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Enterprise Endpoint Experts (E³) | Wally Mead

Enterprise Endpoint Experts (E³): Wally Mead

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This is a transcription of the E3 podcast with Wally Mead. Welcome to our first episode of Enterprise Endpoint Experts (E³) with Cireson’s Wally Mead! Wally discusses What’s New in Technical Previews — in other words — what we could see in ConfigMgr 1702 (since released as GA). Wally also gives us a sneak peak of the new Cireson Portal for Configuration Manager.

Bill

Hello, and welcome to Enterprise Experts Podcast, or as we call it, E3 just to be slightly pretentious. Today we’re going to be talking about the new features in SCCM 1702, as well as the Cireson Configuration Manager Portal. I’m your host, Bill Bernat, and with me today is Wally Mead, a renowned global expert on Systems Center Configuration Manager. Hey Wally.

Wally

Hey Bill.

Bill

So your current position is with Cireson, and you are a Principle Program Analyst, correct?

Wally

Principle Program Manager.

Bill

Principle Program Manager, thank you. Additionally, a lot of people don’t know this about you, you starred in Top Gun as Tom Cruise’s commanding officer, in the 1986 it film. Is that right?

Wally

That’s not correct.

Bill

That’s what I understand, and you know what I loved about that was when you said, “Son, your ego’s writing checks your body can’t cash.” That was great.

Wally

That was a great line, but it wasn’t me. I wasn’t in the film.

Bill

You’re very humble. So let’s talk about the technology here. You’re at Cireson, and your role as Principle Program Manager is to stay on top of what’s going on in the world of Configuration Manager and then educate people about that and then bring that feedback back into Cireson. Is that more or less it?

Wally

That’s exactly it. So I try and stay up-to-date on Config Manager so I can do webinars, do conferences, do user groups and talk about Configuration Manager. Take some of the feedback I get back from attendees, customers back to help generate products at Cireson and that we think can help better their Configuration Manager experiences.

Bill

Before that you worked at Microsoft for a couple of years. Is that right?

Wally

A couple times eleven, for 22 years.

Bill

Twenty-two years, and you were there during the birth of SCCM or SMS, as it was then. Is that right?

Wally

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Bill

What was your role in that?

Wally

Yeah, back in those days I was in the training group, what we used to call Microsoft University, and I was writing training materials. And I came back from Christmas break in January of 1994, and I was told I was going to work on a product called Hermes, and I didn’t know what that was. It was the code name for SMS 1.0. So I was there from the birth of SMS 1.0 essentially up through when I left was Config Man 2012 r2, I think.

Bill

Wow, so when you guys were working on it did you have any idea this was just going to become a massive industry?

Wally

No, had no thoughts at all. It was a really small little product back then, very small product team and product group, and it’s essentially just blown up over the years as far as the uptake of it and the vast number of customers and desktops and laptops, license that are out there being managed by Configuration Manager. It’s fantastic to see.

Bill

Right, right, yeah, absolutely. And you’re a runner as well right?

Wally

I do occasionally, yeah.

Bill

Yes. We were, I forget where it was, oh Ignite. You were running around. Yeah. So how many miles a week would you say you run?

Wally

It depends. On good weather days, I used to go about four miles at a time, and I’ll get in, in summer when it’s nice, four to five runs a week. In the middle of winter here in Seattle, it might be one or two times a week. And softball season, which is starting up, I’ll take a couple days off to do softball because I get tired with that.

Bill

Okay nice. I don’t run at all. I do row now because I can watch TV while rowing.

Wally

I need a treadmill in my house so I can watch TV while I’m running. That would be a good idea, so yeah.

Wally

Yeah, I pay attention to traffic conditions.

Bill

Yes, probably wise. Okay so let’s talk about the TP 1702. Since the actual software isn’t out, we’re talking about what you predict is going to be in it based on what you’ve seen in the technical preview releases.

