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.

Selling end-to-end service offerings

This blog post is directed at Software Resellers and IT Service Providers interested in the Laplink Partner Program.

When it comes to getting a new PC “to work”, or enhancing an existing PC via hardware or software upgrades and updates, the effort and time needed to get the PC user “back to work” is substantial. It can take multiple unproductive hours to do so and it is not guaranteed that everything will work again.

PCmover Professional Left

Industry research shows that many companies face the following problems:

  • End users are not getting the service(s) they require;
  • Insufficient end-user device performance impacting the top and bottom line;
  • Organizations are experiencing too much employee downtime;
  • Companies have complex end-user device environments with different systems and applications;
  • Business owners and executives are interested in reducing operating costs and TCO.

Laplink has done extensive research to understand the challenges and bottlenecks in PC migration. In a manual migration, the more complex (transferring applications: re-installing, updating, etc) then the more time and effort is expended, thus making the overall transfer more difficult.

With PCmover, the complexity of the migration is significantly reduced, as PCmover guides you through the setup and migration, supported by 3 different scenarios.

PCmover by Laplink Software is the solution for every organization that has over 100 PCs. Using it will save a minimum of $300 per desktop deployed, eliminating the need for extended project cycles.

PCmover helps organizations decrease unbudgeted costs during the projects, and dramatically decreases productivity loss.

Interested in joining the Laplink Partner Program? Join here. 

Windows 10 and PC migration

“Microsoft is doing a lot of good things right now and we believe the launch of Windows 10 later this year will not only have a significant impact on Microsoft’s share of the market, but on the industry as a whole,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director, Tablets at IDC. – IDC, 2015

When Windows 10 releases later this month, it is to great expectations. Unlike Windows 8, it is anticipated that existing PC users will switch much more rapidly to Windows 10. Here are a number of reasons why:

  1. Windows 10 will be more user friendly than Windows 8, including a redesigned and optimized Start menu, virtual desktops, and resizable Windows Store apps that behave more like legacy apps.
  2. Analysts predict massive conversions from XP, Vista, 7, and even 8/8.1, supported by the fact that it will be free for Win 7 and Win 8/8.1 users.
  3. Windows 10 is the real successor for Windows 7 for enterprises, with a lot of emphasis on desktops and enhancements in security, manageability, etc.
  4. Many of the improvements will be especially important to businesses, allowing them to deploy and manage PC’s running Windows 10 easier and more cost-efficient than ever.
  5. Windows 10 will launch in the second half of 2015, and it’s expected that the new operating system will not only help Microsoft to bring more users back to its platform, but it will also contribute to better PC sales as the appeal of new computers will grow significantly for customers.

So while this is great news for existing PC customers, the other big questions is:

What about new PC Sales?

“Economic and product changes will create a headwind in the short term,” IDC states in a press release, “So in 2015, only 293.1 million PCs will be sold.” – IDC, 2015

It’s a mixed bag. Analyst firm IDC® is not all that optimistic and says that, despite the arrival of Windows 10, new PC sales are still expected to decline this year. In fact, IDC has recently lowered its forecast of this year’s new PC sales, claiming that this market is expected to fall by 4.9 percent in 2015, despite the initial estimate of a 3.3 percent decline.

Windows 10 to slightly increase sales.

New PC shipments will remain moderate throughout the year, but in late 2015, the arrival of Windows 10 is expected to lead to a small increase in PC sales.

“More significant product refreshes from the likes of Intel® and Microsoft (Windows 10) will be released later in the year, shifting OEM product updates and consumer interest to later in 2015,” IDC said.

Up until now, the PC market has posted a small increase, partially thanks to more companies replacing their Windows XP systems due to the end of support in 2014. It is also because of Windows 8.1 with Bing, an operating system that’s offered either free of charge or with a very low license cost to manufacturers, with the purpose of cutting down the final price of their devices.

IDC says that the only good news for PC makers is that demand for tablets and other portable devices has dropped recently and is expected to continue going down in the upcoming months.

What does this mean for PC Migration?

All other scenarios require a “clean install” of Windows, which can be done either by reformatting the hard drive or by “over-installing” the new operating system. Both cases result in the applications, data, and settings being moved to different directories. Applications will not be registered with the new OS, which provides opportunities for our valued resellers.Windows 10 is likely to increase demand for PCs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will be perfect. And while there are many ways to migrate to a new version of Windows, few “solutions” actually allow an in-place upgrade. In particular, any remaining Windows XP users, all Windows Vista users, any 32-bit Windows 7 users, and any users remaining on Windows 8 cannot easily upgrade. There are also limitations imposed for users upgrading from a 32-bit to 64-bit in Windows 10. While users of 64-bit Windows 7 and users of Windows 8.1 will have a comparatively easier time completing an in-place upgrade to the newest OS when it’s available, it still won’t be easy.

