Tag: support

Server 2003 nemesis looms

Microsoft campusMicrosoft abandons support for Windows Server 2003 on July the 14 this year and that means servergeddon for IT managers who don’t keep up with the upgrades.

In fact, according tech company Insight UK, there are five “power struggles” set to happen in enterprises and public organisations on Bastille Day – that’s the 14th of July.

Insight estimates that 24 million servers worldwide could well be affected – and nearly 40 percent of Server OSes are Windows 2003.

Microsoft wants people to use its Azure Data Centre Migration but many have left things too little and too late.

Insight thinks that migrating servers could take an estimated 18 months, and short term patches cause problems in the migration.

And another problem is lack of compatability and interoperability problems, while new environments will require time to get to grips sure.

Sure enough, this is leading Insight to one conclusion – it can help you out. “Panic is not an option,” said MD Emma de Sousa, after telling enterprises that they better had panic, and quickly.


Dell intros support for PCs and tablets

Dell logoDell said it has extended its ProSupport Plus service for both PCs and for tablets.
The company claimed it’s the first to offer proactive and predictive support for these devices.
It also claimed that with this package in place, people will spend up to 84 percent less time on technical support calls.
The company claimed that IT departments spend around 80 percent of their time on routine operations and support.
The service will be available to both Dell customers and to its channel partners – and includes cover for a number of situations.
Those include coverage for drops, spill and electrical surges;  hard drive retention after replacement and workflow management for support cases, as well as self service case management and parts dispatch.


Social media rants bad for businesses

visa-epayNot that long ago dissatisfied customers used to ring up companies or show up at their door. Neither option was something businesses looked forward to, but they had to deal with it anyway. Then the social networking revolution came about and for a while it seemed like the internet would help improve customer service and lessen the hassle at the same time.

It did, but it also created another problem. People don’t tend to call customer service anymore, they just head to Facebook and start posting bile ridden posts about companies.

Dr. Donald Patrick Lim, chief digital officer of ABS-CBN and managing director of McCann’s digital arm, said companies must converge technology, performance and creativity, but they also need to address the social media threat, reports SunStar.

“Consumers today are very wired. They don’t call. They just go on Facebook and rant there,” said Lim.

As more and more people get tech savvy and dependent on social media for information, the rants can have a very disruptive effect and shouldn’t be ignored.

Many companies now offer online message boards and real time support, which is very convenient indeed. However it also poses a risk, as every unsatisfactory, inappropriate or downright daft chat from support staff can end up on social media in a matter of seconds, thanks to ye olde clipboard.

Demand for mobile gear outpaces support

SmartphonesSkyrocketing demand for mobile devices in the workplace seems to be putting too much pressure on IT professionals and support staff. According to a LANDesk Software survey, 83 percent of end-users want to create service desk incidents or requests using their mobile device. However, only 24 percent are able to access self-service systems using mobile gear because their companies don’t have the technology to support it.

BYOD and the consumerization of IT are clearly causing a plethora of issues. The survey found that many employers are simply failing to keep up with demand for effective support for mobile gear. If they fail to do so, the potential benefits of BYOD and mobile tech in general could be limited. Although access by mobile devices remains limited, 86 percent of respondents said they have access to self-service IT support via their PCs.

‘‘Mobile devices have become so integral to how employees work that it’s worrying to see so few businesses enable employees to report IT problems via mobile devices. Businesses will find their employees more willing to embrace services if the way they are requested goes hand in hand with the way they work, ’’ said Ian Aitchison, Director of Product Management, LANDesk. “As employees evolve and adopt new technologies to support them in their work, businesses are well advised to support these technologies to maintain productivity levels and streamline interactions between the employee and the service desk.’’

The research also covered 10,000 IT professionals, who said they have seen some positive results from desktop PC self-service, despite limited availability of mobile support. The majority said self-service helped reduce call volumes and improve user experience. Of those who worked in organizations without a self-service programme, 83 percent said they plan to implement it and 47 percent already have a rollout plan.

Gartner weans firms off Windows XP

framedwindowsDespite Windows XP and Office 2003 support ending in April 8 2014, more than 15 percent of midsize and large businesses are still, and will continue using the OS Gartner has said.

The company has decided to help heal the IT world and put together some recommendations on how companies can wean themselves off the OS as well as the risks associated with sticking to them.

Michael Silver and Steve Kleynhans, vice presidents in Gartner’s client computing team pointed out that not having support means that organisations’ PCs could be vulnerable to attack.

New vulnerabilities are always being found, and new vulnerabilities that are found in more current products could affect Windows XP and Office 2003, the duo said.

They warned that any unpatched device could be vulnerable to attack, even a private network  that has no internet access. They explained that this was because another device, even one running a supported product, could be infected with malware outside the private network and bring it onto the private network, infecting other devices.

Many applications will no longer be supported while running on Windows XP, which the pair said meant organisations could be on their own to resolve issues and problems leading to system downtime.

Organisations that are not almost or completely finished migrating off Windows XP and/or Office 2003 should reassess their position by reviewing their project plans and ensuring that they are on target to meet the deadline, Gartner said.

It said companies that were afraid they were unlikely to complete their migration projects by April 2014 should prioritise their applications and users so they could reduce the risks by addressing critical resources first.

Conducting several analyses on their application portfolios to help safeguard the company after XP support ends, and in preparation for Windows 7 or 8 migrations would also help businesses.