EDS will make sysadmins life far easy this week with the release of what it calls the "hands-off automation" of desktop PC management.
Agile Workplace Services will handle everything from procurement to management of PCs, so technical support will be streamlined, according to the company. It will also reduce the cost of managing PCs, the company's desktop and mobility VP Kim Stevenson said.
"We are trying to take the desktop management process and put governance across the spectrum, so at the IT manager level all the pieces are connected," Stevenson said. Through a virtual model, tasks such as purchasing, pricing, provisioning, and management of desktop services including software installations, data migrations, desktop builds, upgrades, and patch distributions, can be accomplished with minimal action by sysadmins.
For instance, EDS can "drizzle" a user's PC image and data across a network to end-users, so migrating to a new PC or updating applications is easier on both the IT side and the user side.
Robert McNeill, a senior analyst at Forrester said that automating the entire PC lifecycle is the direction that other services providers, namely IBM and HP are also moving. He added that three factors currently make outsourcing desktop services low-risk and practicable now: client management tools have become mature, network bandwidth is fatter so customers can touch more corporate desktops on the network than ever before, and compression technologies allow for faster sending of packets, such as software patches, around the network.
Is the flipside of this redundancies though? "There will always be a certain amount of field services engineers needed," McNeill said. EDS said Microsoft will add the desktop management code into a future release of SMS Server.