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Download the Latest Whitepaper on Best Practices for Managed Services Providers

The two-headed MSP Monster – it causes serious headaches for the Solution Provider community. Learn how you can leverage the issues to your advantage and come out with swords at the ready – accelerating your business and becoming insanely proficient in the process. Download this crucial whitepaper from Keith Lubner, Managing Partner of Channel Consulting Corporation, chock-full with tactics, tips and strategies to accelerate your MSP practice by adding strategically vetted technology, such as Tranxition Migration Manager™,  to your suite of solutions.

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Anti-virus products help bolster Windows XP

This year, April brought us (in the Pacific Northwest, at any rate) not only showers, but Microsoft’s deadline for leaving anyone still running Windows XP unsupported and out in the cold and vulnerable to infection. For those who insist on sticking with XP,  it’s comforting to know that there are reliable anti-virus products on the market that can bolster up your security.  Look at the comparisons here.

Windows XP Migration Affecting PC Market Share

Demand for PCs is reported to be down for the second quarter of this year as compared to the same quarter for 2011 and 2012, according to estimates from both Gartner and IDC, in a Forbes Tech article posted today. The slow but continually steady growth of PC sales is attributed to a combination of factors; a demand for products in higher-end tablets and lower-end devices like Chromebooks, and the trend for Windows XP migration. We are experts in Windows migration, backup and restore. Migrate7, including full support for Windows 8.1.1, will be available at the end of Summer 2014, while the existing version of Migrate7 8.6 supports most of the features of Windows 8.1.1 already.

 

White Paper: User Persona API (UP-API) from Tranxition

It’s often assumed that personal computers are generic and not deeply customized. Another regular misconception is that all data is stored on network drives.  And the most prevalent assumption, in the end, is that users can recustomize a machine quickly.

Tranxition customer data and data from Gartner Group suggest that each user set of customizations, called a ‘persona,’ is worth between $600-$2000 per user.  Not included in that number is the user disruption during a migration or the long term productivity opportunity missed in not backing up persona. User investment and persona management often in the past did not come into consideration until the help desk tickets and performance reviews came in after a migration.

Another opportunity for understanding the value of persona is in the recovery of a personal computer or network after a malware event. PC personality is an important asset to the user, and like any asset, it will be constantly protected, preserved and transported to new hardware or operating systems. “Service providers and enterprise software firms need the ability to fully integrate persona into their user experiences,” states Sean Taylor, Tranxition CTO.

Tranxition preserves, protects and transports user customization assets. Device persona is complex, as there are thousands of data elements scattered all over the device. Currently, only some migration applications capture only some preferences or metadata that are easily found move easily between OS and application versions; however, most do not. “Tranxition’s technology has the intelligence to find and manage thousands of preferences and metadata files across all versions, simply and easily,” says Kelly Mackin, Founder and Chief Operating Officer. “Tranxition has now opened up computer persona for a wider range of use cases. Enterprise software vendors can now deploy services that support disaster recovery, backup and restore as well as computer migration between and within systems. Until now, people could only retrieve their files. Now they can retrieve their personas as well.

Tranxition Announces the release of User Persona API (UP-API).

With extensive built-in support for persistent desktop settings from Windows 2000 through to Windows 8.1, UP-API capably and deeply supports all applications commonly used by small through large organizations. It supports most directory structures, automatically converts cross-version settings and is simple to set-up and automate. UP-API enables custom rules for data and settings transfer, redirects files/folders and settings, and is easy to include or exclude file management, use tokens, wild cards, precedence and move custom application files or file types. When upgrading to a new OS or replacing a failed PC, common concerns have typically been over extended user down-time and rising costs for help-desk response post-migration. Gartner studies show that users are unproductive for 4-8 hours during/after migration. Microsoft estimates that traditional methods for upgrading to new operating systems cost $1000 per PC, and help desk calls increase 40% after upgrades. There has got to be a better way. And now there is.

UP-API can also be applied to recovery from malware. Signatures in Intrusion and Patch tools are updated, re-imaged with a known clean environment, and Personality files are scanned/scrubbed with other intrusion software. Better yet, let UP-API be an integral component of a proactive solution and use it to wipe, re-image and inject persona regularly. “User Persona API makes capturing and restoring persona simple, with only a few lines of code required for simple installations. It also empowers developers to rapidly deliver deep customization. This kind of integration enables cloud, backup and ITAM/ITSM developers to customize persona management for their specific policy and application frameworks.” – Sean Taylor, CTO, Tranxition.

We are experts at locating Persona elements, capturing and protecting it.

