REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 10, 2002 —
— Microsoft Corp. today announced the immediate availability of Microsoft® Solutions for Management (MSM), a comprehensive service that enables companies to achieve operational excellence and improve the manageability of the Windows®
platform while reducing total cost of ownership.
Through the use of the Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) and tools such as Microsoft Systems Management Server and Microsoft Operations Manager, MSM enables IT departments to quickly implement and automate proven industry best practices to address the challenges of critical patch management and software updates, new application installation, and monitoring and controlling services.
Also today, Avanade Inc., the premier global technology integrator for Microsoft solutions in the enterprise, became the first independent provider to offer the MSM service, in addition to Microsoft Consulting Services.
“Across the board, companies are faced with increasing IT management and overhead costs, software updates, and management of complex infrastructures,”
said David Hamilton, director of the Management Business Group at Microsoft.
“MSM delivers the prescriptive guidance, training, products and consulting services that customers need to optimize their operation of the Windows platform for mission-critical services, based on proven industry best practices.”
“Reducing and controlling IT management costs is high on most CIOs’ lists today,”
said Chris Burry, technology infrastructure fellow for Avanade.
“Through our experience with these customers, Avanade has developed a number of assessments and solution offerings that focus on this issue, and we are pleased to add Microsoft Solutions for Management to that mix of tools.”
Blueprint for Management
MSM provides a blueprint for addressing key management issues by combining people, processes and technology to help solve problems focused around specific scenarios. The solutions are based on the industry-standard IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and on the Microsoft Operations Framework , which provides a practical implementation of ITIL for the Microsoft platform.
“In today’s economy, it’s becoming increasingly important to maximize the return on your network and systems management technology investment,”
said Cameron Haight, analyst at Gartner Inc.
“Among the best ways to do this is with an eye toward the development of best practices by focusing on the IT processes that leverage these products.”
The first release of MSM includes the following:
MSM for Critical Patch Deployment enables organizations to use Microsoft Systems Management Server or Software Update Services to deploy patches, fixes and service packs effectively in Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating environments.
MSM for New Application Installation, which provides for the deployment of new desktop applications using Systems Management Server. It offers an automated, repeatable method and best practices for quickly and effectively implementing Office XP or other Microsoft desktop applications.
MSM for Monitoring and Control of Windows 2000 Services and Applications provides best practices for operational management and monitoring of Windows 2000 Server with the Active Directory®
service and Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server by using Microsoft Operations Manager 2000. This also includes the application of best practices for monitoring, controling and implementing Microsoft Operations Manager for the highest levels of availability and performance.
Each of the scenarios includes Product Operations Guides that explain how to implement and operate Microsoft products and technologies consistently with the best practices defined by ITIL and implemented through MOF. Each scenario also includes a Solution Operations Guide that applies best practices to the specific scenario described. Each customer gets an Operations Guide customized to its specific environment.
In addition to these specific scenarios, MSM offers an Operations Assessment Service to identify the top issues, process gaps and technology gaps as well as the operational maturity of an enterprise’s IT operating environment. The assessment enables an organization to identify and address the most pressing issues in its operating environment.
Early Adopter Praises MSM
Early adopters such as CNF Inc. offered praise today for MSM.
“Thanks to Microsoft Solutions for Management, our enterprise is in better shape now then we’ve ever been before,”
said Roger Wilding, senior technical engineer at CNF, which used MSM’s Operations Assessment and Critical Patch Deployment scenario to create processes to update 4,000 workstations throughout the company.
“MSM is a great way to apply MOF to the specific needs of our enterprise. Knowing that we were getting the guidance to apply industry-standard best practices to our unique situation was a huge comfort for us.”
Previously, CNF did not have processes in place for patch management. Patches were distributed via e-mail with requests to users to run them, and no way to confirm that the patches were implemented. The cost of this system was high, with the Nimda worm alone costing the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost productivity and direct IT support cost. Now, CNF has already used its new MSM recommended processes to deploy 7,000 patches to 2,000 workstations in less than a month, a development that Wilding terms
for his organization, with the potential to bring a major reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO).
“MSM has brought a paradigm shift to CNF,”
“Now we know that when we approve a patch and apply it, there will be follow-up. That means that we no longer have to be reactive, focused on fighting fires. We can be proactive, focusing on maximizing the strategic value of our IT network. And the processes we adopted as a result of MSM don’t just apply to security; they can be applied to everything we do, all aspects of change and configuration management.”
More information about Microsoft Solutions Management can be found at the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/solutions/msm/.
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