Wally

Right, yeah, so that’s good. Since to product released in December of 2015, there’s been an additional three production updates; 1602, 1606, and 1610 and those all come out generally about a month and a half after the month they’re designated, like 1610 was October of last year, so it came out in the middle of November. So same thing we’re expecting this year with 1702, which will be the next production release. We’re expecting it in the next week or so.What the product group does is they take the internal bill, they test it locally. Then they roll it out to MSIT, which is hundreds of thousands of clients. Then they give it to TAP customers who test it out in their production environments. As you know, everybody’s environment is different and unique, so it gets a lot more test coverage and gets more feedback back on specific issues from everybody else. So once TAP customers have signed off on it, then it goes to general availability for the general public to get access to. That’s what we’re expecting to hear in the next week or so.

Bill

Next week or so. So there’s not a timing dependency on the creators update for Windows, but there is kind of a dependency in terms of there may be some hooks or they’re built kind of in concert.

Wally

Yeah they do, the product group for Config Manager does watch the Windows releases and what they’re doing with it, and if there’s a new major Windows release coming out, they want to make sure they can support that or a new build in the 80K or something like that. They want to make sure they can accommodate that or Express updates, want to accommodate those features. They do watch that, but other than that they try and maintain their own cycle about every four months.

Bill

Okay great. Let’s take a look.

Wally

Yeah, so we don’t know exactly when the product is going to come out and since it’s not out yet, we don’t know exactly what the features are, but we can talk about technical previews, which there’s been a number of them since this last production of the 1610. So we can talk about those and those are to give you a glimpse of what’s going to come up. So technical previews are actually a different environment you would install that is very restricted.It can only handle ten clients, specific operating systems in a very small site, but it’s there to let you, as a customer or organization, look at what Microsoft’s looking at or potentially planning on putting in the next production update, and they come out on a monthly basis.So whereas production updates are every four months, technical previews are on a monthly basis. So every month you’re getting a new update of things that could go into the next release. So that’s what we’ll talk about here.So we’ll look at, starting with 1611, is the first tech preview that came out after, obviously, 1610 production release.So one of the coolest things that they added there, which the only thing in 1611 actually, was now in an upgrade operating system deployment has sequence. You could have it pre-cache the available software that’s been targeted to that end user. So the scenario is you’re going to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and with that you’re going to get a half dozen applications targeted to you. Well once you get your laptop upgraded, you don’t want to wait for all of the download of that software.So in this upgrade operating system pre-caching scenario, you can add this content to this process. So as you’re deploying out that new operating system image, it will cache that content in your cache already. So when you login the cache is already filled up. You just have to run the deployment and the stuff is already there.

Bill

And that’s the in-place upgrade scenario only correct?

Wally

Yeah. There’s some limitations with it right now in the tech preview, trying to figure out how well it works and it will expand it out to more scenarios going forward.

Bill

Okay.

Wally

Now 1612 they added a few more things. One of the cool things was a data warehouse service point. So Config Manager automatically ages out or removes old data just to keep the database small, but sometimes people want to keep their data for longer periods of time to do historical reporting. So this is a new site system roll that would let you archive off specific replication groups, as they call them, from the data into this data warehouse service point so you can run reporting on it. And they have a different set of reports that look at the data warehouse versus the normal reporting system.

Bill

Okay great. This is especially great for inventory data.

Wally

Yeah, exactly. Content library clean up tools, if you have orphan content in your distribution points, it can help identify that and you can run it again with switch of delete to remove that orphan content to help clean things. A bunch of changes to in-console searches to help it remember what your search criteria was, when you move between pages. It shows you your path now, if you do a global search. I would just say I found this, but it wouldn’t tell you where it was. Now it tells you what workspace or what place to go to know to find that data.The ability now to prevent applications from installing or running if it finds a known incompatible program. For example, you can say I can’t run this application deployment type if notepad is running. So it can be a blocker to prevent the application from running because I know it has conflicts.

Bill

Okay great.

Wally

They ability of deploying available apps for the Windows Store for Business and also notifying end users through Windows Hello for Business, if they need some additional actions to be taken part of. Another cool thing is Windows 10 1607 Express Updates. As you know with Windows 10 there are cumulative updates on a monthly basis. They’re getting really big.

Bill

Yeah that’s huge. That’s got everybody worried and trying to strategize how are we going to deal with this on our ongoing maintenance.

Wally

Right, so the new Windows 10 versions they have Express Updates capable in the Config Net infrastructure now who’s going to be able to support just downloading the Deltas between the previous cumulative updated that’s already been downloaded and this next Express Update. So saving network traffic.

Bill

That’s great. Everybody’s been eagerly anticipating the arrival of that in SCCM.

Wally

It’s coming. Again, tech preview, so hopefully it will make it in the 1702.

Bill

Right, no guarantee anything in tech preview shows up in the GA.

Wally

The ability of doing O data endpoint through (9.28 unclear) integration. Be able to restart a task sequence. I’m in a WIN PE mode, I go to my list of task sequences, pick one and it fails, I can now go to the previous page, which will let me restart a different task sequence without having to kill everything and reboot everything and start all over again.

Bill

Okay nice.

Wally

And now some integration. Onboarding between your active directory and Configuration Manager Cloud Services such as their new cloud management gateway. Okay now in 1701 they added a bunch of new things. One of the things that people are really going to be excited about is today you can already bind your management point and distribution points, the boundary groups where software update points aren’t. So this kind of a random selection, unless you go to the registry or use group policy to set the location, now you can be able to put your software update points inside boundary groups.

Bill

Nice.

Wally

So that will help take away one of the last barriers or reasons that people have to deploy secondary sites. So that’s going to be a big one. Hardware inventory by default now will collect UEFI startup status. That’s inventory data already there. You’ll be able to host software update packages on cloud distribution points, which is really useful for third party update packages.

Bill

Okay great.

Wally

You can use your management point for validation of device health at station data whereas before you had to use the call in service for that. There is a OMS connector for the Microsoft as your government cloud, which is useful. And easier of targeting of Android and IoS platforms now. You can just target kind of the operating system as opposed to the individual versions of it.

Bill

Oh really, okay. So that’s pretty significantly improved.

Wally

Yeah. Now a lot of things in OSD will be useful for you guys. You can increase your application limit from 9 to 99 in a single task sequence dump. So that’s a cool thing. When you’re adding software you can multi-select software. So instead of adding one by one, you can multi-select multiple and add them in a single step.

Bill

Nice.

Wally

You can set expiration on standalone media. So you can say this media is no longer valid as of March 31st of this year so it can’t be used by anybody else. You can also add new content types to your standalone media, some more support there. Time out that’s configurable and auto apply device driver step, very useful. One thing people really like is in task sequence steps now they display the package ID instead of just the package name, because some people like to track their package IDs. They know them better and names aren’t always as accurate. They track Windows 10 80K versions now and they’ll only let you modify boot images for the 80K version that you have installed. So 1607 boot image, if you have 1607 80K for Windows 10. That’s kind of a cool thing. Lastly is you can’t change the default, source path of your default boot images.

Bill

Okay great.

Wally

Alright, the last term, most recent technical preview was 1702, and they’ve actually added a lot of cool things in that one, and again hopefully we’ll see a lot of these coming up in the 1702 production update. That’s kind of confusing for people, the same numbers, 1702 TP versus 1702 production. They’re not the same. One of the things is from inside the console when you’re playing with a technical preview you can right click and say send feedback. So when you’re looking at a feature, looking at a node, whatever it is you can do a right click, send feedback directly from there.

Bill

So you’re actually typing in like I like this, I don’t like this or why don’t you do this.

Wally

Yeah and it goes directly up to the product group from there.

Bill

Awesome. Yeah, they have been really great about figuring out what do people want and incorporate it. It’s really impressive to watch how Microsoft operates right now.

Wally

But that’s really the power of the technical previews is that it gives you that ability of looking and providing feedback and then they very much do listen to that feedback. So the more people use it, the better the product is going to (13.04 unclear).

Bill

That’s awesome.

Wally

Yeah. One of the cool things that I know a lot of people have complained about over the years is that the updates and servicing feature downloads everything. So if you were in 1511, the original release, and then you did an updates and servicing it’s going to download 1602 and 1606 and 1610, and you care about 1602 and 1606. You just want 1610, but it would download them anyway. So that’s multiple gigabytes that got downloaded and stuffed in your hard drive. Now as of tech preview 1702 it’s only going to download the most current, the most recent available update and skip the intermediate ones.
Now some people do want to back, there is a few, you can tell it to go back and download the interim ones if you want to, but most people are just going to want the latest and greatest.

Bill

Nice, so that will just make it easier and faster to upgrade.

