The end of Windows- and Desktop Analytics?!

An important heads-up for enterprises not using Microsoft Config Manager or Intune to manage Windows 10 clients: a big change is coming…

It has been a week ago already: Microsoft Ignite 2019 has been fascinating and quite a learning experience. Especially on ‘Windows as a Service’ (WaaS) there have been lots of presentations and insights. Interest was huge, most sessions were filled to the brim: it is clear, Microsoft’s ever changing approach for Windows 10 feature updates are on top of mind with all IT professionals responsible for Windows endpoints.

The last few years managing feature update releases in the enterprise has been ‘rocky’ to say the least. As a result, Microsoft invested heavily in making WaaS within the enterprise noticeably more easy, transparent and reliable. WaaS will always remain a challenge, but Microsoft’s effort to improve feature update deployment and management is commendable.

Although we will cover other interesting topics and lessons learned from Ignite regarding Windows as a Service in the future, let us focus now on one substantial change that is easily overlooked and can have massive consequences for current Windows Analytics and future Desktop analytics users…

Desktop Analytics, the Windows Analytics successor, will be -exclusively- integrated in Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MeM), the new branding for Config Manager and Intune. This is great news if you are managing Windows 10 clients with Microsoft Config Manager and/or Intune.

But, if you are not using Microsoft’s endpoint management solutions, and you are currently using Windows Analytics or plan to use Desktop Analytics, you will have to look for alternatives! This question has been profoundly answered at Ignite: Microsoft will not provide an alternative, other than investment and migration to Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

Windows Analytics support will end January 31st 2020 with a hard stop. Its functionality is continued and enhanced in Desktop Analytics only, which is solely available to organisations on a sufficient Windows 10 Enterprise licensing level (E3 and E5), using Config Manager or Intune to manage their desktop/laptop estate.

As a result, after 31st of January 2020, when your organisation manages Windows 10 clients with Symantec, Ivanti, VMware, IBM, Matrix42 and other alternatives: your WaaS strategy cannot depend on Windows Analytics and its replacement Desktop Analytics anymore.

Why would you care about Windows/Desktop Analytics? 

Especially when your organisation works with thousands of Windows applications and endpoints, the Upgrade Readiness component of Windows/Desktop Analytics provides instrumental compatibility information on application and driver readiness, issues and possible fixes, before and during a feature update deployment.

Microsoft maintains an extensive compatibility database, acquired through telemetry from 800+ million Windows 10 clients and analyzed with machine learning algorithms. Matching and comparing this information with all applications, drivers and devices in your corporate landscape, Windows Analytics gives immediate insight in potential issues and unknowns, allowing you to focus your effort on validating and remediating possible problems where they can be most expected. For every large organization that is serious about Windows as a Service, the Windows Analytics inventory assessment component has proven its value.

What is the alternative for enterprises not using Config Manager or Intune but still focused on being WaaS ready? 

For now, it is crucially important is to be aware of this change and start thinking about revising your WaaS readiness strategy. It is important to create awareness in your organisation and consider the impact. In our next blog we will discuss practical strategies and alternative solutions.

If you want more in-depth information, expect our continuously evolving ‘WaaS readiness Strategy Guide’ to receive a massive update soon, with all the new insights and lessons learned from Microsoft Ignite. Especially if you already have downloaded the current publication, keep an eye out on our updated white paper which will be released in the upcoming weeks.

Meet us at MS Ignite 2019!

It Delivery Management will be present at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando from 3-8 Nov 2019. We are looking forward to meet you and share our latest strategy guide on WaaS.

Our strategy guide helps enterprises to get ready. WaaS-ready.

The impact of WaaS is easily underestimated. This is especially true when organisations are still migrating from Windows 7 or have not yet upgraded their Windows 10 install base to a new feature release. The real-world effect of a consistent stream of Windows 10 feature releases, combined with the expectation that businesses need to stay up to date, is often not recognized in advance.

Enterprises are at risk. A risk of facing costly consequences. Enterprises will have to get the processes, tooling and governance in place to empower their IT and business departments to become WaaS-ready. WaaS needs to be embedded in the organisation and not just on a technical level. As a result, it is critically important to implement WaaS support services and solutions to simplify the preparation and accelerate the rollout of Windows 10 Feature updates in a responsible and safe way. A way that helps business take informed decisions and to be in the driver’s seat.

