Windows 10 Servicing: Using Self-Scheduling to Reduce Costs

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Windows 10 Servicing: Using Self-Scheduling to Reduce Costs

How to Use Self-scheduling to Reduce Windows 10 Servicing Costs  

Gone are the days when enterprises scheduled Windows upgrade programs every 5-6 years and rolled them out over 2 years. Today, as Microsoft updates are issued annually and older versions of Windows are supported for 30 months, many companies are moving to a yearly rollout to ensure security is maintained and employees leverage the latest features.  

One of the biggest challenges for IT directors and project managers in rolling out these updates will be coordinating the schedules of thousands of users who need to be upgraded over the course of just a few months. Depending on the size of your company, you may need to assign between 2 and 10 team members to the tasks of emailing, calling, reminding and rescheduling, as well as making sure technicians are where they need to be. It won’t be sustainable to dedicate that many resources to OS upgrades every year moving forward. 

Leading IT research and advisory company, Gartner, suggests that CIOs regularly reevaluate capabilities, asking themselves ‘Are we too busy managing hardware and applications to be an effective partner?’ Rather, the end goal should be to create ‘operational efficiency and a more strategic IT operation 

There is a lot to think about when scheduling Windows 10 servicing. You are going to be asking thousands of employees to lose access to the system for 20-45 minutes – the average time it takes to update an office-based user’s PC. For the growing number of remote workers, an update can halt productivity for even longer due to issues like network constraints, the need for phone support, and the potential that they are replacing their own hardware.  

Before you can schedule a user, you’ll need to determine: 

  • If any hardware needs to be upgraded or replaced. 

  • Who should be part of the pilot group to validate applications before rolling out to the entire organization. 

  • Which users need to be scheduled together.  

  • Which dates to avoid. 

  • Times when it’s too costly to push out the update, for example during business hours for employees engaged in mission-critical activity.  

  • Who is office-based and who is remote. 

  • Your project team’s capacity. 

  • The individual availability of every user in your company. 

Manually scheduling timeslots to update every user is no small task in a company with 5,000 employees or more. Project budget can ebb away in the time it takes to send emails and make phone calls to answer questions, reschedule slots, follow up and remind end users of what they need to do to ensure the success of the update.   

Even during the execution phase, teams will have to manually push out updates, and monitor status closely. At every step of the way there is a chance that users will want to reschedule, business changes will disrupt the program, mistakes will be made, or the update will fail, meaning you need to roll back the update and manually reschedule once the issue is resolved, driving up costs even further.  

Using self-scheduling is key to automating Windows 10 servicing and reducing costs 

To manage ongoing Windows 10 servicing cost-effectively, companies need to adopt a repeatable, automated, scheduling process.  

Using the ReadyWorks self-schedule module, end users are in control of selecting the time and date of their own update when it’s convenient for them, in line with your team’s capacity, business requirements, and readiness. This has a huge impact in reducing the number of manual chores and costs associated with a Windows 10 servicing project. 

With the user in control fewer resources are required for scheduling activities and the number of emails and calls are drastically reduced: 

  • If the end user wants to reschedule, there is no need to contact the project team, they simply select a new timeslot. 

  • You don’t have to manually coordinate the pilot testing group - users can opt-in and provide feedback. 

  • Users can input all their unique requirements into the portal so that no information is overlooked.  

  • You don’t even have to chase users and their managers – you can implement alerts that automatically remind them if users don’t self-schedule. 

  • If an update fails, the user is alerted to pick a new timeslot in the portal once the issue is identified and corrected, meaning you don’t have to manually reschedule them. 

Use self-scheduling to trigger automated workflows: 

ReadyWorks connects and orchestrates all your systems, tools, databases and platforms allowing you to implement automated workflows that are triggered by self-scheduling. System, team, and communications tasks, including reminders, can be triggered by the timeslot the user chooses – even the update itself can be deployed automatically once the timeslot is reached.  

Manual errors and the possibility of project delays are reduced as once the user chooses their timeslot this information is populated in a central location for any team member to access. One example of this is that a technician will be able to see the end user’s specific hardware requirements as soon as that information is entered in the self-scheduling portal, ensuring they send out the correct equipment during a hardware refresh and aren’t delayed waiting for direction from the project team. In addition, teams are provided with new insight by being able to see the number of users that have already self-scheduled in real time without having to manually collate that information. 

Achieve more with less effort 

By employing the ReadyWorks self-scheduling module, you can dramatically cut the time, costs and errors associated with manually performing administrative tasks such as communications and enhance the success rate of Windows 10 servicing. Fewer team members are needed to run these programs meaning you can reallocate resources to more strategic work and the new annual schedule of these rollouts becomes a much less daunting prospect. Even end users will become more engaged in the process because they are given greater control. 

Learn how ReadyWorks can help you reduce the cost associated with Windows Servicing by 40% or more by automating workflows including user scheduling.  Book a demo today. 

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