As lead on the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) product management team, I’m often talking to customers about the business value they can reap by using any combination of the tools within MDOP. To provide a little more guidance on why they should be using MDOP, we sponsored an IDC white paper in February to explain how businesses can save money using this group of tools.

Titled Expanding Business Benefit and Lowering Costs Through Desktop Optimization (available here), this is a succinct and useful white paper for business decision makers and below I’ve summarized a few key points that might interest you.

First, IDC sees Windows 7 migration as more than just a Windows upgrade. “We believe that business customers should view this transition as a once-in-a-decade inflection point, and use it as an opportunity to rethink how they architect their desktop systems, how they deploy, and how they manage for those desktops moving forward.”

Microsoft’s management story has improved significantly since Windows XP, and MDOP can help streamline your move to Windows 7. So, the time to deploy MDOP is during your Windows 7 migration—not after. Otherwise, you’ll be missing out on a lot of opportunities to simplify the deployment process, as well as your job.

Second, the white paper explains how MDOP can save you significant time. Although it talks about saving dollars, those savings come from improved IT productivity. Study participants saved 36 percent on their IT productivity costs annually by using all of the products in the MDOP suite. The white paper attributes these savings mostly to reducing time spent on tasks such as:

  • Management. Participants saved 29 percent on annual management costs. Management tasks include routine PC management, maintaining applications on existing PCs, managing Group Policy, and so on. MDOP products that streamline these tasks include Application Virtualization (App-V), Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM), and Asset Inventory Service (AIS).
  • Deployment. Participants saved 13 percent on new PC deployments, including image deployment, application deployment, and post-deployment support. App-V, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V), and Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) contribute to these savings.
  • Support. Participants saved 64 percent on the time it takes to answer help desk calls and resolve PC issues involving compatibility, access, and updates. MDOP products that contribute to these savings include App-V, MED-V, and DaRT.
  • Downtime. IDC attributes a 69 percent savings to a reduction in the amount of time it takes to fix hardware and operating-system failures. DaRT specifically contributes to these savings by making it faster and easier to recovery PCs that fail to start.

The white paper also documents savings in areas beyond IT productivity. For example, by reducing the amount of money spent on third-party software solutions, the companies that participated in the study saved about $46/year per PC. Additionally, they experienced an increase in end-user productivity, with a cost savings of about $274/year per PC. Productivity for end users was almost entirely attributed to less downtime and quicker problem resolution when downtime did occur.

The last point I want to share is that IDC saw savings associated with deploying any part of MDOP; however, the study found that savings were greater for participants who used multiple MDOP products. This is an important point to remember given you’ve already paid for the entire suite, not just one product. So we say use what you own! We’d love to hear what you think about MDOP and how it’s helping your business, so please send us your comments.