Almost two years ago, we published an article called "How To Staff Your Windows 10 Migration Team Properly" which walks you through the required team member roles and necessary skills for your Windows 10 Transformation project. Now that a significant number of enterprises have at least begun, if not completed, their migration, we thought we should have a look at how your team roles need to change to adapt to a continuous Servicing Update management model going forward. For many, this function will be assimilated into the Business As Usual team, a change which could have major impacts if not managed correctly.
Jun 14, 2018 1:41:29 AM / by Barry Angell
Jun 4, 2018 1:20:33 PM / by Barry Angell
I don't know about you, but I don't know of any single enterprise-size organization that does not do some formal application compatibility testing as they roll out a new OS — except one: Microsoft.
According to a webinar, Microsoft's application portfolio consists of 1,650 applications, 96% of which are browser-based. That leaves them with about 250 business critical apps, but surprisingly the company hasn't undergone a formal app compatibility testing program since rolling out Windows 8. Instead, the software giant has been able to roll out at least four Windows 10 versions to 95% of its full-time employees in less than nine weeks by running a 20,000 device pilot phase in which issues are tracked through the help desk, Feedback Hub, and Yammer before rolling it out company-wide.
If that makes you feel a bit queasy (or full-blown anxious), stick with me as I walk you through what choices organizations have to manage their application packaging and testing efforts in an Evergreen IT mode, what the prerequisites are for doing so successfully, and what an optimized process would look like. At the end, I will also include some general pointers to keep in mind.
May 29, 2018 3:35:35 PM / by Barry Angell
For decades, large IT Transformation projects have been planned using manual spreadsheets or hand-cranked databases. All required steps were neatly visualized in a massive MS Project Gantt Chart — of course, with buffers built in right from the start because we knew there would be delays. We also knew that the real project devil would be in the asset readiness detail, something that couldn't be managed in a Microsoft project plan. However, we would still spend an exorbitant amount of time updating our scorecards and spreadsheets even though they would inevitably fall apart entirely at some point. It was slow and inefficient.
Now, with the Windows 10 Servicing model and its fast and continuous update cadence, attempting to manage thousands of readiness activities in multiple spreadsheets is useless because managing Windows-as-a-Service is more like juggling hundreds of balls at the same time. Not only do you have to keep the current release balls up in the air, you have to keep your eye on the future balls coming at you just as quickly!
May 22, 2018 7:51:00 AM / by Barry Angell
In November 2015, I calculated the per device cost to migrate from Windows 7 to Windows 10 — a whopping $693 per seat for a manually delivered migration using spreadsheets or hand-cranked databases! In comparison, Gartner had quoted somewhere between $1,035 and $1,930 per user depending on the level of desktop management in place, and Forrester estimated $1,000 as the average expense.
With Juriba Dashworks software, we were able to reduce this figure significantly (on average to $493 per seat). While our Win 7 to Win 10 calculation was based on a hypothetical 10,000 seat migration project, it was built from real-world experience of having helped enterprises ready millions of devices for migration.
As companies move to continuous upgrades rather than big bang migrations, the focus of these calculations shifts as well. This week, Gartner has been first to market with a new cost model, the so-called "Windows 10 Feature Update Cost Model", which is available for purchase for $7,500 on the analyst company's website and consists of an Excel spreadsheet and an accompanying report. It outlines how the ongoing maintenance cost compares with the big bang migrations of the past. The goal is to allow large organizations to estimate the costs and labor requirements involved for managing one or two Windows 10 Servicing cycles a year.
May 14, 2018 8:06:00 AM / by Barry Angell
Over the past few years, we have seen our fair share of failed and dangerously inefficient enterprise attempts to keep Windows 10 and Office 365 servicing up-to-date. Often, the organization took longer than anticipated to run through the first initial migration, skipped an update to come up for air, just to drown under the workload of the feature update roll out, for which it had vastly underestimated the risk and work effort. Ever worse, these updates are often managed manually, with antiquated and inadequate project management practices!
TL; DR: In an attempt to slow down the pace of the required Windows 10 feature upgrades and to alleviate some of the pain, some enterprises have gone down the slippery slope of skipping every second update release. But while the approach makes sense on paper, unless delivered with great velocity, it potentially exposes a large number of business users in later broad deployment rings to being upgraded only after the to be upgraded version has reached its end-of-life. If this wasn't scary enough, add in the risk of Microsoft delivering the new update later than expected and we have quite a management headache to solve.
(This article is part of an extensive blog series "The Definitive Guide To Windows 10 Servicing".)
Apr 9, 2018 1:52:49 PM / by Barry Angell
If you recently tried to find anything on Microsoft Office — for example on the enterprise section of Office.com — you might have noticed that there isn't much mention of Microsoft's on-premise productivity application suite anymore.
The vast majority of Microsoft's marketing communication and sales conversation is about Office 365! This is not an oversight or a temporary marketing campaign — but rather a strategic push to move enterprise customers away from the perpetually licensed Office fat client and onto the subscription-based, always up-to-date Office 365. Moreover, now that Office 2019 is about to be released, many enterprises are asking themselves: "Should we consider Office 2019, or is it not the right time to switch to Office 365 ProPlus?"
Pillsbury Law Gets Praise For Smooth Windows 10 Migration & Hardware Refresh From Its VIP Lawyers & Staff
Mar 29, 2018 2:12:24 PM / by Barry Angell
With Windows 7 approaching end of support in January 2020, most enterprises are accelerating plans to migrate to Windows 10 in 2018 to take advantage of the new or improved cyber-security capabilities, and avoid an expensive custom support agreement with Microsoft. However, at this time, fewer organizations than expected have taken the plunge because they dread the Windows-as-a-Service servicing model that requires continuous upgrades and a more agile, Evergreen IT management approach.
Ahead of the game is Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, an international law firm recognized by the Financial Times as one of the Most Innovative Law Firms three years running. Today, I want to share a little sneak peek at our latest customer case study and tell you the story of how Dashworks transformed this dreaded Windows 10 migration experience into an IT Transformation initiative that the 700+ lawyers and their staff could not only get behind, but actively participate in!
Mar 15, 2018 12:41:06 PM / by Barry Angell
In the past week, Microsoft asked me to speak at the Windows Partner Deployment Day about the infrastructure, project management & readiness support for effective Windows-as-a-Service deployments. Juriba Dashworks consumes and enhances the valuable Windows Analytics and Upgrade Readiness data feed with a robust command and control system to help manage Evergreen initiatives.
We also spoke a lot about AutoPilot and Microsoft's "Modern IT Management" agenda which the software giant has been pushing for the past three years. The premise is that strategic-minded IT teams strive to increase user productivity and security on any device while contributing to the company's bottom line by driving Digital Transformation and innovation — but they are met with constant challenges, such as more sophisticated cybersecurity threats, disruptive business models, and consumerization of IT. This leads IT to having to do more with less — and one way to do so is to move more applications and infrastructure into the cloud which often requires a different IT management approach that enables them to manage any device with almost zero-touch.
Mar 5, 2018 7:07:00 AM / by Barry Angell
Rolling out Office 365 can be very exciting considering the value it will add to your organization in terms of unified communication, collaboration, and business processes! But it can be equally terrifying if you think about all the dependencies of users, mailboxes, delegates, mail archives, public folders, groups, instant messaging, ... the list goes on and on.
After the initial migration is completed, Microsoft will release two larger Office client feature updates and monthly security updates to increase productivity for your end users and tighten security. However, just like Windows as a Service, these larger feature updates will need to be rolled out effectively as they can also be considered a mini-migration.