infoTECH Feature

January 19, 2009

System Control Solutions Reduce IT Expenses

Faronics develops software that helps manage, simplify and secure computing environments. The company recently released WINSelect 7.1, a software solution designed to manage functionality of computers in libraries, educational and corporate environments.
WINSelect is also the only solution that enables IT to customize and restrict the functionality of Microsoft (News - Alert) Office, Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox, Faronics claims.
Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC (News - Alert)) caught up with Dheeraj Mahtani, marketing communications specialist for Faronics, to talk about the latest product advancements and its application in various sectors. Our exchange follows.
TMC: Give us a brief idea about your new product Faronics (News - Alert) WINSelect 7.1.
DM: There are many situations where an IT administrator needs to limit the feature set of a desktop or laptop computer, and that’s exactly what Faronics WINSelect does. It makes it easy to manage the functionality of computers in public access, kiosk, library, educational, and corporate environments. By empowering IT administrators with enterprise control over a workstation’s system settings, IT can quickly customize a computer’s capabilities by restricting user access to certain applications, websites, program functions, and system options. IT administrators can now dynamically configure systems without the hassle and complexity of Group Policies, and can easily limit the features of third-party programs such as Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox.
TMC: What are the features added to the new edition of WINSelect?
DM: Version 7.1 introduces an Enterprise edition of WINSelect that can be deployed and managed from a central computer. This network-wide control is provided by Faronics Core Console, which provides software deployment and management capabilities for a growing number of Faronics’ software products. Scheduling the activation or deactivation of WINSelect’s workstation restrictions is also now possible—great news for IT administrators who need to apply varying protection levels based on user or organizational needs.
TMC: Who are your potential customers? How does WINSelect improve the efficiency of their IT system?
DM: WINSelect’s dynamic preference control is not just limited to one vertical or use. However, libraries, schools, and government organizations tend to be regular customers of WINSelect. Productivity and efficiency is improved because IT administrators can tailor the workstation’s functionality to match user needs. They don’t need to worry about computers being misused in ways they were not intended for. For example, a library kiosk computer, production line computer in a factory, and an employee break-room computer all have a specific purpose. WINSelect assures organizations that these computers are only being used for their intended purpose.
TMC: What is the current market scenario for system control solutions? Is it affected by the downturn?
DM: The demand for system control solutions remains strong because in today’s information technology climate, it is a requirement. Faced with smaller staffing levels and increased workloads, IT departments cannot afford to dedicate personnel towards constantly repairing damaged or misconfigured workstations. System control solutions provide a way by which the workstations themselves ensure they deliver a positive computing experience while helping to ensure their own system integrity—either automatically or through enterprise management powers placed into the hands of the IT administrator.
TMC: How do you expect the market to grow in the coming five years? How is your company poised for this growth?
DM: The system control space is definitely going to grow in the coming years as organizations look to deploy computers that are better able to manage themselves. The expectation exists that technology is supposed to make life easier for people, not harder. Although computers are becoming more powerful and complex on the inside, users expect the computing experience to become friendlier and hassle-free. Faronics’ solutions such as Deep Freeze, Anti-Executable, and WINSelect do just that. Deep Freeze ensures that computers return to their pristine fully-functional state at every system start, and Anti-Executable ensures that only authorized programs are allowed to run on a workstation. As mentioned earlier, WINSelect makes it easy to customize a computer’s functionality to match its intended purpose. With solutions such as these, Faronics is poised to further develop its role as a system control market leader.
TMC: What are your new solutions in pipeline?
DM: We just released version 7.2 of our popular classroom management solution, Insight. Faronics Insight changes the way that technology is viewed in the classroom by turning standard computer labs into collaborative learning environments. Insight empowers instructors with the ability to educate, assist, monitor, and communicate with an entire class from one central computer. Version 7.2 introduces support for Windows 2003 Terminal Server and NComputing desktop virtualization environments, the ability to mute student workstations, and student testing capabilities.
Many classrooms are a mixed-use environment where instructors must manage users on both Windows and Mac based computers; that’s why we will be releasing a Mac client for Insight. Once version 7.21 of Insight is released in Q1 of 2009, instructors will be able to use the Insight Console on their Windows computer to manage both Windows and Mac based classroom computers.
Also in Q1 2009, Faronics will be releasing version 3.2 of Power Save. Faronics Power Save delivers desktop computer energy management that doesn’t interfere with user or IT needs. Power Save keeps computers running when users need them, accurately determines when computers are inactive so they can be powered down, and can prove its rapid return-on-investment through network-wide power consumption and savings reports.
Version 3.2 will introduce several exciting features, including password protection and a stealth mode for the workstation client, improved reporting that supports multiple energy consumption profiles for environments with different types of computers, an eco-savings element that translates Power Save’s financial savings into environmental gains, and the addition of dynamic custom workstation groups to help manage enterprise deployments.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jessica Kostek

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