Wally

Plus it’s now going to go clean up your history on the hard drive. So when it downloaded those it would expand them out into the full directory structure that we keep all those. So chewing your site servers hard drive, it’s going to clean that up now.

Bill

Nice, a little intelligence there.

Wally

Yeah. Some discovery and management as your active directory domain services, resources, users and groups and devices, you can find those. Conditional access for supporting non-compliant applications in a compliance check. So you can now say that, hey if I find this app on this computer that’s not a authorized app, he’s non-compliant so now he can’t get access to corporate email. So kind of a cool thing.

Bill

Yeah that’s actually pretty significant, right.

Wally

Yeah.

Bill

And that was previously cloud-based only. Yeah awesome.

Wally

I see I have a typo on this one, but if you’re using system center import protection, which is the Windows Defender engine, and you can now set an alert if you have more than 20 percent of your clients running an old engine version. Not necessarily the definition, but the old engine itself hasn’t been updated, and so it’s out of date. So you can set an alert that would fire off in the console, hey you got too many clients who are out of date here.

Bill

Okay, but that 20 percent is configurable though right?

Wally

They only talk about 20 percent, so I think right now it’s hard coded at twenty.

Bill

Roger that.

Wally

Yeah. You can create compliance policies for Windows Update for Business Assessment. So whether you’ve got it properly configured, it will do that. A lot of things in OSD which are very cool. Ability of configuring all task sequences as high risk. So you know in operating system deployment whenever did a OSD task sequence and you went to require it, it said hey this could be a high risk one. It would block out some of your default collections and limit what collections you go to. Now you can do that for all task sequences even outside of OSD. So you can say this is a high risk task sequence just from the properties of it, and then it would block out the all systems collection and some of the other collection might have servers in it and so on.

Bill

Nice. Just to avoid the scenario where you bring down an entire organization. It might have happened before. It may have happened to one or two ways.

Wally

In your task sequences, now you can display custom messages. So now you can say this task sequence is going to do this. you can even designate here’s how much the download is going to be. It’s going to be 10 gigabytes of download space. We expect it to take an hour and a half to run. You can put those that will now display those messages, the timing, the download impact to the end user when they try and run that task sequence. Make them a little informative of what’s going on.

Bill

Okay great.

Wally

I talked about that blocking of applications when programs are running scenario. They made some enhancements in that so now if it’s an available app, you can prompt the user saying, if you want to continue, close this application and they can close it and then continue on with that application. If it’s required, you can set it automatically close blocking app if you want to, the blocking program.Couple more things real quick. A lot of new compliance settings for IoS devices. So just a ton of stuff in there. you can bind a Google account to your Android for Work scenarios to give you more capabilities, and lastly is the ability of creating PFX certificate profiles that you can deploy to users that have S/MIME capabilities on them, attributes on it. So that’s really it. That’s what we see in the last few technical previews. We don’t know which of those features are going to make production. We hope a lot of them obviously, but the goal there is to see what’s coming so that you can play with tech previews to find out and provide feedback. So that feedback, as you were saying earlier, helps the product group listen to what’s there, what’s good, what needs to be worked on more before they put it in production release.

Bill

Absolutely.

Wally

So you want to make sure you stay up-to-date on your Configuration Manager current branch version and highly recommend that you have a tech preview site so you can play around and provide that feedback back to the product group.

Bill

Okay that’s fantastic. So let’s go ahead and talk about the Cireson Configuration Manager Portal. I don’t think I have the exact official name right?

Wally

Yeah the official name is the Cireson Portal for Configuration Manager is the long name for it.

Bill

That’s why I didn’t say it.

Wally

Yeah, everybody just calls it the Configuration Manager Portal.

Bill

Right, and the long name is to fit in with the way you have suite of products and you sort of have that same prefix on a group of them.

Wally

Correct because we have a Cireson portal for Service Manager that gives you an end user experience, a Self-Service portal, as well as the analyst experience to manage the incident requests and everything else coming from end users from the Self-Service side of the house. So the Cireson Portal for Service Manager. Now we have the Cireson Portal for Configuration Manager.

Bill

What is it? What does it do?