If your enterprise does not have a WaaS strategy, does not have the proper governance in place and tooling ready to handle the WaaS processes, start preparing it now.

We are here to help enterprises becoming WaaS-ready. Interested ? Let us know . Speak you in Orlando.

Ignoring problems won’t solve them!

Amsterdam- 1st March

IDM has kicked off 2019 in multiple companies helping  with their biggest strategic activities involving IT.

We are finding one common theme however. Many companies have started transformation or upgrade programs, and yet there seems to be already  major delays – and already up to a third of the time and often money has been spent. There seems to be a false sense of security that this delay is going to be caught up – or some wand will arrive and magic the challenges away.

‘The reality…’ cites Nick Appelboom, CEO of IDM, ‘…is that if nothing changes then nothing changes….and senior executives are putting themselves at a huge disadvantage by simply burying their head in the sand. We strongly suggest to act now and don’t put organizational budgets, security or even their own job at risk’.

After working with a number of organizations it seems a number of factors are at play. The first is a lack of urgency. ‘You need have a doable but challenging plan and constantly communicate it well – so people remain focused and the plan has quality deliverables at its core’ adds Nick. ‘Success breeds success and soon you have a cookie cutter set of delivery processes tailored to your organizational change agenda – then small miracles start happening…’.

The second factor seems to be capability, or confidence in capability; often people are worried about how to execute the strategy / transformation or upgrades having not done it before. ‘This is where quality tools, reusable processes and some key industry skills can help’ adds Nick. ‘Getting a second qualified opinion or extra depth is the norm, some call it insurance’ he affirms.

The final factor is organizational buy-in and keeping the eye on the prize. People can get easily distracted from the real business benefits sought – and confusing customer versus consumers. Daily ping pong occurs across divisional lines, things look busy but nothing is really happening, many genuinely worried about loss of control or can only work with absolutes. ‘This is where often what seem like good arguments or showstoppers can be easily countered with evidence from the industry or previous experience.’ asserts Nick

Quality tools, processes and expertise can help keep everyone; including benefits, timings and budgets on track – but the sooner executives act on what they know will come and haunt them – the better.

Not sure – or want to be assured and sleep well every night – call IDM today.

More information:

Partnership SaaSplaza

Partnership with SaaSplaza Enables IDM to Deliver IT Delivery Management Solutions Faster and More Secure

Amsterdam- 15 January 2019
IT Delivery Management (IDM) is pleased to announce customer benefits can be achieved even faster with our cloud ready solutions, after signing a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) agreement with SaaSplaza.
“This increased vertical integration allows us to offer application, network, security and infrastructure services in a packaged or by component solution – and with one invoice” explains Nick Appelboom, IDM CEO. “It’s strategic for us to offer the full cloud lifecycle. After much due diligence, SaaSplaza was the obvious choice as they are a leading and reliable expert in SaaS with over 800 enterprise engagements and growing.”
The partnership with SaaSplaza supports IDM’s vision to solve enterprise challenges around getting quality transparency on how customer IT landscapes look and perform, using professional dashboards and tools, to get things in reliable order, and stay there.
Berend-Jan van Maanen, CEO SaaSplaza says, “IDM is a leading provider of smart, transparent solutions that improve the governance and delivery of IT for customers like DHL. The CSP partnership between IDM and SaaSplaza leverages the power of Azure to improve the deployment, security and stability of their applications.”
“Customers want to avoid joining the list of brands where IT has hit the news headlines for failures. They want the problem solved and solution implemented straight after the decision is made,” adds Nick. “This partnership with SaaSplaza allows us to build on our current customer base and successful launches, expanding with scale, speed and quality, and with ease.”
IDM’s eReadiness application is a great example that showcases the potential of Azure. Many customers can’t wait for the benefits of deploying Windows 10 rollouts and making updates easily manageable. Key eReadiness features include bringing structure, focus and discipline on initial tests, Proof of Concepts or deployments by location, country, division or whatever the business profile; eReadiness can slice and dice the approach. Most importantly, the outcome of accelerated migrations, deployments and upgrades safeguard the business and mitigate risks reliably.

