Windows 10 Impact on IT Departments: Part III

We have broken down the most common complaints and the mistakes organizations are making that result in unexpected costs.

  1. Many organizations underestimate the time end users spend to become familiarized with their new PC system, as well as problems with migrating existing user data, and settings recovery. This time can easily exceed three to four hours. These soft costs are often not part of IT budgets, but are of great concern for business owners experiencing employee-productivity drops.
  2. End user customizations are frequently not considered in the overall plan. Customization are mostly left for the employee to complete on company time. Customizations like reapplying and creating settings for the new desktop can be beyond a normal users’ comprehension, leading to a surge in PC helpdesk requests with associated cost of $50 or more per call.
  3. The third mistake is underestimating the logistics associated with PC migrations for users in remote locations and international subsidiaries, which can prove to be extremely difficult. The need to outsource to a contractor or flying a staff member to a site, causes deployment issues and costs to rise quickly.
  4. The fourth, and final, mistake occurs inadvertently when data and settings are left behind. In a recent study conducted with enterprise level IT departments, the results were troubling: 27% of respondents who used various tools for transferring data and settings reported data loss in the process.

Windows 10 will cause businesses and IT teams to increasingly respect the fact that end user computing is changing. What is happening in the OS market is comparable to the BYOD revolution that saw the number and variety of devices on the corporate network sky rocket. This has and still is raises a number of challenges in terms of control and management.

The PC, tablets, and other devices have evolved into very powerful systems. Because today, we have dozens of vital applications, several gigabytes of data, and thousands of settings in the Windows registry, reestablishing all that on a new PC is time-consuming and near impossible to streamlined for a company.

With new PC deployments on the forefront of many IT teams tasks, issues surrounding the fact that there are few tools at the enterprise level to successfully complete this endeavor. Proven solutions like PCmover® Enterprise are not always known within many IT Organizations.

PCmover Enterprise

Organizations need a solution with minimal interruption to employees’ productivity, save time and resources, and will seamlessly migrate files, folders, and applications vital to each employee’s daily workflow. An IT professional at one of the largest PC manufacturers once stated: “We are supporting thousands of large organizations to deploy their PCs. We do everything from logistics, imaging, tagging, and bringing the PC to the workplace. We do not, however, have a solution for the actual migration between two desktops.”

Windows 10 Impact on IT Departments: Part I

Microsoft’s first glimpse of Windows 10 suggests many areas which may impact IT departments in the future. A recent survey found that 80% of large enterprises and 71% of businesses plan to migrate to the new OS in the next 18 months, suggesting that it will be even more popular than Windows 7, which still commands a very large market share, particularly in enterprises.

Win OS graph

Better usability via new, advanced Start Menu, better windows and desktop management (e.g. task viewer), seamless integration (windowing) of new “metro” apps, and so on.Microsoft has made it also very clear that a major focus of Windows 10 is the business users:

  • Better/faster/more secure browsing experience (Edge)
  • Cross device familiarity and universal apps – this is very important for larger organizations. The ability to run and manage different form-factors with the same OS will accelerate mobile adoption in enterprise
  • Enterprise apps can be built “once” and deployed (optimized) for all devices (although it is not that easy) – all supported via a central, unified App Store.
  • Extended Mobile management
  • Voice Recognition – Smart Assistance: Cortana can be a change agent of how consumer interact with the desktop PC. Voice recognitions and machine learning will enable new and innovative scenarios
  • Lowering Cost of ownership
  • Security improvements / Support of two factor authentication

Windows 10 promises to deliver advanced security and management capabilities along with ongoing innovation and security updates for businesses of all sizes. These new capabilities will deliver a host of benefits to organizations, enabling them to make key enhancements across their IT landscape and maximize ROI.

PCmover as a Solution

Laplink’s PCmover software is the ideal solution for completing data transfers PC to PC, from a hard drive or image to a new PC, and for completing an in-place upgrade to a newer operating system. In this post, we will detail some common questions around PC data migration, and explain how using PCmover Professional as a solution is the best plan for your home or business’s PC deployment scenario.

Question 1: How important is user-friendliness in a solution like this?

  • PCmover is very user-friendly. The Pro version comes with an easy to follow setup wizard that guides users through the process of performing the migration. It allows all choices of what to transfer to the new PC (files, settings, user profiles, and even applications.)  It is built in a way so that even novice users can easily walk through the process of transferring their data from an older Windows PC to a new one.
  • Some users struggle with the PC to PC connectivity and get confused by networks, firewalls, etc. Laplink offers 24/7 Free Transfer Assistance with a trained professional technician who can help users through any questions they might have, and even remotely complete the migration.
  • Business, government or enterprise customers have different needs in a data migration. Laplink provides a fully customizable version – PCmover Enterprise – that allows IT admins to create a light or no touch migration. It can be executed by users or untrained technicians out of the box. The customization is very straightforward and no development skills are needed.

