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If you're running SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) in your organisation, you may be intrigued by the blog title. After all, doesn't Microsoft go to great pains to have us believe that SCCM can do everything out-of-the-box to deploy and manage your Windows machines?

Over the last 15 years at ENGL, I been involved in 100's of Windows deployment projects and spoken with many administrators and partners. Depending on who you speak to you're likely to get a different answer.

Most service orientated Microsoft partners will say SCCM and OSD (Operating System Deployment) needs to be carefully planned and implemented to get the most from the solution and to meet your requirements. Sound advice indeed. However, when pushed on how simple a Windows deployment process can be made they are likely to offer OSD as a solution with weeks of on-site consultancy to ensure WIM images and drivers are available to support your hardware estate.

Ultimately, organisations just want something to work, but life is rarely that simple. Once you have SCCM installed and an OSD process in place with task sequence steps calling beautifully crafted script, what happens when....

 

Ahhh.... a department purchases new hardware from a different manufacturer!

In SCCM terms, you could be lucky and find a collection of drivers in a CAB from the machine manufacturer. However, each manufacturer has a different method of supplying drivers and (based on our experience) it's likely that the drivers may be out of date, or worse don't install due to a badly written INF files. Stunned? Don't be, at ENGL we've seen lots of poorly conceived INF files that fail to install on specific OS versions or platforms. If this is the case, you'll need to hack around with the driver files or script a solution around it.

Sound painful? You're right to think so. During a recent survey, we found SCCM administrators on average spend a week finding a working set of drivers for a machine model, including the main manufacturers like Lenovo, HP and Dell.

 

ENGL to the rescue

If you don't have a working OSD process or find it too complex to manage, ENGL Imaging Toolkit is our end-to-end OS deployment solution that includes image creation, unique driver management capability, and automated deployment process.

If you have a working OSD process, ENGL Driver Manager includes the same driver management capabilities as ENGL Imaging Toolkit, but is designed to integrate natively into SCCM by creating driver and software packages that can be referenced using an OSD Task Sequence.

The driver management capability in ENGL Imaging Toolkit and ENGL Driver Manager includes:

  • Hardware inventory scanner (can be run unattended from the command line)
  • SCCM inventory import
  • Driver search for a Windows OS / platform (queries sent to ENGL driver service in the cloud)
  • Driver download direct from machine and OEM site (without being modified)
  • Driver analysis determines best way to install the driver
  • Driver issue report (allows you to report an issue with a download driver and opens an ENGL support ticket)

 

It can be easy...

Windows deployment with SCCM can be hugely simplified by investing in an ENGL solution. You'll be fully supported and we guarantee to invest our own time and effort to support as many Windows and SCCM versions as possible.