If your doing a business case or other justification for your requirements to adopt the MDOP (which includes SoftGrid) then this IDC white paper may very well be able to assist you.
This IDC white paper examines key pain points and challenges associated with managing the desktop in the enterprise or division of a large organization. It discusses how IT departments address desktop management challenges today, key pain points, solutions used prior to adopting Microsoft technology, and benefits gained and expected from use of Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack.
IDC’s research for this project focused on evaluating Microsoft’s market and product positioning of the MDOP solutions as well as the results of an online survey of Microsoft customers that are using one or more components of the MDOP solution (with the exception of the error monitoring component). IDC surveyed 132 individuals to determine their biggest desktop management challenges and how they are addressing them. These individuals were responsible for managing fewer than 100 PCs to more than 10,000 PCs. Respondents were from companies in a variety of industries and geographies, including North America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific. Figure 1 shows the respondents’ top areas of responsibility; 45% of the respondents have responsibility for server/system administration or management.
· Desktop administration is simplified from a series of complex and time-consuming steps into simpler, automated process for deploying, patching, updating, and terminating applications – 52%.
· Will allow organizations to reduce the number of IT resources dedicated to these tasks – 43%.
· IT can now rapidly deliver applications to a broad user community without the labor of installing and testing, minimizing application conflicts, multi-platform packaging, and regression testing – 56%.
· Management of the application lifecycle has been accelerated – 52%
· ?Help desk support volume and call time has been reduced – 65%
· "I have only used the SoftGrid portion but it is of huge value, allowing us to deploy applications to virtual machines without pre-installing those apps to the VMs. Furthermore, multiple versions of the same application can run on the same machine, which is just not possible any other way. I would be interested in trying the rest of the Desktop Optimization Pack."
· Provides IT Administrators with a thorough view of enterprise software inventory and an automated means to compile enterprise software asset information that can be updated continuously or as needed – 79%.
· Asset analysis reconciles enterprise data to provide IT Administrators an in-depth understanding of their software inventory – 79%.
· Inventory data is securely hosted by Microsoft, so there are no servers for IT to maintain – 65%.
· "The software asset management tool is worth whatever Microsoft decides. Your headaches will be far less if you use it."
· IT has reduced the recovery timeframe needed to troubleshoot and repair desktop problems, resulting in greater user uptime and overall business efficiency – 49%.
· IT benefits from using a unified toolset that covers a diverse set of issues instead of multiple tools to fix common PC problems – 56%.
· IT managers can recover failed systems faster, and end-users will realize quicker, more accurate resolutions with minimal downtime – 56%.
· "the diagnostic and repair CD is one of the first tools we bring out to troubleshoot a system. It has some features not found in any other tools, such as being able to edit a system's registry and perform a system restore on a non-bootable system."
Advance Group Policy Management
· Provides an offline edit and store toolset and the workflow support for management of group policies – 82%.
· Accelerates overall Group Policy Object management tasks, improves quality of desktop standards definition and adherence to IT defined policies – 94%.
· Reduces the risk of widespread failures by providing versioning and rollback of group policy objects 88%.
· Advanced Group Policy Management "has allowed overburdened domain administrators to delegate management of resources to the local contacts, while not granting them excessive permissions." Another user from financial services enthusiastically notes that "the tool is very valuable and significantly reduces complexity."
IDC's survey of existing customers of components of MDOP generally found value in the software solutions. IDC suggests that IT managers and administrators that need a way to automatically identify PCs on the network, distribute applications, diagnose and repair PCs, and administer PCs through Group Policy Objects, consider MDOP for their organizations.