Desktop Deployment – Over 20 years of experience

We have more than twenty years experience in building and maintaining IT environments with automated installations, also known as desktop deployments. As far back as 1995 our consultants were actively working with these kinds of solutions, at that time in an OS/2 environment with the CID technique (Configuration Installation Distribution) from IBM.

Because of our expertise in OS/2, we were given an assignment by Nordbanken, one of the biggest Swedish banks at the time, where our main task was to assist in maintaining and further developing the automated installation processes of their operating systems (OS deployment) and applications (software deployment).

After a few years, we took part in a project to convert the platform from OS/2 to a streamlined Microsoft environment, where all automation was built up without the involvement of any third-party tools. When the bank acquired Postgirot we were given the responsibility to adapt their extensive application portfolio to the bank’s own standardized and automated platform.

Over the course of eight months five of our consultants worked on application packaging. Our consultants worked with this client for a total of six years and the assignment comprised approximately 15 000 working hours before it was complete. During this time we naturally learned a lot about the technology required to build and maintain an automated platform and gained important experience with regards to what is needed to become successful in managing such a platform.

With this knowledge-base we sat down to think about how we could make this kind of solution available for a wider market. We were convinced that an automated installation platform would generate huge savings for both small and medium-sized businesses but the desktop deployment products available on the market were far to expensive and complex to address this market segment.

In 2002 Microsoft released Windows PE (Microsoft Preinstall Environment) and we immediately saw new possibilities. By building on Windows PE we managed to create a stand-alone and completely license-free concept to automate all the steps of installing an operating system. We soon got requests from our clients who wanted to be able to distribute application packages (application deployment) in the same automated way as with operating systems. And so in the beginning of 2003 we packaged a complete solution for automated installations of operating systems and applications known as Zero Touch Deployment under the name dotDidas™. Later that same year we won the ”Best other developed third-party product/service for NT/2000/2003” prize at the Sweden NT Awards presented by the Institute for International Research AB.

A Microsoft Accelerated Desktop Deployment Partner

We carried on developing our concept and an ever-increasing number of clients chose to use it in order to streamline their client platforms. Meanwhile Microsoft released a packaged solution with Windows PE called Microsoft Solutions Accelerator for Business Desktop Deployment (Microsoft BDD), and created a separate partner program for partners specializing in these type of services. In January 2005 we became a Microsoft Accelerated Desktop Deployment Partner and our concept, which already had significant similarities with Microsoft BDD, was adapted, developed and remodeled on the new Microsoft standard framework. This refined concept was launched in September 2008 and we named it upKeeper – a packaged client platform environment designed to maintain a stable, dynamic and cost efficient client workplace environment. In the spring of 2006 we conducted a national campaign together with Microsoft and HP in which we staged a series of seminars from Malmö in the south to Luleå in the north. Today close to 100 000 computers are managed with the help of upKeeper in small and large environments (from 20 to over 13 000 computers). Our customers come from all business sectors, both in Sweden and internationally.
upKeeper is not only based on standard components from Microsoft but includes tens of thousands of hours of experience in how to manage desktop deployment and the introduction of a standardized and automated client platform.