Software Pushes

Reducing SMS Costs Through Outsourcing

Companies typically distribute their software through what is known as an SMS tool.

This tool is used to build collections of workstations or machine names. The collection allows the network to recognize individual PCs by their unique identifier or workstation ID. The collection is associated with an advertisement, which is a scripted application. Essentially, the workstation ID or the computer name(s) is married to the actual software package.

Software is deployed according to specific parameters. Sometimes a single application is deployed, or it may be necessary to push a bundled application, which will launch several applications in sequence. Some SMS teams create their own collections and advertisements, while others simply connect to existing ones.

SMS is a commodity function, so companies want to find a way to accomplish the job as cost effectively as possible. A viable alternative is to outsource the SMS function to CoreTech Solutions because CoreTech Solutions has an efficient, step-by-step methodology to push software out to customers:

Step 1: Validate the workstation ID or computer names
The CoreTech Solutions SMS team ensures the workstation ID is on the domain before it pushes the software.

Step 2: Clear the way for a software push
The CoreTech Solutions SMS team ensures there is nothing to prevent pushing an application to a secure Operating Unit.

Step 3: Manage, change, control and build a collection
The change control is sent to Service Delivery Managers and Tech Leads within the organization for approval. Once approval has been granted, the CoreTech Solutions SMS team builds the collection. Where applicable, pilot testing is part of the change control process.

Step 4: Build
Build the advertisement and marry it to the collection.

Step 5: Release
The SMS tool typically deploys software within two hours to machines that are online, but in some cases it can take as long as 24-48 hours.

Step 6: Monitoring
The CoreTech Solutions SMS team monitors the status of each push. If the release was successful, the XSell Resources SMS team closes out the request and notifies the client.

Troubleshooting? No Problem.
As with any process, sometimes troubleshooting is necessary in SMS and CoreTech Solutions can assume this task. The workstation may be a bad client, for instance, so the CoreTech Solutions SMS team will go to the advertisement that pushes the software to find the workstation and add it.

Sometimes wrong platform repair messages appear. A scripted application may be suitable for a Windows 2000 or Windows XP platform but not for a Vista platform. The CoreTech Solutions SMS team needs to add the right platform to the advertisement.

Some operating companies have workstation ID’s that cannot be touched. In such cases there is a special process for pushing software to those machines.

There may be thousands of scripted applications. Each one has to be tested and approved by the Operating Company before it can be pushed to the workstation ID.

A customer may purchase a license for the most recent software version, but it will receive an earlier version if that is what is approved for that Operating Company. There can be delays in deploying to remote workstations. If there is not a good connection to the network; the software will just sit in a waiting state. When this happens, CoreTech Solutions can communicate with the customer and manage expectations.

Faster, Cheaper SMS
It is more cost effective for CoreTech Solutions to handle the SMS function than an in-house software push team. By centralizing this process, firms with multiple operating companies or divisions can reduce their headcount. The CoreTech Solutions SMS team know how to build an advertisement for a specific application and then reuse it across all operating companies. That means advertisements and scripting costs are not duplicated. In addition, the company can measure CoreTech Solutions' performance against a service level agreement (SLA). CoreTech Solutions' SMS team continues to look for process improvements that lead to greater efficiency

Learn More
XSell Resources is a leading provider of IT staff augmentation solutions and managed IT services including PC refresh, application deployment support, service desk and service delivery management solutions. Established since 1992, CoreTech Solutions' clients include Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, SunTrust Banks, Merrill Lynch, Synovous Financial and more.

For more information about CoreTech Solutions call 800-220-3337 or Contact Us.

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