Question 2: How big will the impact of the Windows 10 upgrade be for businesses?

  • Win 10 will become the new OS of choice replacing Windows 7. Since many business customer did not want to deploy Windows 8/8.1, they have waited with refresh projects and I believe that the adoption curve will be much higher with Win10 than experienced before. Business might not wait for 12 months this time around. We are working with many enterprise which are ready to switch once Windows 10 is released.
  • There are a lot of business benefits for jumping to Windows 10 (read more here.)

Question 3: What are some of the stumbling blocks businesses face when dealing with PC to PC transfers, or other migration issues?

  • Business have refresh projects very much under control except for the transfer of data, settings, and applications from the old PCs to new ones. Often users are left alone to perform that task themselves, leading to a dramatic increase in the costs (often soft costs unseen from the IT department) for customizing the new PC. These costs come in the form of end-user downtime, help desk support calls, data loss, etc.
  • Automated scripts to move data are insufficient to do the job. In a recent study online, it was proven that many companies complained about data loss, since technicians did not know where all of the PC’s data was stored on the machine (beyond the document folder) and users often do not know themselves.
  • Manual migrations of data, settings, and applications take many hours; full scale migrations cannot be done without a proven automated tool like PCmover Enterprise.
  • Remote locations of personnel increases the costs of completing a PC to PC migration exponentially. We estimated the saving of using PCmover at a minimum of $300 per PC, but in remote locations it can be $1500 and more.
  • With users having more options to install applications for their particular job, IT departments often do not know the full inventory and disks, downloads, and passwords.
  • PCmover Enterprise is the proven and accepted tool for Enterprises, government organizations, and higher education organizations alike. They value saving time and money to refresh PCs, increasing user satisfaction and enabling large roll-out projects.

Laplink saved a state department $300 per PC deployed

The State of Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare is a government organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the health and safety of all Idaho residents.

The department itself uses around 3,000 PCs across seven regional centers, and replaces about 900 PCs annually; each with sensitive, confidential data, unique software applications, and hundreds of individual settings per PC.

Taking into account the most critical factors related to their PC migration process, Laplink Software’s corporate sales team worked to devise a list of features that would benefit the state department in its next migration:

  • The need for a customizable upgrade solution that could deploy across multiple regional office locations.
  • An easily manageable migration software program.
  • A solution that could migrate full applications, eliminating the need to manually reinstall each application from a remote location.
  • A software that could transfer personal settings and preferences on each individual’s PC, so end users were not tasked with these steps.
  • A software that did not necessitate “babysitting” and was a light-touch migration solution that could deploy overnight, rather than slow down employee productivity during regular business hours.

Laplink’s team recommended PCmover Enterprise as the optimal fit for the state department’s PC replacement and refresh needs.

Idaho state capital

Barry Crane, the department’s IT Helpdesk coordinator, said: “I was quite skeptical that this type of solution would be workable due to the amount of non-standard, custom software we have on our desktops. But after evaluating PCmover within our environment, we see it becoming a strategic part of our upgrade activities.

Crane and his team of technicians were able to quickly and easily set up hundreds of new PCs with PCmover Enterprise.

PCmover Enterprise Blog

“The Laplink corporate sales team was tremendous throughout our evaluation process. They provided us with evaluation copies and made time for several conference calls in order to understand our needs and make sure that PCmover would assist us with our migration requirements. We felt very comfortable after that process in selecting PCmover to help,” said Crane.

Benefits:

  • Total cost reduction to migrate 900 PCs is $189,000*
  • Helpdesk calls were reduced from 30 calls to one in every 10 PCs.
  • Time savings of two to three hours of IT staff time per PC migration, with a total of at least 2,700 hours saved.**
  • Reduced stress and frustration caused during PC migration process for end users, and IT staff.

*Cost and time savings are estimates only, resulting from both hard and soft dollar savings captured when using PCmover in the PC replacement process. Hard and soft dollar savings evaluating the impact to support staff and end user downtime, as well as costs of professional services, software licensing, and storage fees. Calculated by multiplying the average cost saving of $210 per computer by 900 computers.

** Calculated by multiplying 900 PCs by 3 hours saved per computer deployed.

An Enterprise migration of 100,000 PCs

One of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies with over a hundred offices worldwide faced an enormous challenge: to complete a hardware refresh and the migration of data, settings, profiles, and applications of roughly 100,000 Windows® PCs to Windows 8. The scenario was complicated by the fact that the vast majority of the employee’s PCs were still running Windows XP, whereas a fair share of employees had already upgraded to the Windows 7 OS.

Simplicity turned out to be a very important factor for selecting the right product for performing this large-scale migration. A manual migration would be too complicated and is typically not as thorough or time-effective as an automated migration solution.

