Tool helps agencies adapt

Government agencies of all sizes struggling to stay on top of their constantly changing information technology landscape now have a way to manage all their Microsoft Corp. software on any device with today's release of Novadigm Inc.'s Radia Management Suite 3.0 for Windows.

The suite is an end-to-end solution for managing software across varying platforms, including a mix of Windows 98, NT, 2000 and XP, as well as versions of Unix, said George Kellar, vice president of marketing at Novadigm.

The product was engineered and tested in partnership with several Novadigm customers, including the Energy Department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Electronic Data Systems Corp., which is developing the Navy Marine Corps Intranet, Kellar said.

Radia uses an adaptive management platform that enables software and other digital assets to be automatically and continuously adjusted to meet user needs and device requirements. Version 3.0 is faster to implement and easier to administer for the company's government customers, which also include the U.S. Postal Service and DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory.

"Organizations change on a constant and ongoing basis, and the technology is changing even faster," Kellar said. "Adaptive management fully automates in a continuous fashion, making sure that all the software needed for a device to operate is correct 100 percent of the time."

Radia Management Suite 3.0 features a new plug-and-operate infrastructure so customers can get up and running more quickly, said Joseph Fitzgerald, chief technology officer at Novadigm.

Radia detects the presence of new devices and brings them under automatic, adaptive management. Once deployed, Radia product components are self-managing, which saves time and money.

The updated solution also:

* Automatically repairs software and content.

* Applies operating system patches to thousands of devices.

* Installs, updates and removes applications in response to changes in entitlement policy, personnel and business roles.

Robyne Teslich, project manager at Livermore, said the lab began using Radia in a pilot program a little more than a year ago and is in the process of rolling out Version 2.1, with an initial focus on the agency's 10,000 desktops.

"It's a pretty labor-intensive effort...to make an individual change in our core operating environment," Teslich said, adding that Radia has "significantly reduced the time" to do that and the cost involved -- financially and from a human resource perspective.

The tool costs about $60 per desktop, and the lab is planning to upgrade to Version 3.0 within the next four months, Teslich said. "They've made significant improvements in the graphical user interface for management that we really want to take advantage of."

Teslich also lauded the flexibility that Radia offers but said, "the downside of that is that it can be complicated." She said she hopes Novadigm continues to make the GUI easier to use, which will require less training for users and result in "faster acceptance in the user community."

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