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-- by Joseph C. Panettieri
For the definitive answer to any Systems Management Server (SMS) question, look no further than the Software Spectrum SMS Alliance-a group of major corporations committed to deploying and supporting SMS installations.
The alliance, managed by technical support specialist Software Spectrum of Dallas, includes Cabletron, Chevron, Microsoft, Mobil, Pennzoil and Texas Instruments, among other prominent companies. So far, alliance members have 300,000 SMS desktops in production.
To help manage those desktops, the alliance offers members a private SMS Web site, newsletters, case studies and direct contact with Microsoft's SMS development team, which is a regular guest at the alliance's SMS symposiums. (The next symposium will be held April 23-24 in Dallas.)
The alliance also develops and shares SMS scripts with other alliance members. One such script can alert network managers when RAM is swiped from a PC-a crime that costs IT shops billions annually, according to the Chubb Group of Insurance Cos. in Warren, N.J.
Becoming an alliance member is easy (for information, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org), but not cheap-the annual fee is $5,000. Still, that fee may be less expensive than paying an SMS consultant who isn't tapped into Microsoft.
Copyright (c) 1997 CMP Media Inc.