Additional requirements included the following:

  • Simple and intuitive to use, without the use of XML;
  • Highly scalable to support up to 100,000 PCs;
  • Supports the transfer to and from multiple Windows OS versions;
  • A proven solution for enterprise-grade scenarios.

A big concern for the company was how the PC deployment would impact each employee’s productivity.

We needed a migration solution to meet our very specific requirements. We could not have asked for a better solution than PCmover Enterprise. -Windows 8 Global Deployment Consultant for Fortune 100 Company

The solution the company chose was Laplink® PCmover Enterprise. PCmover enabled them to complete this massive migration without losing data and applications, even the specialized, less common ones that many of the company’s employees used. This contributed early on to upper management’s approval of the PCmover solution.

Additionally, PCmover’s simple “wizard” interface was a plus. Instead of subjecting employees worldwide to a huge, unwieldy directory to view their migrated data, PCmover requires no technical expertise, works straight out of the box, and displays the information in a simple, easy-to-understand format. Employees worldwide experienced uninterrupted productivity by using PCmover Enterprise.

Enterprise Migration Services:

The PCmover® Enterprise solution offers an easy, fluid, cost-effective way to migrate all data over to the new PCs. Countless hours of labor and end-user downtime are saved across a company’s offices, including international, thus having both impact on the top and bottom line.

Visit Laplink today for a free evaluation of PCmover® Enterprise to see how it can help your organization

An Enterprise PC migration solution

In 2014, Microsoft® ended technical support for its workhorse operating system, Windows® XP. This triggered a surge of migrations to Windows 7 and 8/8.1. Previously, many businesses had skipped migrating, because XP continued to work well. With the end of support, though, enterprise organizations needed to take the step.

Microsoft will release Windows 10 on July 29. For the enterprise customer, Windows 10’s under-the-hood improvements will allow enterprises to deploy and manage their PC’s more easily than in the past, as well.

The Market for Enterprise PC Migration Solutions

The PC has continued to evolve into a more powerful machine. Today we have dozens of applications vital for our daily work, several gigabytes of data, and thousands of settings in the Windows registry. Reestablishing those on a new PC is time-consuming and near impossible to create as a streamlined system for a company.

Studies show that the foremost reason for not deploying an organization to new PCs is the anxiety of moving all of the user’s “stuff” from the old PC to the new one. PC deployments remain on the forefront of many IT department staffers’ minds, but the issue remains that there are few tools at the enterprise level to successfully complete this endeavor.

Organizations need a solution that will not interrupt employees’ productivity, will save time and resources, and will migrate the files, folders, and applications vital to each employee’s daily workflow.

Many times, IT departments utilize a centralized deployment utility like SCCM, LANDesk, or Altiris for upgrades and new PC deployments. One of the most challenging aspects associated with using these utilities is that they do not adequately address the transfer of user data, custom application settings, or even the transfer of the applications. This creates a very difficult situation for desktop support teams who are tasked with getting a deployed PC back up and running quickly.

An IT professional at one of the largest PC manufacturers communicated to me: “We are supporting thousands of large organizations to deploy their PCs. We do everything from logistics, imaging, tagging, and bringing the PC to the workplace. We do not, however, have a solution for the actual migration between two desktops.” This conversation brought to light the most common complaints from enterprises considering a migration:

  • PC migrations require too many IT resources not originally budgeted for.
  • Logistical issues arise when considering migrations for remote users and global office locations.
  • Incomplete migrations leave behind necessary applications.
  • Company time is expended re-downloading applications and programs that were not transferred in the deployment.

The results of these shortcomings are increased costs to organizations, an extension of end-user downtime spent familiarizing themselves with the new system, a general feeling of user dissatisfaction, and prolonged project cycles that ultimately affect the bottom line for a company.

PCmover Enterprise Blog

 

At Laplink, we developed PCmover® Enterprise to make the workstation migration process effective and cost-efficient. It automates the transfer of selected applications, data, and settings to a new PC. PCmover Enterprise is an OS-independent transfer tool that allows you to migrate to the newest version of Windows, including Windows 10. All of your migration scenarios are supported, and it has been proven successful in migration projects ranging from 100 to 100,000 PCs.

PCmover Enterprise has an easy-to-use wizard that does not require any developer knowledge and enables the IT Admin to set the rules. IT departments are able to predefine certain rules and policies within the organization to fit all cases. The Policy Manager allows IT administrators to pre-check a variety of choices within the program to create a predefined version of the product that can be executed by a user or an IT engineer with minimal interaction. The experienced user might require all options to be open to them, but most users in an organization are better off with a no-touch or light-touch solution to drive down user errors.