More information:

Windows 10 upgrade deadline ahead!

Windows 10’s crucial upgrades make IT managers and their departments nervous. How about you? If your enterprise missed the deadline for the Windows Update 1511 last year, you still had a chance. Meeting the next deadline – Windows 10 1607 – on October 10 is vital. It is literally ‘End of Service’, your enterprise will no longer receive Microsoft’s crucial security updates. For a fully controlled, no-hassle Windows 10 migration and upgrade process for your enterprise, eReadiness by IDM is the preferred tool.

 Don’t be surprised by any migration or update deadline – just take control, with eReadiness.eReadiness is your toolbox for a clear and uncluttered, well-organised, no-mistake Windows 10 migration and upgrade process.

In fact, it is a lot more. Taking control of an organisation’s data security and managing outside threats is becoming increasingly important. In a time when malware, phishing and ddos attacks have crippled large enterprises, including sea ports, eReadiness can help organisations become aware of the risks of security breaches and of reputation risks. It also helps organisations to get ready to take control of the process of getting upgrades and updates organised in an efficient and very effective way.

There is work to be done

As Microsoft is now offering Windows ‘as a Service’, with much more frequent upgrades, a new and daunting task awaits IT departments of medium to large-size enterprises. The frequent, time-consuming and potentially stressful Windows 10 migrations and upgrades have a deadline. Missing this deadline will close doors that you want to keep open, for IT security’s sake. It will result in costly security risks and liabilities – you will no longer receive security updates and your company will be exposed to numerous threats. Think of the real damage that may be done to your business if ransomware criminals knock on your door and find it half opened…

The deadlines are real

The first deadlines passed last year, for Windows 10 versions 1507 and 1511. Several international companies missed it, risking serious problems. The next deadline, for 1607, was pushed back from March to October 2018. Many IT departments of large enterprises have been under high pressure to do all the work for their tens of thousands (and for some: hundreds of thousands) of computers. It took a tremendous effort to plan and implement the Windows upgrades in a timely fashion.

Other enterprises had eReadiness as their tool. Now that eReadiness has proven its value in several pilot programs in these enterprises, their management are confident that using eReadiness will help their companies make all upgrade deadlines that will follow over the years. They managed to do the job without disruption, with the least effort and without mistakes, with proper testing of applications, hardware and drivers. It was still a tough job, but eReadiness came to the rescue, without the spreadsheets, databases and tedious manual labour to manage the process.

eReadiness helps you take the wheel

  • From the powerful eReadiness command and control center, you can initiate, manage and check everything that needs to be done to get your organisation into the next phase of the Windows 10 lifecycle. You have control, thanks to the insight and overview that comes with eReadiness’ clear dashboard.
  • IDM experts will help you define the scope and prepare implementation. They will help train your staff to keep this train rolling. Within weeks, you will have a full view of where you are, what will have to be the next steps and where you are heading. There will be no more loose ends, no more guessing.
  • eReadiness supports status reporting as well as planning the next steps in the update processes. This includes keeping up with the multitude of application testing efforts that usually follow after update activities in decentralised environments, often in many countries, in different languages and performed by many different teams. Keeping track of those tests is of the utmost importance for IT organisations that want to be in control.

Who is IDM?

IDM is IT Delivery Management. We are workplace migration experts, with over ten years of experience in supporting medium (1,5000+ users) to large (200,000+ users) corporates take control of migrations and upgrades. eReadiness was born in these environments. It is dedicated and it works. Different from most competing products, eReadiness is specifically targeted to control and manage the Windows 10 migration and upgrades. That focus allows eReadiness to be spot-on and straightforward to use, without the complicated add-ons that make other products hard to implement and use.

If you feel that taking control over the Windows 10 migrations and upgrades of your organisation is crucial, eReadiness is the tool to use. It’s powerful, practical and efficient. It helps meet deadlines – and helps save your bacon.

Would you like to be in control of your organisation’s Windows 10 upgrades? Check out IDM eReadiness