Cognet helps deliver the goods to mobile users

Two of the biggest issues facing IT managers today are migration to Windows 2000 and support for the remote/mobile user, according to Cognet Corporation.

In an effort to address those concerns, the Valhalla, N.Y.-based company has released Cognet 3.5, an electronic software distribution and automated desktop management product.

According to the company, version 3.5 automatically deploys, installs, monitors and maintains software applications on Windows-based computing devices without the need for programming scripts.

“(A scriptless approach) is enormously important because it equates directly to cost of ownership,” said Mark Israel, senior vice-president of marketing for Cognet. “No one is willing to forgo the mission-critical software tools and that is evident when you look at software expenditures.”

Israel estimated that software expenditures are approximately 30 to 40 per cent of the typical IT budget, whereas hardware expenditures come in at a rapidly decreasing 10 to 15 per cent.

“Software is not static,” he said. “It is constantly changing and going into different devices. (As a client) you have a certain set of applications; you have certain network privileges; your account is set up a certain way and you may want to use the software in a certain way. The ability to customize all that to a granular level without having to script these packages (represents) not only a time savings, but…also a cost of ownership savings.”

According to Cognet, version 3.5 provides IT departments and administrators with enhancements to help them automatically deploy and install applications on their local and remote desktops and mobile clients. The enhancements include increased scalability, improved support for remote desktop and mobile users including remote “agent” installation, and a newly added application distribution support and management capability for the Windows platform.

Israel said Cognet recognizes that there is a migration underway toward Windows 2000, and he said that a lot of customers have the expectation that they already have the capability they need to automate the migration process.

“What various analysts have found in the aftermath of trying to migrate, they recognized that … in many cases the tools were insufficient,” he said. “Very few companies have standardized the desktop to the point where they have exacting profiles. They are assuming that they are going to be able to change the settings without disrupting the machine.”

Israel said Cognet’s approach is to capture information and send down only the difference between what is there and what is needed in way of the change.

According to John Warne, senior program director for META Group in Stamford, Conn., Cognet 3.5 addresses some of the problems in the software distribution space, specifically scalability issues.

“When you are talking about remote users and increased scalability needs, this should certainly help them to compete better with some of the people who have already been able to scale to that level,” Warne said.

He added that software distribution is something that companies should have as a core competency.

“It is madness to throw CDs around all over the place. Cognet’s 3.5 is definitely addressing some of the needs that are out there. I would throw Cognet in there with some of the vendors worth taking a look at,” he said.

Cognet 3.5 is available now and is priced at US$75 per seat for workgroup configurations to US$95 for three-tier configurations.

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