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Riding the Windows 7 Migration Wave

Aaron Suzuki, CEO of Prowess is selling SmartDeploy Enterprise, an OS conversion solution that works with Windows 7. What may come as something of a surprise is that 80 percent of his customers are buying it for Windows XP. How could that be, especially since Windows 7 has been so lionized since the day it became available? According to Suzuki, a lot of his customers spent a lot of time and money on their legacy OS environments, and they are not anxious to move off them.

However, he thinks that attitude may be changing as more and more companies are freeing up IT budget dollars for long-overdue hardware and OS refreshes. "There's a lot of growth happening now in Windows 7," he notes, adding, "We see a window of opportunity to grow and win market share."

Specifically, Suzuki is targeting SmartDeploy Enterprise at companies with 2,000 to 5,000 seats that are trying to support "exotic" solutions, but lack the IT resources to do so, and will benefit from a Win 7 conversion. Many of these companies have had to build images for each of their hardware environments, which everyone knows by now is time-consuming and costly. Not to mention complex. Suzuki also speaks of customers who have encountered up to 76 scripts they have to work within their convoluted environments. And then there are all the problems they've had finding and managing the right drivers.

Prowess is touting SmartDeploy Enterprise for its upgrade to Windows PE 3.0, which is used for the deployment of workstations and servers. The company claims this upgrade gives customers "greater flexibility, easier integration with more IT management solutions, and more robust customization capabilities."

Two more technical highlights are a wizard-driven interface that guides users through the conversion process, and the inclusion of driver packages for business-class computers that can be created by request if they are not previously available.

SmartDeploy Enterprise supports all Windows OSes from Windows 2000 SP4 forward, and is available in the form of a free, fully functional trial and related product resources at www.smartdeploy.com.

Pricing starts at $2,295 per-technician for unlimited deployment and includes one year of basic support.

[Editor's note: This story was updated 4/6 with a correction to Windows 2000 SP4.]

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 03/24/2011 at 12:48 PM


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