Wally

The concept behind the Cireson Portal for Configuration Manager is that you’re very well aware of the Configuration Manager Console. It’s huge, got a lot of capabilities, you can do a lot with it, but let’s say I don’t need to have all those capabilities. I have to spend a lot of time going in there and tuning it down, restricting it with security rights and so on. This will be a web-based interface, so you’re not tied to being on your laptop or desktop where you have it installed.

Bill

That sounds great. Is it mobile as well?

Wally

In the first release it won’t be mobile aware. Only Windows desktops and browsers scenario, but it’s in our roadmap to make it mobile aware.

Bill

So you will be mobile?

Wally

Yes.

Bill

We spent a lot of time on this, but I’m curious, what phone do you use? Are you IoS, Android, Windows Phone?

Wally

For the longest time I was Windows, but my Windows phone was dying at the end of last year so when I was eligible for upgrade I just moved to a Google Pixel.

Bill

Oh nice, yeah that’s a hot phone.

Wally

I didn’t really care, but it really has helped with the app availability for me, but yeah it was highly recommended to me from a trusted source. So I went with Google Pixel.

Bill

Yeah I’m in a family of intense phone market watchers and they’re all saying Pixel is the hottest phone right now. Okay, so the Cireson Configuration Manager Portal is going to provide you a web interface, which you can’t use on your Pixel phone, but you will be able to in the future release. And what advantages does it provide over the native SCCM console?

Wally

Well outside of just the fact you can be mobile with it, so I’m tied to my local Configuration Manger installation with the console. Some of the cool advantages are we’ve scaled it down for specific users so that you don’t have the complexity, like the training to get all your people who want to use it into the environment so they can use it effectively. It’s scaled down, more intuitive, easier to use interface we think.

Bill

So you’re kind of looking to scale administrative capacity a little bit. People who maybe aren’t full-blown SCCM administrators, now you can say, you’re going to have rights to do this and use a very simple interface to do it so you can do these things.

Wally

Correct. So if you’re a full-blown Configuration Manager admin, where you’re managing the infrastructure, adding site systems and doing all that stuff, you’re going to stick in that console because you know it, you love it and so on. But for the guys who just, help desk scenarios, they don’t need the full Configman console. Your desktop or your server support teams, they don’t need the full console to do their job. My app packagers, they don’t need the console. They just need to have a interface where they can do their specific job that they need to do, whether it’s help desk, I need to look at my… you call up and have a problem with your computer and I want to look at your inventory data and see what’s going on, well you don’t know what your computer name is when I asked you so I can do a UDA lookup, user to device affinity.So I look up Bill and it tells me what computer Bill is looking at. I can then look at your discovery attributes. I can look to see you’re healthy, the last time you reported. I can look at the core inventory attributes for a help desk scenario that are important, operating system, what’s your patch status, how much free disk space do you have, how much memory you have, what software is already installed, what service do you have running. You don’t have to have the full resource explorer which has tons of different attributes you have to try to figure out where to go to. So we’ve scaled that down to give you the high impact, high value attributes for a help desk scenario.

Bill

Okay, fantastic.

Wally

If you want to deploy software, very easy, you right click on the computer, right click on the user or go to Software Task Sequences, right click and say Deploy Software. Very, very easy to use interface. You can add multiple different pieces of software to a single deployment, which Configman doesn’t let you do. You can pick an existing collection, which is great if you know, but let’s say I’m help desk and I don’t know what collection to target this to. I can have it create a collection on demand. So I can click (22.09 unclear) button. It will create a collection on demand that will add my computer or user with that software targeted to that collection automatically. So very cool.

Bill

Okay nice, nice.

Wally

As part of the process of creating and deploying software, the Cireson Portal for Configuration Manager we provide what are called templates. So in the Configuration Manager console when you run through that process of creating a new package application past sequence or deploying it, you got to run through the wizard, answer the same questions every single time. It gets repetitive, and it’s prone to mistakes because I forget to select some option, I forget to configure some value that I need for my specific environment. So the next time it doesn’t work properly.With templates, I preset all those values. When I’m creating my software or deploying my software. I load the template, all those values are set for me automatically. So I might create a template for workstation, my desktop team. I might create a template for me server applications for the server team or my OSD guys. And then I just load the template and bingo, all those things are done. I just put in my specific, this is my source file, this is the program I want or the command line, whatever it is, but all the general stuff I have to do is all taken care for me automatically.