Tranxition is doing things that no one else is doing,” says Robert EnderleEnderle Group. “Firms such as Tranxition help slash the personal, corporate, and financial issues associated with computer migration and backup by including persona as a necessary step.”With over 10,000 settings for interacting with your PC, including complex metadata and thousands of data files and unique directory structures, UP-API is in good company.  With elements often scattered everywhere in obvious and obscure locations, migration becomes a challenge for most programs out there.  Different software versions locate customizations and forms. Included is a full-feature library that enables backup, ITAM and ITSM vendors to capture and manage persona.

We include support for all major applications and Windows operating systems (including Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1, including 32 and 64 bits) Microsoft Office versions 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013, all major browsers and all other applications. Our goal is for persona to be considered a standard and integral component for any backup solution and benefit to restoration, disaster recovery and migration services. We are also seeking recognition that asset management and systems management vendors need to include persona as an important element; the financial benefits are definitely there, with savings estimated between $300 and $700 per device.

Target markets for UP-API include ITAM/ITSM, Enterprise ISV, Backup and Restore, SaaS and Cloud services such as Storage and ITSM/ ITAM. Backup today looks very similar to backup in the 1990’s. Although we have cloud storage, the backup algorithms capture directories, files and file types. User Persona API enables backup vendors to include persona.

About Tranxition

Tranxition pioneered the industry with award-winning products such as Migrate7 and Migration Studio. Migrate7version 8.6 manages persona migrations and backups and offers deep support for file and persona capture and migration. Migrate7 is used by Fortune 500 companies all across the world, and just some of  our vendor partners include Frontrange and BMC Software. Migration Studio has a full-featured development environment for developing content for new application and OS persona elements to be captured. This is a free tool.

Tranxition was founded in 1998 by Kelly Mackin and Gordon Reilly. Since then we have pioneered the concept of User Persona and have produced award-winning products such as Personality Tranxport, LiveManage and AdaptivePersona. Our technology abstracts user persona from computer hardware and enables user persona to be managed as an asset for backup, migration and corporate policy, offering up a viable and strategic migration and backup solution.

 

 

Windows 8 Migration Paper by Citrix on TechTarget

We found recently this nice white paper by the people at Citrix* on migrations to Windows* 8.    While Citrix is right about a lot of statements in this well-written whitepaper, there are a few
things that we would add to it.

On the plus side, Citrix says that Windows user state migration is a “major component” of a Windows 8 migration.  They say further that migration tools are those that “…allow a user’s state – account information, local files, and application and OS settings – to be captured and stored as a file, then migrated to an entirely new installation of Windows.”

On the down side, the paper only spoke about Microsoft’s tools for managing Windows migrations, missing the fact that customers are reporting nearly 30% error rates with free tools, as reported by VMWARE* and MCPMag.com.

For internal productivity, migration cost, and managing end user expectations, user state tools such as Migrate7™ make the difference.   Migrate7’s “map” of settings just for Outlook 2003 is over 20000 lines long, versus the free tools from MS that map less than 100 settings.  More is better.   In our view, a commercial-grade migration solution has proven itself over and over as a better choice.  Plus, Migrate7 commercial-grade customer support, training, and migration design, allows the process to be managed to perfection.

But the paper does have some good tips to consider and is still worth your time.

Note that the site that published the paper, TechTarget.com, requires registration to access.

Tech Target Citrix Windows Migration Whitepaper

 

*trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

 

 

SCCM R2 is Here

In case you missed it, Microsoft  SCCM R2 is now getting some deeper reviews.

IT News Australia has a well-done review.  Among other things, they said:

“…there is a steep learning curve for entry-level users. SCCM has its complexities – first-time installs shouldn’t expect to have it up and running from scratch in a few hours without first getting their head around the nuances of its structure and design.”

Yep.  It’s true.  It’s not for novice administrators at all.  But like anything, it can be learned. We write software that masks as much complexity as possible.  There is a fine balance needed between flexibility and sophistication.

That said,  Migrate7 comes with a guide detailing how to integrate Migrate7 into SCCM.  It’s rather easy, as a matter of fact, like most things with Migrate7.

The link to the review is here: ITNews.

 

 

 

XP Users may not be HIPPA/HITECH Compliant in 2013

If you are a healthcare provider and your firm has squeezed as much useful life out of Windows XP as it can, your IT department might soon be scrambling as news of the impending suspension of XP patches and updates approaches eight months from now in April 2014.

Healthcare providers face a $1.5M fine for not being compliant if they continue using XP past April 2014.   If you have not begun your plan to move away from XP, then the time is approaching rapidly.

The full story is on TechRepublic.