The ideal PC migration solution:

The versions of PCmover Suite ideal for consumer and small company migrations are PCmover Professional (download only) and PCmover Ultimate (physical box, including High-Speed Transfer Cable and SafeErase). This reselling opportunity is for those with tech savvy staff to drive migrations in-house or at-home users. By purchasing multi-packs in the partner portal of these versions, partners will profit on the margin when reselling to clients

A solution to the Windows upgrade dilemma

upgrade paths

PCmover supports 2 core migration scenarios:

  1. PC to PC Migration
  2. In-place Upgrade

1. The Standard PC to PC Migration

The easiest way to enjoy the latest Windows release is to buy a new PC loaded with the new OS, and to use PCmover to migrate all of the applications, data, and settings to the new PC using a Laplink Ethernet or USB Transfer cable, a network connection, or external media (e.g., external USB hard drive).

An alternative way is to either create an image on an external hard drive (PCmover provides the necessary functionality to do that) or to take the existing hard drive out of the old PC and to connect the old hard drive (or the image) to the new PC, load PCmover, and all applications, data, and settings will be transferred to the new PC.

2. The In-Place Upgrade: Custom Install without Drive Formatting

All Windows XP, Vista, and 32-bit Windows 7/8/8.1 users who upgrade to Windows 10 will be required to perform a clean (custom) install. The user will likely be able to choose between re-formatting their hard drive and installing Windows 10 without a re-format.

For users who have no external device or do not want to take the extra step, and still want to upgrade their PC to Windows 10 without losing all of their data and settings (without having to re-install all their applications), PCmover offers an easy solution.

Simply install Windows 10 without re-formatting the hard drive (customer install), subsequently install and run PCmover which will automatically restore all the applications, data and settings from the Windows.old directory. This is the only method to perform an in-place upgrade from Windows XP, Vista, and 32-bit Windows 7 to Windows 10 without having to re-install all your applications and without having to back up all your data in advance.

Users might insist on a clean install or need to have a pre-defined image of Windows 10 installed. In this case PCmover (Business Edition only) can run PCmover on the source PC and move all applications, data and settings to external storage.  After the PC is reformatted and Windows 10 is installed, the user can then re-install PCmover, which will automatically restore the applications, data, and settings to the PC.

Depending on the size of the installed data, it is recommended to use an external or network hard drive rather than online storage, as bandwidth and speed limitations can throttle performance dramatically.

Upgrade Paths to Windows 10

Upgrading to a new version of Windows, soon to be Windows 10, usually sounds like a straightforward process:

  • Download the software (or install via a DVD/CD);
  • Run the installer, upgrade the OS;
  • Voila! Everything should be in place.

in place upgradesFor all scenarios which are not “green” it’s a different story. In particular, any remaining Windows XP users and all Windows Vista users cannot easily upgrade, and users running the 32-bit version of Windows 7/8/8.1 don’t have an easy (in-place) upgrade to the 64-bit Version of Windows 10, either.Unfortunately, it’s different. While there are many ways to migrate or upgrade to a new version of Windows, only a few options actually allow an in-place upgrade. The chart below depicts the different options available with the green boxes indicating upgrades “out of the box”.

These scenarios require a “clean” or “custom” install of Windows, which can be done either by reformatting the hard drive or by “over-installing” the new operating system. Both cases result in the applications, data, and settings being moved to different directories, and the existing applications will not work as they are not registered with the new OS.

Laplink® has created a solution with PCmover® that allows in-place upgrades. The table below indicates that all upgrade scenarios which are not supported “out of the box” are supported by PCmover.

upgrade paths

In the next blog post, we will dive deeper into the two core migration scenarios PCmover supports.

PCmover migration: hard drive image recovery

PCmover Professional and Business support all migration scenarios:

Scenario 1: Migrate to a New Machine

  • Direct peer-to peer transfer over cable or network
  • File-based transfer using storage device

Scenario 2: Upgrade an old Windows PC to Windows 10

  • Custom Windows 10 install
  • Reformatted Windows 10 install

Scenario 3: Recover directly from a hard drive or VHD

  • Physical drive restoration
  • Image file restoration (mounted as VHD)

The third scenario PCmover supports is the transfer of applications, data, and settings from an image or hard drive to a new PC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the organization has images of a Windows XP PC and need the image restored to a new Windows 10 PC, there are no solutions from traditional image vendors (Symantec, Acronis, Paragon, etc.) However, with the right software, one can mount the image on the new PC, but the applications and settings will not work.

PCmover’s built-in technology called “Image & Drive Assistant” takes a unique approach to this issue by being the only software that can restore an old image to a new PC without overwriting anything on the new PC. Some companies take this functionality and optimize it for their normal PC deployment: an IT service professional will manually remove the hard drive from an old computer, attach it to the proper housing component, and connect it to the new PC with a compatible cable. While it adds complexity and is usually technician-driven, this scenario offers the fastest migration, especially in cases with full high capacity drives. If a PC is unresponsive, but the hard drive is in working order, PCmover’s Image and Drive Assistant function is the only way to transfer data, settings and applications to a new Windows system.