Bill

So the repetitive tasks you can do them a lot more quickly?

Wally

Reducing human error because the fact that all that stuff is consistently accomplished very, very easily.

Bill

And you guys just have your own database on the SQL server to manage all of this?

Wally

We do. So all of our custom data we’re going to put in our own database. Anything you create like an application, a package, a deployment, a collection, that’s going to get pushed back to Config Manager to the SMS provider. So it’s a supported scenario, but all of our customer stuff, our views, our own security system, our templates are all going in to our own custom database.

Bill

Okay great. So is there anything else you want to note about it before we dive in to the demo?

Wally

Again, we’ve got our own role-based administration. So I can lock it down to help desk versus desktop support team, whatever. You can enable Config Manager or back if you want. So if I want to use Config Manager’s scenario where I’ve already got my users in Config Manager, they’ve already got their scopes and they’ve got their collections and roles installed, great I can do that, but if I don’t want them in the console at all, I don’t have to add them to the Configman console at all, just use our role-based administration controls to manage what they can do getting into our portal, which then will push stuff through our impersonation account, service account into Config Manager.

Bill

Okay, fantastic. Well let’s take a look.

Wally

Alright so here you can see this is the first look at the native Cireson Portal for Configuration Manager. I’m logged on as a full administrator so I get a C access to everything. So just as a quick highlight for you, down the left hand side is your navigation menu. This is where I can go and click on computers so I can manage computers. I can manage users. I can manage my software. Task sequences, I can look at my deployment status. If I have MDT integration, which we support as well, I can manage my MDT roles, which are groups of software I want to have deployed to operating systems when they get installed.I can integrate with Configuration Manager reporting. So I can look at all those different reports. Look at our internal event system, so that’s all the new for management. Now at the very bottom there’s a new menu, which again depending upon your security rights, you’ll see those navigation menu icons, appropriate ones. I can create new computers. I can create new software deployments. I can create new software applications or packages. I can create new task sequences, operating system deployment or software task sequences and new MDT roles.Then in the upper right is where I have my settings. This is where as a global administrator I can control what Bill can do in my console. What actions do you have access to, what nodes, what new, what setting might you have available to you. I create my templates. I create my views of software and so on. I do that through the settings menus. Okay real quickly, if I click on a client, let’s say Client 7, when you click on one we give you some basic information up in the top in the content list. Down at the bottom is where we have our details, content details. It lets me see the last time my computer reported in. I can look at his health status, if it’s got an MDT configuration. I can see who the primary users are on this computer. So I can see Rauly [ph] is the primary user of Client 7. So that’s great for the help desk scenario.I can look and see what software is already installed on the computer. I can look and see what software is already targeted to that computer. So you call in with a problem and I don’t have software, I don’t see it listed, it’s not deployed so let me go ahead and deploy that software. So now we just do a right click and I’ve got a lot of right click actions on the computer like inventory summary. So if I want to just get that snapshot view of inventory that we talked about, I can see, again, last time he reported in, what domain he’s a member of, what primary users, hardware information, what software is installed, what my patch status is, all from an easy to use interface. So not having to filter through all the resource explorer information. I can also then again right click and say Deploy Software, so now I can deploy software. I can reinstall your operating system, if you have a broken OS scenario.

Bill

Okay, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Wally

Yeah we hope not.

Bill

That is pretty powerful that you can do that right from this interface. You can authorize a help desk agent to do that.

