Job Title/ Position

March 23, 2009 at 23:20:00
Specs: Windows 2003 Server, 2 GB
Hello all,
I know this isnt exact place for the question but I could find the right place. Sorry Admins.

Now to the point.

We at our company use Xp Image using norton ghost or R-Drive to create new PCs etc...

Currently our help desk is doing this task in their own way.

We would like assign someone to
1) Create Standard XP installation, images etc..
2) Remote deloyment packages
3) BIOS and driver updates.
4) Install and test patches and service packs
5) Install and test software and updates
6) Recommend updating of policy and security in XP.
7) Evaluate Hardware solutions like laptops, desktops, black berry, Push mail etc...

As mentioned earlier, this job is currently handled by 2nd level tech support, helpdesk, system admins... So its in a mess...

Last time the help desk prepared an image with a prerelease version of SP3 for XP and I found that this will prevent XP from getting automatic updates from the web. The Update reports no missing patches but Belarc advisor points there are.

So we would like to avoid such nuisance and assign someone with a position for the same.

Someone working in corporate would know normally who or what positions handle these kind of task and the job title, description etc...

Please help as I would like to make a suggestion to the management.

Thanks in advance

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March 24, 2009 at 01:52:03
If this is a problem within your company, then adding a new position is definitely not the answer.

Before my retirement, I was part of the development/IT service department for a major top 500 company responsible for the up keep of over 15,000 computer systems scattered through 11 states....

You want a great IT department. Fire the ones that are causing the bottle neck and hire someone that wishes and wants to work. Get rid of the dead beats.

Who ever is in charge of this group needs to get on top or get out as there is no cause for this type of delay when it comes to system security and administration of company computers. Down time is too costly.
Real simple solution is to tell them to do their job or hit the road. These people need to realize that they are being paid to perform not sit around and let things get out of control!

Change Is Good

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March 24, 2009 at 11:12:13
I retired after 30 years of service from a large computer company (3 “Big Blue” letters) :o) I was one of a hand-full of techs that developed the first corporate-wide platform that was deployed back in the early 90’s. These days, the job is handled by an entire department staffed by a group of platform deployment specialists. I realize this is overkill for smaller companies, but it can be scaled back to a Manager or Team Leader position with the same overall responsibilities. As many smaller companies grow, they eventually find themselves in the same position. What once worked on a smaller scale, just doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to find someone that has experience deploying platforms on a larger scale to help organize your efforts in this area.

Just a few of the issues to be dealt with are:
● What are the organization’s business requirements regarding platforms and applications?
● What hardware platforms to be supported.
● What Operating Systems to be supported.
● Hardware refresh intervals. (How often to upgrade).
● A plan for cascading hardware assets as new ones are purchased and older ones are retired.
● Application software/versions to be supported.
● Operating System deployment method(s). (Ghost, Altiris, DeployCenter, Acronis, etc.)
● Application software deployment method(s).
● How/when to deploy operating system updates. (other than critical updates).
● Platform and application testing methodologies to be used prior to deployment.
● How will new requirements be submitted, analyzed and evaluated? ie: Change Management Process
etc., etc,…

Some critical success factors are (but not limited to):
● Platform development must be undertaken with a thorough understanding of company’s business requirements.
● Whomever holds this position, must be involved in the decision making process for the all aspects of platform support and deployment.
● Platform/Application testing methodologies MUST be followed religiously.
● Change Management Process must be followed religiously.
etc., etc,…

The title is unimportant as long as the job gets done by someone competent. If you want to give it a name, call it Platform & Technology Deployment Manager, or Specialist if the position will be filled by a team leader instead of a manager.

Lastly, keep in mind that no one can do everything themselves. Even though you may hire someone experienced in these areas, it might still be necessary to hire a consultant to assist with laying the groundwork before proceeding. In fact, you might consider the consultant first as they can assist with defining detailed requirements for the position before filling it...

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March 24, 2009 at 16:01:30
I just do volunteer work for a company that refurbishes and sends out free systems to school take my comment for what it is worth....

We put out about 250 systems a month. 2.. 4hr nights a week.
The operation runs by KISS "Keep it super simple"

A computer is built... drivers, activated...updated.
Image is made....IE compaq evo
Evo computers are loaded ..
Keys changed using ms keyupdater. Takes 1 minute

When new updates (Antivirus,Java,MS) takes to long a new image is made.

I make the images for the Evo's with cdrom on left and the ones with the cdrom on the right.

I also make the images for the IBM netvista's.

Others make the images for the Dells and Gateways.

All images are saved.

We did try using sysprep and using generic drivers....OMG!
The image loaded on every machine but all required a call to get activated.....

Every once in a while someone "new " will suggest a better way. It usually involves rewriting "Easyboot ...the image loader and creating a second server usually Linux .

I am at a loss as to why updates are unavailable after installing sp3......Beta pre release. Toss it.

I think you have too many cooks in the kitchen.

I think your operation will run smoother if you simplify it.

Side note; I have a friend that always answers every computer fix with "Go into the registry and edit......"
Yea right!

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Related Solutions

April 5, 2009 at 03:16:35
I am extremely thankful for the replies as it has helped me look deeper into the issue.

kptech you points have been very clear.

The issue at our company is job description.

For example many a times the Tech support technician ends handling projects and even preparing memo's...

We wanted to define jobs and make sure the work in limited and related to the job description.

Platform deployment specialist seems to be fine to me.

Now regarding the emerging technologies...

Should it be considered by the specialist or should we have someone else.

To intergrate industry best practises,
To introduce new hardware and vendors.
To introduce new softwares and solutions.

Someone to evaluate and recommend the best for the IT.

Who would that be generally?

As far as I see the platform deployment specialist will spend enough time improving and deploying.

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April 6, 2009 at 06:11:45
With the economy being what it is today, many small companies may not have the luxury of being able to separate these roles into different positions. If you can, though, it’s better to split these responsibilities. The average IT/Deployment specialist usually gets caught-up in their day-to-day activities and doesn’t always see the “big picture”.

What you’re really asking for is an in-house consultant to stay abreast of emerging technologies and to evaluate them for potential use within your company. This person should also have a strong technical background as they will most likely need to take a somewhat “hands-on” approach to properly evaluate new technologies. Of course, they will work closely with the IT department too. For example, if a new technology is being considered, often times a pilot test will be conducted with a small group of end-users.

Many companies find that the best person for the job was right under their noses all the time. The most senior/experienced IT specialist should be evaluated for the position first. If they’re up to it, that is to say, if they can handle the new responsibilities, it’s probably the best fit. After all, your most senior IT specialist has probably been with the company long enough to “know” the company and its business requirements, and it’s probably less expensive to offer a promotion with a generous pay increase than to offer enough to attract someone from outside the company. If you can fill the position from within, it will be much easier to find a replacement IT specialist than to find someone for the new position. If this isn’t an option, then you may just have to hire “off the street”.

Again, I think the title is less important than ensuring that the person selected is up to the task, but if you want some ideas…

Manager, Emerging Technologies
Technology Consultant
Technical Consultant
IT Architect

You can probably sit all day and come up with titles, but you get the idea. It’s important to understand just what the position is and then it’ll be easier to select the title.

One last thing… No matter who gets the job, in my opinion, they’ll be most effective if they are not a direct report to the IT manager, at least not exclusively. Maybe report to the IT manager with a dotted-line to a more senior manager. If not, new ideas and recommendations tend to get “filtered” through the IT manager so upper management may have a difficult time evaluating the effectiveness of this new position. Besides, they’re the ones that will be making any major IT decisions and they’ll have more information this way, especially when opinions differ.

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