Laplink partnership with Enterprise Integration – Interview with COO Tracey Brown

Laplink Software, Inc. and Enterprise Integration, Inc. today officially announced a partnership to provide Windows 7 upgrade services to enterprise clients throughout North America. We sat down with Tracey Brown, Enterprise Integration’s Chief Operations Officer, to find out a little more about the obstacles his clients face everyday and what computing trends he sees in the future.picture_bio_tracybrown_lg

What is the background of Enterprise Integration [EI]?

“EI has a rich background from both a technology delivery and a technology training perspective. As a company we thrive on the “Raving Fan” brand of service where going above and beyond for our customers is first and foremost in our action and intent.  We started off as a small business with a very big client and were able to leverage lessons learned, create a solid vision and execute to share that knowledge across a much larger base of mid-sized clients.  We are a managed service provider for all of IT Operations, from Service Desk to Operations Architecture Strategy.  We are Gold Microsoft Partner, Platinum Citrix, Advanced Cisco, VM Ware Enterprise, Riverbed and Net App.”

What do you see as some of the biggest obstacles your clients face right now?

“Our clients are facing the virtualization dilemma; many are struggling to identify the appropriate solution. VMWare worked great in the data center where it reduced a few thousand servers to a few hundred, but will it scale to the to tens of thousands of desktops?  And if it does how do I get there from here without impacting my workforce?  Where does XEN APP fit into the virtualization strategy?  When is a shared server / Shared App better than a Shared Server / Virtual Desktop?  How does Network Bandwidth impact my decisions?  Should I leverage an Aging Desktop hardware as my virtual client access or should I look at Thin Clients?  Many IT departments fail to acknowledge that the user to application interface is how the workforce views IT’s value.  Getting the desktop experience right the first time is critical.”

EI recently became a Laplink Partner, how do you plan on using tools like PCmover to help you clients?

“We are a 24 X 7 technology workforce, we needed a tool that fit into our process model, not a tool we had to develop a process around.  When multiple people are touching a desktop or laptop during a migration or upgrade you have to have a great process so nothing falls through the cracks.  We needed a comprehensive tool that could greatly reduce the opportunity for error, and increase our ability to deliver the work remotely. For years we have customized and used Microsoft User Migration Toolsets, however the cost of keeping these tools in sync with a changing environment became several full time jobs. And then Windows 7  was released and all that effort was again wasted. We wanted our onsite agents to be focused on the customer so they need to touch the hardware as minimally as possible while the agents on our Centralized Service Desk controlled the migrations remotely during slower times throughout the day and night shifts.  So the PC Mover Tool combined with a great process reduced our onsite footprint, leveraged our service desk and improved consistency for the customer.”

How has your industry changed in the last five years?

“From my perspective the industry has changed greatly and a lot of the change in the corporate IT environment is driven by the change in home IT adoption.  In many cases our customers have more powerful desktops and Internet connections than they are provided at work. At home, a customer will have DSL or Cable Internet Connections at 1Mb to 12Mb per second with a new flat screen monitor, computer with Vista or Windows 7, color printer etc… Then they come to work, and they share a T1 WAN with 20 other users and the computer runs Windows XP.   Needless to say they get a little frustrated.   The frustration is growing.  WAN optimization has provided a big change in the last five years and of course server virtualization has come into its own as well.  Storage de-duplication is a big winner.”

How do you think it will change in the next five years?

“The focus will and should be on the workforce: how do we improve how they interface with the application and knowledge of the enterprise. Successful computing environments will be focused on end-to-end delivery of services that is flexible to the subscriber who is ultimately our customer.  Other big opportunities I see are:

1. Optical storage media coming back in the form of multi-terabyte Near line Disk Storage Juke Boxes, companies are having a hard time deciding what data to keep so they are keeping it all…

2. WAN Compression, De duplication and protocol optimization will continue to change the design of the WAN and improve the customer experience.

3. Virtualized Desktop (VDI) will take root in the cubicle farms, however, with a larger mobile workforce and still slow wireless infrastructure, the dedicated computer will still be heavily depended on by the road warriors along with the power users that want to eat up 8 processors.”

As an automobile enthusiast, what model of car is your favorite?

“1969 Road Runner is my favorite, but I have a C3 corvette as my latest project car.”

To find out more about Enterprise Integration Click Here.

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