When a recent virus threatened the company’s 2,200+ servers and 12,000+ workstations, Siebel Systems knew that it had to install patches quickly. But without a baseline to work from, the Siebel’s IT team were overwhelmed and unable to quickly assess the source of the problem and prioritize remediation efforts as quickly as they would have liked. In order to protect its systems, the company regrouped and essentially used a combination of scripts and manual effort to deploy all the necessary patches across the enterprise. Clearly this level of effort could not be considered sustainable or manageable as a go-forward strategy, as it consumed unacceptable levels of the IT team’s resources and required serious impact to business critical systems.
Avanade was engaged to help build a Security Action Framework derived from the best practices of Microsoft Solutions for Management (MSM). In addition, Avanade participated in a selection process for identifying the right combination of tools to address the patch management problem. The culmination of these efforts was a pilot installation of Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 (SMS) to 250 machines in production. As a result, the company has been able to deploy patches in a targeted and policy driven way which helps automates the process and makes patching more manageable. While the work done for this company was based on MSM best practices, it also incorporated many of the assets contained within Avanade’s own Patch Management solution. A representative inventory of deliverables from that offering includes: