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SMS 2003 Launches at Last

Having pre-announced the official announcement of Systems Management Server 2003 last month, and having discussed the features to death in the years of delivery delays, there wasn't much left for Microsoft to do at the official SMS 2003 launch other than talk about customer momentum.

During his Copenhagen, Denmark, keynote to launch SMS 2003 on Tuesday, Kirill Tatarinov, corporate vice president of the enterprise management division at Microsoft, repeated early adopter numbers Microsoft has used in recent months for SMS 2003. "After successfully helping early adopters manage 250,000 devices at more than 60 sites worldwide, Systems Management Server 2003 is now available," Tatarinov said.

Like previous versions of SMS, including the four-year-old SMS 2.0, the product handles patch deployment, application deployment and asset management. New features in SMS 2003 are mobile device support and enhanced reporting, software distribution, scalability and performance.

Early adopters include SAP America Inc. and Marathon Oil Co. SAP is using SMS 2003 to manage 7,000 workstations and mobile clients across the Americas and attests to a reduction in deployment times for large software packages from weeks to hours. Marathon Oil is managing more than 10,000 PCs with SMS 2003 and identified 300 desktops that weren't working properly through the tool.

Microsoft did gain an important partner announcement from Dell, which is integrating its OpenManage server management tools with SMS 2003 and Microsoft Operations Manager. In recent months, Dell has been more frequently visible with Oracle and Linux in its marketing, making the reunion with Microsoft notable.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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