Review: Novell ZENworks ESM v3.5

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Review: Novell ZENworks ESM v3.5

The ZENworks Handheld Management offering focuses on three key issues crucial for any organisation’s bottom line: compliance, risk and cost reduction.

This centrally administrated product can increase productivity while strengthening security, adhering to compliance regulations and lowering mobile support costs. Its primary function is as a handheld management system that integrates into the overall ZENworks management suite. In that regard, it treats the handheld as just another component of the enterprise, simplifying device management.

Administrators can change and enforce passwords and policies, and can initiate data self-destruct or lock out lost or stolen devices easily. They also can deploy standard images/content, update applications, lock down configurations and monitor licence compliance. The tool works on many popular PDAs, including Palm, Windows CE, Pocket PC and BlackBerry.

This solution is simple to deploy and manage from the start. Once installed with the help of a wizard, the management console is well organised and intuitive. Settings and policies can be configured with a couple of mouse clicks.

The solution focuses mostly on security and configuration compliance within the enterprise environment. For this reason we find that ZENworks becomes the basic platform on which an enterprise can then build upon.

Documentation is good and it is easy to locate vital installation information quickly. The step-by-step instructions, along with the screenshots that accompany them, make deployment and integration easier from an administrator’s standpoint.

Standard Novell support is offered by incidents or contract. The vendor has a well-constructed website for users that helps find support and locate answers to problems. It also contains a customer centre, discussion forms, documentation, patches and a knowledge base to quickly find administrative answers. There is also a section for looking up training and consulting programmes.

Prices start at US$69 per device or, as part of the Secure Desktop Solution, at US$120. This product is good value for the money, however, it does not have too much functionality in itself. It offers the most benefits when paired with other ZENworks modules.

For: Highly efficient platform to build in extra functionality
Against: Focuses only on device compliance
Verdict: A solid but somewhat limited product that gets the greatest value if integrated with the full ZENworks suite

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