In most cases, larger organizations comprised of over 500 PCs will have prepared an image that is put on a new PC by the IT department, or as part of the factory process at the OEM or service provider.

Using PCmover makes these transfer processes easy, and the migration is completed in record time. Beyond end users, these are all optimal migration scenarios for an IT service provider to utilize for business customers, and resellers to use to market to IT departments.

You can watch a video about it here.

PCmover migration: in place upgrade

PCmover Professional and Business support all migration scenarios:

Scenario 1: Migrate to a New Machine

  • Direct peer-to peer transfer over cable or network
  • File-based transfer using storage device

Scenario 2: Upgrade an old Windows PC to Windows 10

  • Custom Windows 10 install
  • Reformatted Windows 10 install

Scenario 3: Recover directly from a hard drive or VHD

  • Physical drive restoration
  • Image file restoration (mounted as VHD)

In the second scenario, PCmover supports in-place upgrades where the new operating system is installed on top of an old Windows version. Microsoft does not support in-place upgrades from Windows XP or Vista. It also does not support an upgrade path from a 32-bit machine to 64-bit. It also recommends a complex re-installation of applications, data, and settings. This reinstallation is often too costly for an organization, especially if they must repeat this process many times, because they have a number of PCs that were purchased in the last 4 years but are fast enough to handle Windows 10.

This built-in technology in PCmover, the “Upgrade Assistant” tool, is the only technology to support this type of scenario. After Windows 10 is installed as a custom install (no formatting of the hard drive), PCmover’s Upgrade Assistant function can restore the applications, data, and settings from the old Windows directory and apply them to the new OS environment.

While PCmover can perform in-place upgrades, many customers prefer to “export” all data, settings and applications to a network location or external drive. This allows the PC to be updated with a full image, which includes the preferred settings and new applications of the organization, before the data, settings and applications are imported again. If no image is needed, organizations can use the Upgrade Assistant function of PCmover to preserve data, settings and applications on a new Windows version.

You can watch a video of how an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 works here.

In the next blog post, we will explore the third and final migration scenario PCmover supports.

PCmover migration: PC to PC

PCmover Professional and Business support three migration scenarios:

Scenario 1: Migrate to a New Machine

  • Direct peer-to peer transfer over cable or network
  • File-based transfer using storage device

Scenario 2: Upgrade an old Windows PC to Windows 10

  • Custom Windows 10 install
  • Reformatted Windows 10 install

Scenario 3: Recover directly from a hard drive or VHD

  • Physical drive restoration
  • Image file restoration (mounted as VHD)

The first scenario is the most common scenario where you deploy to a new PC and replace an existing desktop, moving the data, settings and applications from the old to the new PC through the network. Some companies prefer a USB cable to reduce the traffic on the network or for offline migrations.

PCmover® Professional and Business editions make the migration process effective and cost-efficient. PCmover is an OS-independent transfer tool that allows users to migrate from Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1 to Windows 10. 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.

You can watch a PCmover tutorial video here.

In our next post, we will talk about PCmover’s second supported migration scenario.

Replacing desktop PCs with a desktop

With the upcoming release of Windows 10, Microsoft’s newest operating system is expected to become the new standard for corporate and organizational computing. Windows 10 is being built to accommodate all the business users who reluctantly stayed on Windows 7 after the end of support for XP, despite the availability of the 8 and 8.1 versions.

Research shows that Windows 8 and 8.1 only gained a 15% market share, leaving 85% of PCs worldwide still running Windows versions XP, Vista, and 7. While home consumers will be able to easily upgrade to Windows 10 at an affordable cost later this year, professional organizations will need to refresh their aging PC infrastructure, in addition to their operating systems. This event will likely mark the largest upgrade project since the launch of the first PC.

IT pros are not replacing desktops with laptops.

 
Some 45 percent of IT professionals plan to replace a desktop with a desktop, while only 12 percent plan to replace a desktop with a laptop.

Whether it’s a home business owner managing a single PC, or an organization running 100 PCs, the business opportunity as a service provider and reseller is available.

A corporate migration will push resources and budgets beyond their limits, unless deployment processes are redefined.

While PC deployments have been a top consideration for many IT departments, there are few standard processes in place to make it an effective procedure while maintaining workplace productivity. Despite advances in software and technology, it remains true that few solutions are known of in the industry that can successfully migrate applications, data, and settings to a new PC.

At Laplink we offer PCmover Professional and Business editions to make the migration process effective and cost-efficient for IT service providers and software resellers in this market. PCmover is an OS-independent transfer tool that allows users to migrate from Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1 to Windows 10. 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.

PCmover Professional and Business support all migration scenarios.

Software giveaway for Laplink’s 32nd anniversary!

Laplink celebrates its 32nd anniversary with 24 hours of incredible software giveaways through June 18 (8:30 AM PST). The rest of June, Laplink will have a bundle of fantastic software promotions available at http://www.laplink.com/happy32nd for everyone that is ready to upgrade or migrate to Windows 10 when it’s available next month!