Solving software conflicts, building confidence, relying on a proven toolset: an AdminStudio case study
“The tool that sets AdminStudio apart from other tools is the ConflictSolver.”
Dennis Airoldi, Architecture Engineer, New York Life, Tampa Operations
New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States and one of the largest life insurers in the world. Founded in 1845 and headquartered in New York City, New York Life and its affiliates offer life insurance, annuities and long-term care insurance. New York Life Investment Management, LLC, a New York Life affiliate, provides institutional asset management, retirement plan and trust services. Other New York Life affiliates provide an array of securities products and services, as well as institutional and retail mutual funds.
New York Life’s Tampa Operations, a division of the company’s Special Markets Department, runs Windows 2000 on over 350 desktops and servers. The company’s IT Support Team was experiencing a high volume of end-user requests, and embarked on a project to make their desktops more stable and reduce help desk calls.
The company was also frustrated by frequent issues with conflicting software installations, and sought a solution that would allow them to completely repackage all of their applications. In addition, they wanted to move from a manual installation process to a more automated solution.
The Flexera Software Solution
A team co-managed by Dennis Airoldi and Melissa Knight at New York Life’s Tampa Operations evaluated several options and chose AdminStudio because they felt it was the best product available and the only solution that offered a complete set of packaging tools.
In addition, AdminStudio contains tools that allowed the company to solve some specific challenges:
- AdminStudio’s Editor tool, InstallShield® technology, enables unlimited installation authoring and customization.
- AdminStudio’s ConflictSolver gives systems administrators everything needed to ensure error-free, reliable software packages.
“The tool that sets AdminStudio apart from other tools is the ConflictSolver,” says Airoldi, architecture engineer at New York Life’s Tampa Operations. “Before AdminStudio, we had problems with conflicting installs, which we had to resolve through a lengthy trial and error approach. Now for the first time we are able to determine the issues through the use of the Application Catalog.”
New York Life’s Tampa Operations sent two employees to an Flexera Software training class to get a head-start on AdminStudio and learn the ins and outs of the Windows Installer technology.
Back at the office, the packaging team discovered that their 32 desktop images were causing trouble with the repackaging process. A package developed on one image could not be installed on other images. Through many innovative uses of AdminStudio and Microsoft® Visual SourceSafe, the company was able to reduce the 32 desktop images to one image that runs all of their hardware platforms. Once the packaging team resolved this issue, their productivity soared.
After initially capturing the files to be repackaged, the packaging team utilized AdminStudio’s Editor tool to refine the results of installation snapshots. AdminStudio’s Editor also allowed them to create reliable installation setups for their in-house applications. The team then used AdminStudio’s unique conflict resolution tools to resolve any application conflicts prior to installation. Once the applications were ready for distribution, New York Life’s Tampa Operations team seamlessly deployed the repackaged applications to all end users via SMS.
“I don’t believe we could have accomplished our goal without AdminStudio,” said Airoldi. “Given the unique problems associated with each third-party application, the repackaging process will never become simple. With the AdminStudio tools and a good understanding of the related technologies we feel confident we have the best tool set and approach to success.”
To date, New York Life’s Tampa Operations has repackaged and tested 35 applications, including multiple versions of many of the applications. New York Life’s Tampa Operations has standardized on the use of AdminStudio for all present and future migration projects.
You can download a no-cost evaluation of AdminStudio at www.flexerasoftware.com/adminstudio/eval