MFS Investment Management: Learn How MFS Cut Packaging Time by 25%, and Maximizes the ROI on Microsoft SMS

Unmatched SMS integration in a tool that is quick, accurate, robust and easy to use: an AdminStudio case study

Business Challenge

In 1924, MFS Investment Management established the first mutual fund in the United States, helping make the U.S. stock market accessible to the average investor. Today, the company employs over 2,500 people and has become a global asset management firm with 15 offices around the world, including their Boston headquarters, London, Mexico City, Singapore, and Tokyo.

“AdminStudio is able to repackage any setup into a reliable MSI package far quicker and with more accuracy than any other tool.”

Gordon Forrest, AVP of Information Technology, MFS Investment Management

MFS’s IT team, located in Boston, is responsible for managing over 600 applications installed on more than 3,300 desktops worldwide. Software deployed to these desktops must first be converted to the industry-standard Windows Installer (MSI) format. MFS also has strict corporate requirements for how each software package installs and runs, so MSI packages must go through a customization process before deployment to meet those standards.

Because MFS uses only two software packagers to prepare applications for deployment, and because end users requesting software give those packagers extremely tight deadlines, MFS needed a software packaging solution that would enable them to prepare software for deployment quickly. The solution needed to be able to rapidly and accurately convert any legacy setup to MSI. It also needed to have extensive editing capabilities to customize those MSI packages, as well as the ability to automatically hand off those packages to their Microsoft SMS system for deployment.

The Flexera Software Solution

After evaluating other software packaging solutions, MFS chose AdminStudio to help them prepare applications for deployment. “We looked at other software packaging tools, but AdminStudio was clearly the best,” said Gordon Forrest, AVP of Information Technology for MFS. “AdminStudio is able to repackage any setup into a reliable MSI package far quicker and with more accuracy than any other tool. It also has the robust MSI editing features we need to customize packages to MFS’s requirements. Plus, it’s really easy to use. AdminStudio was the obvious choice.”

MFS was also impressed by AdminStudio’s unmatched integration with Microsoft SMS, and in particular the SMS Web Console, a Web-based tool that lets them target, publish, advertise, and uninstall applications through their SMS system without having to touch the SMS console. “We’ve standardized on SMS, and AdminStudio’s SMS Web Console really simplifies our SMS management requirements and cuts down software rollout times. It’s been a big help in our move to centralize our operation,” said Forrest.

To help their software packagers become AdminStudio experts, MFS also enrolled them in Flexera Software’s 4-day AdminStudio training class. “Flexera Software’s instructors were extremely knowledgeable,” said Dan Hogan, one of the Principal Systems Analysts at MFS who attended the training class. “We came out of the class with an in-depth knowledge of AdminStudio and the skills we need to package software to our company’s specific requirements moving forward.”

Business Benefits

With the help of AdminStudio, MFS was able to realize the following benefits:

  • Packaging times cut by 25% – Using AdminStudio, MFS has reduced the average time it takes to prepare applications for deployment by 25%. This time savings enables the IT team to satisfy their end users’ demand for fast service without sacrificing software package quality.
  • Maximized SMS ROI – Microsoft SMS can save companies millions of dollars, but only if the packages it deploys are properly configured and tested. AdminStudio generates reliable, tested software packages, and because it is uniquely integrated with SMS, AdminStudio makes it easy for MFS to hand off packages to SMS that deploy without incident.
  • Centralized, efficient software packaging – Using AdminStudio’s automated tool set, MFS’s small software packaging team is able to successfully handle packaging requests from around the world and complete them in a timely manner without increasing headcount. They also use AdminStudio SMS Web Console to centrally control the deployment of packages to any office.
  • Streamlined QA testing – Before AdminStudio, MFS was forced to rely on a large QA team to test packages before deployment. Now, thanks to AdminStudio’s testing tools, their packagers can do the testing themselves – quickly – without being forced to waste time and money on an unnecessary QA team.

“AdminStudio has helped MFS cut packaging time and support costs,” said Forrest. “The packages we deploy are reliable and tested for conflicts. We couldn’t be happier with the value we’re getting from AdminStudio and Flexera Software.”

About Flexera Software

Flexera Software is the leading provider of strategic solutions for Application Usage Management; solutions delivering continuous compliance, optimized usage and maximized value to application producers and their customers. Flexera Software is trusted by more than 80,000 customers that depend on our comprehensive solutions — from installation and licensing, entitlement and compliance management to application readiness and software license optimization — to strategically manage application usage and achieve breakthrough results realized only through the systems-level approach we provide. For more information, please go to: www.flexerasoftware.com.

Next Steps

You can download a no-cost evaluation of AdminStudio at www.flexerasoftware.com/adminstudio/eval