Addressing the pains of systems migrations and infrastructure changes - Part 3

Blog_part_3.pngIn part one of this series, we examined the increasing security risks faced by organizations running outdated operating systems. While many businesses still rely on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 environments, the implications of unsupported architecture can have a major impact on business operations. In part two of the series, we explored the system requirements and configurations that should be considered as you to prepare your environment for operating system migrations.

In this final installment of the series, we will delve into the best practice considerations that should be applied to assist with the smooth and successful completion of operating system migrations.

As any IT professional or service desk technician knows, with changes to an organizations IT infrastructure, be it a new phone system, a new network or in this particular case new operating systems, comes the inevitable end user issues. To be fair this needs to be expected as these users have for the last few years been using systems they are familiar with navigating on a day to day basis. Then, the introduction of the new operating system that they are expected to use, with its increased functionality and alternative interfaces that many of these users have never worked with before now.

However, before the flood gates open of helpdesk tickets from end users requiring assistance with the new operating system, a proactive stance can easily lessen the burden on your IT department by providing training on the new systems before the upgrade. Often the simplest approach leading up to the new software roll out is to schedule a series of dedicated training sessions that are conducted by the IT team, where end users can learn about the new operating system and become familiar navigating the new interface of the product. Coordinating such training sessions in conjunction with your HR department will also assist in staff participation and reinforce the importance of the training.

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Deploy Microsoft Office using BOSS Support Central in 5 Easy Steps

Customized Deployment of Microsoft Office using BOSS Support Central – Easy Steps

The successor of the famous Office Resource Kit Tools (ORK) to customize the Office installation is now called Office Customization Tool (OCT) and is included within the original setup so you don’t need to download anything.

Step 1 – Creating the MSP file

To start the Office Customization Tool (OCT) type setup.exe /admin.

At the end of the process, the OCT saves your choices in a MSP file. The customization file results in uniform default configuration of the product for all users. You can allow Setup to apply the customization file automatically by storing it in the Updates folder at the root of the network installation point. During the installation, Setup finds and applies all the MSP files in the Updates folder – both customization files and Software Updates – that match that product.

Step 2 – Read more about customizing the MSP file

You can specify an alternate location for MSP files in Config.xml, or you can point to a particular customization file by using the /adminfile command-line option.

This is a good resource about the OCT on the web.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc179097.aspx

Step 3 – Just do it!
Option A— setup.exe <if the MSP file is saved in the default folder>
The custom installation can be invoked by running setup.exe with no commandline parameters if the custom .MSP file was saved in the Updates folder off the root of the installation directory. In the Microsoft Office installations all .MSP’s located in the Updates folder are applied during setup making it easy to add updates to the base installation as they become available. This is easier than the previous method of slipstreaming updates and patches into the Office setup routine by applying patches to an administrative installation point. Instead with Microsoft Office you simply have to copy the .MSP files to the Updates folder and setup will process them during the installation routine.

Support Central Usage:
Setup Path: \\servername\share\folder\setup.exe
Unattended Options: None <assuming that .MSP file is available in the Updates folder>
Option B— setup.exe /adminfile <Fully qualified path to the custom .MSP>

If the custom .MSP created with the OCT wasn’t saved to the Updates folder you can run setup against it by adding the /adminfile switch and pointing to the network location of the .MSP.

i.e. setup.exe /adminfile \\server\share\custom\custom.msp

BOSS Support Central Usage:
Setup Path: \\servername\share\folder\setup.exe
Unattended Options: None /adminfile \\server\share\custom\custom.msp

Easy Office Deployment

Easy Office Deployment

Step 4 – Mass Deployment using BOSS Support Central

Go to the BOSS Support Central Console and choose the OU / Computers that you want to deploy Microsoft Office . Right click and send a Request to “Deploy Package” and choose Microsoft Office.

Step 5 – Sit back and Relax!!

Your virtual employee BOSS Support Central is taking care of your Microsoft Office roll out – investment $$$ @ work!

BOSS has helped several customers in improving Operational Efficiency through IT automation.We are experts in ITAM / ITIL implementation.

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