Wally

Or maybe you don’t want help desk to do that, maybe he has to escalate that ticket to the desktop team and he does that work, so you can restrict some of those actions. So one of the other things we can do here, and I won’t go through everything obviously, but user device affinity. So if I need to look up and see who the user is of a computer or I need to manage those, I can do that directly from the portal as well.The next couple are really cool. Cloning, let’s say an end user is going to replace their computer. I can clone it, which means I can take all the targeted software from Config Manager and basically add it to a brand new computer. So I’m going to duplicate all the targets from one over to another computer. The clear option allows me to remove software that’s targeted to you, so remove those deployments.Lastly is external tools. That allows me to kick off some external capabilities, especially for help desk. Maybe I want to ping the computer to see if he’s up and running. So it will launch off a ping and let me know whether that computer is alive or not. That’s why you can’t hit it because it’s not on the network and right now this client’s not on the network, or launch off a remote managed tool or kick off a remote desktop connection to the computer. There’s a lot of cool things there that you can do as well.Same type of actions on users, as far as the interface goes. I can do filtering. I can search by. For example, help desk might say, hey I found a problem with this computer. I have to reboot it. What user is that going to impact? So I go click on Computer Name and I search, I find Client 7, that’s the computer, and it immediately tells me that oh Wally is the user. I need to let Wally know we have to reboot his computer at noon. So I have that. I can find other attributes out about the users and deploy software to them, and obviously create new applications, packages, task sequences. I can look at deployment status. So just like you can in the Configman console but it’s all from one screen. So I can go in here, I can click on my status, I can click on the software, I can click on the collection or the specific number of clients in that state and it will bring me into a different view to see what the current status is. Who is in that boat? So very, very nice. Lastly let me just show you the templates because that’s one of the things that we talked about. Let me go back to a computer, and I’ll take my Client 7. Let’s do a deploy software, and we’ll just go ahead and take a piece of software like the Configman Tool Kit. We add that in. Now that’s my collections. If I don’t know what collection I want I go ahead and tell it to create a collection on demand, which is cool. It depends on what role I am. It will show me my resources. I see computers, I see whatever is appropriate for me. In this case, I was on a computer so it won’t let me see my user or groups. You can’t mix those types of results. It already know I want to deploy to Client 7, but now let me go to the deployment screen, and now I can load a template. So watch what happens when I load my workstation deployment template. You’ll see it automatically selects Require Administrator Approval. On the User Experience tab, it doesn’t have software installation, ignoring maintenance windows. Now if it will let me go ahead and change to my server application, and you’ll see that might change some things like the pre-deploy is gone. I have different settings so now it’s required as opposed to available.

Bill

And those templates are restricted based on access, right?

Wally

Yes.

Bill

So not everybody gets all the templates.

Wally

Correct. So I have templates for deploying software, packages, applications, task sequences, as well as for creating packages. So they automatically select the distribution points for a workstation team versus the DPs for the server team and different settings.

Bill

That’s fantastic.

Wally

Yeah I can use the role-based administration to lock down who can do what in that scenario. So yeah, that’s a quick look at it. Let me go ahead and do, I can do one more thing for you. Let me move that control out of the way. I’ll start a new browser session, just real quickly, as a different user and just show you the role-based administration, how it’s locked down. Let me go to my help desk guy.So this should be my help desk persona, and you see that he only sees client computers. He doesn’t see servers at all because I’ve got him restricted. He doesn’t have the capability of looking at reports or task sequences or MDT roles or deployment status. He doesn’t have the new button or he doesn’t have settings. So all he can do is do some basic management of computers, manage of users and looking at software, but he can’t create new stuff. So you can lock that down to the roles that you want, those personas, so that you have a very easy to use interface mobile for them and then when they do have actions, you can have templates for the software creation to delivery (31.50 unclear).

Bill

Okay, that’s fantastic. So where can people get more information about this?

Wally

So the place to go would be our website, www.cireson.com.

Bill

I’m shocked.

Wally

Yeah, yeah, you’re shocked. And I’m sure front and center on there is get more information on the Cireson Portal for Configuration Manager. You can request a full demo from there.

Bill

And you guys have a series of webinars coming out as well, depending on when people listen to this podcast, the product was released on March 13th.

Wally

Correct.

Bill

And you have some webinars going on for the next few weeks. Is that right?

Wally

Correct. I did one Tuesday and we did one yesterday and today. There’s more next week and the week after. So you can find out about those from that website. You can also request a demo from any of our team members as well.

Bill

Okay great, and I think that’s it. Thank you so much for talking with us Wally.

Wally

You’re very welcome, thanks for inviting me Bill.

Bill

This has been the E3 Podcast from Adaptiva, and you can get the podcast, as well as the video of this with demos will be up shortly also, both on insights.adaptiva.com in the SCCM Academy. Thanks a lot of joining us.

Wally

Alright. Thank you Bill.

Bill

Bye Wally.

Bill Bernat
Director of Product and Content Marketing, Adaptiva