands for defining user entitlements and managing access to its resources.”

Fully Scalable Metering, Web-Based Reporting, Other Advancements

SMS 2003 also is being enhanced to provide fully scalable metering, allowing complete enterprisewide tracking of application use. The enhanced metering will enable enterprises to plan and budget more effectively for their application and operating system upgrades, as well as make it easier for them to ensure that they are complying with their software-licensing agreements. In addition, a new Web-based reporting capability is being added to provide easy access to the most important information that SMS collects.More information on Microsoft Systems Management Server can be found at

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