Many techs I talk to originally purchase SmartDeploy as their Windows migration software to move to Windows 10 or to deploy their Windows golden image to a batch of new computers. Others simply need a reliable way to push applications and updates to a couple departments or to efficiently support remote workers.
No matter what prompted the initial purchase, Windows technicians gravitate to using SmartDeploy in different ways for different scenarios all the time. Because environments and initial project needs vary, the natural reaction to using SmartDeploy also varies.
Let’s cover three ways you can use SmartDeploy that you might be overlooking.
Deploy Windows Server
We talk about deploying Windows 10 images – and migrating from Windows 7 – but did you know that SmartDeploy also supports deploying Windows Server? In addition to supporting deployment of Windows 7 through Windows 10 you can also deploy Windows Server 2008 R2 through Windows Server 2019 as well. In fact, the process works exactly the same way – just create a VM running the Windows Server build you need, capture, and deploy. We have Platform Packs for many servers in the library as well and you can request they be updated or built just like you can for desktops, laptops, and tablets. We know that server roles are usually specialized and you end up manually configuring roles, but at least getting a common baseline stood up on virtual or physical server roles can be a handy time saver.
Run custom scripts and tasks on remote computers
As you might already know, with SmartDeploy you can deploy software and applications to users or departments from your centralized admin console with Application Packs. But you can also use these Application Packs to execute custom scripts and tasks. We have some pre-built in our library or you can easily build them yourself. Common examples and customer favorites are:
Restart a user’s computer
Remove an application
Rename a computer
Force a Group Policy update
Force an application update
Remove a computer from the domain
If there are PowerShell or CMD line scripts that you have written or used over the years, chances are you can do those same things with SmartDeploy to remote computers. These scripts have been a huge help for our own internal IT team to keep end users productive on their devices, give them a try! And, if you need help with Application Packs, check out this article.
Manage devices from the cloud
Leveraging your on-prem servers and network is fast and a common way to use SmartDeploy. But we do integrate with several 3rd party cloud storage providers such as Box, Dropbox, Google, and OneDrive. What that means for you is that you can let the cloud storage provider handle the content storage and all you need to manage a remote user is an internet connection. Right from the SmartDeploy Console, you can push out applications, images, updated drivers, scripts, and even backup/restore a user to a new device, all through the cloud. This is a life saver for times when you don’t have onsite IT resources to help users.
We have heard plenty of great stories from customers like a salesperson travelling for a big meeting with a damaged machine and being able to restore their profile and setup a new device in a matter of hours rather than days. More commonly though are expanding businesses that have branch offices and it doesn’t make sense to hire an IT person for each site. Being able to remotely manage end user devices, from imaging to updating, has been incredibly useful for many of our customers. It sure beats a trip to UPS or FedEx for expensive overnight shipping!
And there you go! Three ways to use SmartDeploy that you may, or may not, be overlooking. Stay tuned for more tips and creative ways to get the most out of SmartDeploy.
Using SmartDeploy in a unique way? Tell us about it!
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Austin is a Technical Sales Support Representative, assisting prospective customers while they evaluate SmartDeploy for the first time. With 7 years of experience providing client support at an MSP and specializing in Microsoft’s Office 365 services, Austin has seen a variety of business environments and enjoys helping technicians through a successful proof of concept with SmartDeploy. After work you can find him at the local gym and spending time with his wife, planning their next trip together.
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