Microsoft calls on partners for assistance

Microsoft Canada believes partners and their integrated solutions are key to helping it get to the next level in its ongoing Dynamic Systems Initiative.

“”It’s the partner solution that’s going to make (DSI) extensible,”” said Derick Wong, senior product manager of security and management at Microsoft


DSI, which launched in May 2003, aims to simplify and automate how organizations design, deploy and operate distributed systems by increasing operational efficiency and aiding customers with maximizing their IT environments.

Wong gave the example of a new employee showing up for his or her first day of work and not being able to access the network.

“”I started at Microsoft and I didn’t even get that,”” Wong laughed. “”The problem is not the tools. The problem is all the processes around it. We’re not here yet but wouldn’t it be cool if an HR person enters a new employee’s profile and PeopleSoft or the HR server system talks to the Windows server systems.

Wanted: Partners

“”We need partners like Dell, Avanade and Hewlett-Packard to integrate their solutions to get to that end state.””

Wong made the comments at a roundtable last month. The panel included representatives from LegendCorp, Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc., Dell Canada and PlateSpin Ltd. The discussion focused on DSI and its most recent product releases under that umbrella, Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 and MOM 2005 Workgroup Edition and Virtual Server 2005.

MOM 2005 helps improve the manageability of Windows Server System environment by providing users with event management, monitoring and alerting, reporting and trend analysis, and system and application-specific knowledge and tasks. Benefits to users include ability to identify IT health issues before they become problems, improved efficiency of IT operations, and reporting capabilities for sharing service level and performance information.

MOM at work

Microsoft Gold Certified Partner LegendCorp said customers have responded well to the release because of the direct value proposition associated with it.

“”At the end of the day (a solution) has got to save me time and money. It’s not something that takes us six months to implement,”” said LegendCorp president Andy Papadopoulos. “”There’s automation that can be had. That’s what MOM brings to the table.””

With MOM 2005, LegendCorp is now able to deliver a new remote access service to monitor customers’ data centres. St. Michael’s hospital in Toronto has signed up for this service in which LegendCorp uses MOM to monitor OHIP records.

Solution under $1,500

With half of LegendCorp’s revenue coming from the mid-market, Papadopoulos is also interested in MOM 2005 Workgroup Edition — previously MOM 2005 Express — which is designed for organizations with up to 10 servers.

“”For less than $1,500 and one day to implement, the customer has instant impact. They’ve got a full-time person monitoring their Web site and doing mundane tasks,”” he said, giving the example of having to check the event log every morning.

John Mangold, national manager of Canada advanced systems group at Dell Canada, said increased efficiency in software means more hardware sales.

“”The computing world is a trillion dollar business,”” said Mangold. “”There needs to be a solution that lets the customer be more efficient in his business. The more we do that, the more he will look to us to do business.””

VS provides ‘missing piece’

Microsoft also talked about its most recent product release, Virtual Server (VS) 2005, which is also falls under DSI. Part of the Windows Server System, VS aims to reduce hardware costs and to increase operational efficiency by automating software testing and development environments, re-hosting legacy apps, and consolidating production server workloads.

Stephen Pollack, CEO of PlateSpin said VS as a technology provides “”one of the missing pieces in IT.””

“”(VS) is a way to separate the bottom layer or data centre hardware from the way businesses are run.

“”Many companies are stuck with a set of server configurations that are chewing up a disproportionate amount of cost.””

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