Altiris boosts IT management tools

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Altiris will launch new workflow and helpdesk solutions on 29 October, designed to help businesses deliver efficient IT services through business process automation.

The IT management specialist unveiled its new Workflow Solution and updated Helpdesk Solution at its ManageFusion event in Malta this week. The tools are designed to enable business professionals with limited technical experience to create, change, test and deploy business processes with a drag-and-drop forms editor.

Steve Morton, Altiris’s product management and strategy group vice president, said the solutions were a major addition to workflow and IT management.

“The idea is to take business processes and map them to a workflow piece, then have the underlying technology driving conditional tasks and complex activities underneath the covers down to each individual endpoint,” explained Morton.

The solutions “will board the lines between our individual solutions, and talk more at the business and service level as opposed to individual servers and applications,” Morton said. “People will solve business problems as opposed to individual technology solutions,” he added.

“Business people want IT to be repeatable, predictable and, in many cases, invisible,” said Morton.

Details of the next version of the firm's eponymous flagship product were also discussed at the event.

Altiris 7 will feature an update to the Notification Server tool, and functionality to help customers manage the challenges of software licence compliance to ensure packages do not conflict with each other, Morton said.

In the Altiris 6 portfolio, there are many priorities customers face in managing a software environment, such as software licensing and inventory management, according to Morton. “Altiris 7 will look at how the notion of the Definitive Software Library can tie into all of these point capabilities that we offer as part of our Altiris 6 project,” he explained.

Although virtualisation is on Altiris’s roadmap, Morton said that customers were wary of the technology because of its complexity. The firm hopes that by providing free software for personal use it will have a chance to take a leadership position in the area. Microsoft’s “aggressive” focus on the virtualisation space will also help catch people’s attention and introduce the topic, he added.

The Malta event enabled Symantec, which acquired Altiris six months ago, to provide its first significant update about the software management firm.

Greg Butterfield, Altiris business unit group president, said that the influence of Symantec had helped Altiris to achieve ManageFusion’s theme of the past two years: reducing the overall cost and complexity of managing technology, and aligning IT with business objectives.

Next month, an integrated product will be released that is designed to complement the “major upgrade” Symantec made in September to its Endpoint Protection security product. Using the operational expertise of Altiris, the tool will assist IT departments in their management of endpoint security, said Butterfield. “How do you secure, if you cannot identify what you have, and if you do not have the ability to remedy it?” he argued.
itweek.co.uk @ 2010 Incisive Media
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