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On Location: SkyWest Airlines' Desktop Management Project


In January 2004, SkyWest IT set out to find technology that could advance all five of its priorities: reliability, on-time performance, growth management, IT staff productivity and cost control. It decided to implement a comprehensive remote desktop-management package--Altiris' IT lifecycle management suite, which includes integrated modules for desktop management, software distribution, asset management, helpdesk operations and other administrative functions. Such a complex, integrated piece of software is no picnic to implement, but SkyWest staffers say it will pay off in the long run.

"What's really different about Altiris is that it doesn't just give you all those functions in a big list. It actually integrates them," says Simmons, Ursenbach's boss, who directs network operations at SkyWest. "So the combination of all those functions is not just two plus two, but more like three times three, because each function is helping every other function."

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Simmons points out that some suites are just bundles of different applications that don't necessarily work together. But with the Altiris products, the helpdesk app, for example, directly accesses trouble-ticket data from the central database and can gather data from the inventory/asset-management app so that the helpdesk operator can see the configuration and history of a machine. Or, in the case of software deployment, the application uses inventory data to figure out what each machine can handle.

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