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Part of my role as Digital Design Manager involves coordinating installations of new & updated software programs. It’s the main area where I overlap with IT — they can handle a lot of the legwork, but keeping up with new releases (and deciding when to roll them out) is mine.

For a long time, we were small enough that we could get away with “sneaker-net” installations…actually walking around to each computer to run the install or start the deployment. But at 140 people, that method is a little ridiculous — not to mention that it provides absolutely no means of inventory control.

So to save us all a lot of time & headaches, we use Goverlan Remote Administration. Goverlan is an all-in-one IT console for management, installation, and inventory. You can control network machines remotely (with more flexibility and convenience than Windows Remote Desktop), set up packages to deploy software, uninstall old software, and manage network properties.

I don’t get into the last item very much (my IT managers are better at that than I am), but the remote control & installs have been an amazing time-saver. This morning, I pushed out a new version of SAP 2000 to 30 machines in about 10 minutes — counting time for setup & testing. And before I did that, I ran an inventory query (in about 2 minutes) that told me which machines needed the update.

Having remote control capabilities means I can quickly see another machine from my desk, either to test a remote installation or launch something directly (if for some reason we don’t have a deployment package). It is SO much easier than walking over to the other machine (yes, I’m a little lazy), and if I’m using it for troubleshooting, my colleague can see her screen at the same time, so it’s easier to figure out what’s going on. Once or twice, though, I’ve checked to see that someone was out of the office before taking over his computer…only to find out that he was logged in from home. (“Hey, why is my mouse moving by itself?” Oops.)

I know this is probably very basic compared to the setups some of you have. And I’m sure I’m not using what we have to its full potential. But Goverlan is very user-friendly even for those of us who aren’t IT professionals. And when you compare it to what we used to have, we’re happy with it. It’s pretty cheap too, as far as these things go, and I think it paid for itself in the first few months in terms of IT time saved. (And to be clear, my only relationship with Goverlan & PJ Technologies is as a customer.)

Anybody else out there using Goverlan? Or something else you’d like to recommend?

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