It’s quite evident from Flexera’s Digital Transformation Planning Report that Digital Transformation is a top focus for many senior IT leaders. Organizations are investing and executing initiatives towards Digital Transformation. As part of these initiatives, organizations are looking towards Managed Service Providers (MSP) for their expertise and support for a faster and more reliable ways to help them in their Digital Transformation journey. Managed Service Providers are faced with challenges of finding creative solutions to address their customers’ needs.
At Flexera, we hear in our conservations with various MSP customers, that they are very commonly asked by their customers on how they can help them in their Digital Transformation journey, specifically, Desktop Modernization, Application Modernization and Automation. The goal for these initiatives is to help drive a great end user experience with increased efficiency and productivity with zero down time. In this article we will share how AdminStudio can enable MSPs to help their customers achieve their Digital Transformation as a new or an enhanced offering.
Unlike in the past, where Microsoft released a major version of Windows Operating System once every three to five years and supported the version for about a decade, a new version of Windows 10 is released every six months and it is supported for only 18 months for Home users and 30 months for Enterprise users. So, Organizations must keep moving to new versions of Windows 10 faster than ever to ensure their end points are all on the latest and secured version of the Operating System. Being on the latest versions allows them to leverage all the new features and functionalities for their end users to have a modern experience. The biggest challenge for an organization to move to a new version of an Operating System is to ensure minimal down-time and a major impediment to achieve this goal is Application Compatibility. To ensure no down time, it is essential that all the applications in their portfolio are tested for compatibility against the new version of Windows 10 prior to deployment. Being on the latest version of Windows 10 requires continuous application compatibility testing.
AdminStudio’s Application Compatibility feature tests a package for its compatibility against various versions of Windows Operating System. AdminStudio is continuously updated to support new versions of Windows Operating Systems whenever made available by Microsoft. For many of the compatibility issues identified by AdminStudio, there are automatic, out-of-the-box fixes provided. For complex issues, it is customary practice to leverage various tools in the AdminStudio suite such as InstallShield, Tuner, and others. This powerful feature of AdminStudio, enables you to be ready to migrate to a new version of Windows 10 with full confidence while ensuring no down-time due to application compatibility issues to achieve Desktop Modernization.
Achieving reliable deployment of a new software version and/or updated versions is a daily challenge for an IT team in any organization. Adding to this the need to perform clean uninstallation of an older or end of life software, the challenge becomes twofold. Microsoft’s new package format – MSIX, offers helpful benefits like simple installation, easy handling of updates, modification packages to manage customization and clean uninstallation. Applications must have an identity to make a call to some of the UWP APIs. MSIX packages enable application identity in Win32 apps by declaring 'Identity' in the AppxManifest.xml. Thus, MSIX packages make it easy for the traditional Win32 apps to leverage the new UWP APIs to take advantage of Windows 10 new features like biometric authentication, toast notifications, live tiles, new UI controls etc. to drive modern end user experience. These qualities of modern experience and easy handling of installation and updates makes MSIX the best suited package for both the IT team and the end user alike. MSIX is a recent technology and is still evolving, however Microsoft is invested and committed in MSIX to make it the future package to replace MSI, App-V, EXE, and other package formats. Many of our customers are very enthusiastic about MSIX and are looking at modernizing their current and legacy package formats soon to drive a modern experience for their end users. MSIX combined with the new cloud-based end point management systems like Microsoft Intune, VMware Workspace ONE, and others make the challenge of managing software deployments and updates easier, thus making the IT team more efficient and productive so they are free to focus on other complex and challenging tasks.
AdminStudio was quick to support MSIX when it was initially introduced back in 2018 and has been consistently adding new features and enhancements to support this new package format in every release since. AdminStudio can help you modernize your applications by converting your legacy packages to the new MSIX packages. Also, AdminStudio’s integration with ConfigMgr, Intune, Workspace ONE, and others can help you hand off packages to these systems to achieve modern and reliable software deployments more quickly, easily, and consistently.
Managed Service Providers operate on an overly aggressive Service Level Agreements. They are always expected to deliver more for less by their customers. Their customers expect them to leverage more automation for quicker delivery without comprising on quality. Using AdminStudio’s powerful set of PowerShell Cmdlets you can automate the entire application packaging process to save you a lot of time and money while maintaining tight control over each activity. Tools like Automated Application Converter lets you convert a batch of legacy packages to MSIX or other desired package format automatically again saving a lot of manual work. Automation options have graduated to a new level with the introduction of Package Automation features in AdminStudio which allow you to subscribe to applications for automatic processing. When a new version of an application is made available by the vendor and appears in the Package Feed Module, automation supports getting the new version and performing various pre-defined actions hands-free. With this latest advancement in automation, Package Automation can be achieved within the user interface, so it is not necessary to write complex scripts.
AdminStudio is the de-facto industry standard tool for creating the best quality software packages for reliable deployments. While this is the core functionality of the product, there are various new and innovative features added to the product to empower Manage Service Providers to take up the challenge of helping their customers realize their transformation towards Desktop and App Modernization.
For more, see this short video detailing what’s new and coming soon as of late 2020.
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