Pain Relief at the Desktop

By eweek  |  Posted 2001-01-15

Windows 2000 Professional is easy to install, and most integrators or technicians stave off boredom during the 30- to 60-minute installation process by using automated tools like Microsofts Zero Administration Kit or programs like Symantecs Ghost to place the new OS onto machines.

Although some of these tools can roll out new versions of applications, like Office 2000 or Lotus Notes, the tools dont migrate the legacy applications to a machine when doing a fresh OS install. Nor do these programs migrate settings or data from a legacy app into a new version, such as Office 97 into Office 2000. The same challenge applies to moving OS settings that range from mouse-click speed to taskbar settings.

Rather than getting bogged down manually touching each desktop, consider adding migration tools to your arsenal. Several products like Tranxition Corp.s Tranxport Professional, Miramars DesktopDNA and Virtual Access Networks The Van can save and restore the "personality" of a computer and its application during a migration.

These products move the information from most forms of Windows 9x/NT and popular major applications to the Windows 2K environment. Be aware these migration products are works-in-progress, and specifics such as the OS version, applications and the depth of the migration—from just a few settings to the thousands of settings for each OS or application—vary among the products.

Licenses run between $30 and $50 per seat, depending upon quantity purchased. The products are huge timesavers and can drop migration costs from International Data Corp.s estimated $300 a system to well under a third of that figure. Thats a savings that can be passed on to the customer and could be the deciding factor in a bidding situation.

A caveat: These migration products dont solve every "opportunity" involved in migration to Windows 2000 Professional. They dont handle Apple computers and do not cover the settings from every major application, and you can forget about most of the second-tier applications. However, you can reduce the cost for your clients migration and free up your time to handle more customers (or larger customer engagements) by adding these migration products to your stable.

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