This week I presented at the Northeast Ohio System center Users Group on deploying Windows 7 with Configuration Manager 2012. While there are many things different, the great thing is that if your are familiar with OSD in 2007, you can be deploying in 2012 pretty quickly. You can even port your task sequences over.
However, I think the better discussion of the night was the implications the new approach to user-centric deployment over system-centric deployment that we have had in the past. I came up with an “equation” to help explain how identifying the different aspects of the user experience will help you as an admin provide the most flexibility to your enterprise and leverage all the cool features that ConfigMgr has to offer now to allow you to be agile and empower the end–user.
One of the questions that came up is wouldn’t this idea of empowerment and user self service put an undue burden on the end-user. I say quite the contrary. In our connected society, we are trained more and more to know how to find what we want and download it for consumption. We do this with our media (YouTube, Netflix, Pandora), our software (when was the last time you went to a store to buy software), our mobile devices (application markets for Android, iPhone, Microsoft, and Blackberry), and the constant barrage of hashes, tags, and links to go look up more info.
Providing our users with this same functionality (with approval processes and controls of course) through ConfigMgr enables them to get what they want, when they want, making it simple and less obtrusive to their day to day functions of being productive and enabling you to focus on the important stuff instead of manually adding users/machines to collections for deployment.
I will be explaining this in more detail in subsequent posts, but for the time being here is my equation and a link to the NEO System Center User Group site where you can download the slide deck from the presentation.