In case you missed it with all the excitement that the end of year brings, Microsoft have released the latest build of ConfigMgr 1610 to all ConfigMgr customers.
Microsoft have released information on a number of features in this release that are going to improve projects I’m currently involved with, as well as some enhancements for ConfigMgr Admins day-to-day usage;
- Windows 10 Upgrade Analytics integration allows you to assess and analyse device readiness and compatibility with Windows 10 to allow smoother upgrades.
- Office 365 Servicing Dashboard and app deployment to clients features help you to deploy Office 365 apps to clients as well as track Office 365 usage and update deployments.
- Software Updates Compliance Dashboard allows you to view the current compliance status of devices in your organization and quickly analyse the data to see which devices are at risk. Monitoring > Security > Software Updates Dashboard.
- Client Peer Cache is a new built-in solution in Configuration Manager that allows clients to share content with other clients directly from their local cache with monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities.
- Enhancements in Software Center including customizable branding in more dialogs, notifications of new software, improvements to the notification experience for high-impact task sequence deployments, and ability for users to request applications and view request history directly in Software Center.
- New remote control features including performance optimization for remote control sessions and keyboard translation.
This release also includes new features for customers using Configuration Manager connected with Microsoft Intune. Some of the new feature include:
- New configuration item settings and improvements now only show settings that apply to the selected platform. We also added lots of new settings for Android (23), iOS (4), Mac (4), Windows 10 desktop and mobile (37), Windows 10 Team (7), Windows 8.1 (11), and Windows Phone 8.1 (3).
- Lookout integration allows to check device’s compliance status based on its compliance with Lookout rules.
- Request a sync from the admin console improvement allows you to request a policy sync on an enrolled mobile device from the Configuration Manager console.
- Support for paid apps in Windows Store for Business allows you to add and deploy online-licensed paid apps in addition to the free apps in Windows Store for Business.
I’ve deployed the 1610 update at a couple of clients now in production use, and the upgrade has gone smoothly. Be prepared; the update can take a couple of hours to complete. I have hit one hurdle with implementing the new Office 365 Servicing Dashboard, the dashboard is stuck at loading data, this issues has been reported to Microsoft by several people and the product group is aware of it. This is unfortunate as this was one of the features that I believe will be beneficial for rolling out and managing Office 365.
Wow, is it a new year already?
As we all enjoy the pleasure that is traffic, cubicles, tea-room chats, to-do lists and all things ‘back to work’, I’d like to take this opportunitity to thank our customers for their support in 2016 and look back at the year as well as the future for Adexis.
While we continued to deliver outstanding technical services and no-fuss consulting to our customers in 2016, we also did a lot of looking inside, for growth and to prepare ourselves for a big 2017 and beyond. To kickstart these changes, Hayes hired a General Manager. If I haven’t met you yet, hello, I’m Shawn Donaldson. I started my journey with Adexis by meeting with many of our customers to get their feedback and input on Adexis. I was pleasently surprised and sincerely appreciated the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received. With this in mind we continued to provide the services you’ve come to expect from Adexis. To extend beyond that, we also made some improvements and created some new services and capabilities including;
- Cloud – We increased our focus on cloud centering primarily around Office 365, Azure and Hybrid-cloud solutions. We invested in training and certifications while increasing the volume of cloud work we performed enabling us to provide outstanding cloud planning, migration, implimentation and maintnence services. We created the Cloud Readiness Audit to help customers to understand their environment, it’s applicability to cloud and the pros and cons of cloud solutions for them.
- Proactive Services – We created a new portfolio of proactive services to compliment the professional services portfolio we’re known for. This includes Managed Services which centres around outsourcing portions of your environment so you can focus on your preferred core functions and Scheduled Services which allows you to maintain your own environment with a Micorosft specialist providing guidance and quality assurance. Together these provide a completely flexible, technical-focussed approach to managing your environment.
- Partnerships – We recognised a need to help our customers with a greater range of technologies. Understanding the contrasting feedback that our customers come to Adexis for our specialist Microsoft skills we decided not to generalise and diversify, thus diluting our quality of service. Instead, we partnered with outstanding organisations that share the same values of no-fuss consulting lead by technical excellence. We first partnered with Hastwell IT, who provide networking procurement, consulting and technical services. We have also partnered with AISH Solutions for hardware and software procurement and Academy IT for Microsoft-focussed training. Together with these vendors we can provide a complete set of technology services with consultants who all specialise in their respective fields and contribute to a cohesive delivery model.
- Increased Certifications – Understanding the importance of our primary vendor, Microsoft, our team undertook a range of learning tasks and exams to increase our certification including multiple gold partner and Software Assurance Planning Services partner. We also increased our level of collaboration with Microsoft.
- Our own back yard – We understand that providing quality service comes from a baseline of great people with passion and the right tools and processes to support them. We invested in our internal tools and processes as well as establishing greater collaboration so that we can provide a greater level of service and better quality documentation to you.
- Digital Presense – We established an improved digital presence so we can hear from you and tell you some of the exciting things that are happening. This included the creation of this blog, our LinkedIn page, our Facebook page and an update to our website with information on some of these exciting new services we’re offering.
So what’s in store for 2017?
Much of the above work in 2016 was preparation work for a great 2017. We’ll use these initiatives as a foundation to continue growth in all of these key areas and we look forward to the increased flexibility, quality and range of services this will enable us to provide our customers in 2017. At the same time we’ll continue to focus on what’s most important; providing a technically competent, no fuss, independent Microsoft infrastructure specialist consulting service that’s genuinely customer focussed.
Our vision is that Adexis will be recognised as a premier provider of IT consulting services in the Australian market and to be seen as a partner of choice by clients, which we hope to achieve by daily practise of our core values;
- Technical Excellence
- Reliable Support
- No Sales-Speak
Happy new year!
Thank you again for your support and we look forward to working with you in 2017 and beyond!