After migrating almost a hundred thousand PCs, we could not have asked for a better solution than PCmover Enterprise-Windows 8 Global Deployment Consultant for Fortune 100 Company

PCmover transfers all selected applications, data, and settings to a new PC, including user accounts, applications’ environments, applications’ add-ons, background pictures, favorites, and more.administrators to pre-check a variety of choices within the program to create a predefined version of the product that can be executed by a user or an IT engineer with minimal interaction. The experienced user might require all options to be open to them, but most users in an organization are better off with a no-touch or light-touch solution to drive down user errors.

PCmover Enterprise by Laplink Software is the solution for every organization that has over 100 PCs. It will save a minimum of $300 per desktop deployed, eliminating the need for extended project cycles. Using PCmover helps organizations decrease unbudgeted costs during the projects, and dramatically decreases productivity loss.

No matter where you are in your deployments of new PCs or operating systems, PCmover will help make you’re the process streamlined, cost-effective, and efficient.

Windows 10: Earlier adoption forecasted for Business Users

Before every Windows release there are articles about the reluctance of business user to adopt the new OS. Often they are correct, as businesses like to test the new Windows thoroughly.

 

With Windows 10, though, I believe it is different scenario, as many business did not jump on the Windows 8/8.1 upgrade cycle and are thus more eager to move to Windows 10.

Now a new survey was published that show rather positive numbers. It’s likely that the true outcome is somewhere in between, but I expect Windows 10 to do well.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Editions

Microsoft released information about the seven versions of Windows 10 it will offer in a blog post on June 1. Here are the key takeaway points:

  1. Windows 10 Home will be the version used by consumers on PCs and larger tablets, the focus here will be more so on retail.
  2. Windows 10 Professional is designed to run on desktops, laptops, 2-in-1s and tablets. Additional features in the area of business management and security, this version is aimed at users who will have a machine supplied by work but might also want to use it for personal tasks. Focus is retail again.
  3. Windows 10 Enterprise is the version targeted at larger businesses, and will be sold through Microsoft’s Volume Licensing program. It adds additional security and management features, and gives administrators control over the pace at which updates are released. There will be some stripped -down versions (embedded use) for devices like POS’s and ATMs.
  4. Windows 10 Education is a tweaked version of Enterprise targeted for the education market (e.g. schools and universities.)
  5. Windows 10 Mobile will run on smartphones and smaller tablets (with a screen size of 9 inches or less). This is the product currently known as Windows Phone.
  6. Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise is a business-focused version of Windows 10 Mobile, also sold via Volume Licensing. Like Enterprise, there will also be a cut-down “industrial” edition for handheld terminals and other task-specific devices.
  7. Windows 10 Internet of Things Core is a very stripped-down version of Windows 10, designed for “small footprint, low cost devices like gateways.” Microsoft has previously indicated this version will be free.

Windows 10 IoT

How to Move Off of Windows XP

The end of support for Windows XP is now less than a week away! If you’re still running Windows XP on April 8th, you’ll see an end to technical support, hot-fixes, and security updates for your PC, leaving your data vulnerable to hackers and malware. No matter how you want to move off of Windows XP, Laplink can help you move quickly without losing your programs, files, and settings.

Windows XP EOS

The Problem

Windows Easy Transfer – Severely Deprecated
Windows Easy Transfer was a free, go-to tool for many Microsoft users looking to upgrade. However, support for Windows Easy Transfer has been deprecated significantly in favor of cloud solutions. Windows Easy Transfer doesn’t support upgrades from 32-bit systems to 64-bit systems, which is a problem since most XP machines run on 32-bit and newer PCs are 64-bit.

Windows 7 – No Direct Upgrades
There is no direct upgrade solution from Microsoft to go from Windows XP to Windows 7. You can manually move using external media but requires extensive time and effort to transfer only your files and settings to an external storage device, then transfer that data again to your new PC.

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Introduce PCmover to Your Business

With nearly 30% of computers still running Windows XP and end of support just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how your business will make the transition from Windows XP to Windows 7, 8, or 8.1. Migrating tens or hundreds of computers is no easy task; there’s cost to consider, ease of transition, whether data will be completely transferred, and support. Laplink Software offers three solutions for any business person’s personal or corporate migration needs.

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PCmover Professional
PCmover Professional is the ideal solution for migrating your personal computer. It’s the only software that will transfer all of your selected files, settings, and even applications from an old PC to a new PC, or between any versions of Windows. PCmover Professional allows you to migrate via a wired or wireless network, Laplink USB cable, or Laplink high-speed Ethernet cable. PCmover Professional can even help you restore an old PC image to a new operating system! PCmover Professional comes with Free Transfer Assistance from one of Laplink’s certified migrations specialists, available 24/7 at no additional cost. Just call the toll-free line, and a Laplink migration expert will guide you through the process either remotely or by phone.

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