Dell and Microsoft have teamed up to develop a combined enterprise IT management tool designed to offer a single point of administration for hardware and software.
The deal centres on integrating Dell's OpenManage 4 systems management software with Microsoft's Systems Management Server 2003 to unify the tools needed to update system software, operating systems and applications to one interface.
OpenManage 4 works with Microsoft's Systems Management Server 2003 to give customers a single view of all Dell PowerEdge servers on the network, and determine what needs to be updated from a system software, operating system and application perspective.
According to the partners, the move has been prompted by customers requesting an improved way of managing the high volume of updates to servers for security and application improvements, which was identified as the "biggest pain point and expense".
The combined offering claims to be able to solve this pain by delivering updates to the servers with one step.
Kevin Rollins, president and chief executive at Dell, said: "Our development partnership will focus on improving the way we deliver systems management to customers with integrated products that improve productivity by minimising the demands placed on IT resources."
Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer added: "Enterprise customers want comprehensive solutions that span management of both hardware and software, and reduce complexity and cost."
The combined Dell and Microsoft offering, called SMS 2003 Inventory Tool for Dell Updates, is scheduled to be available in January 2005 as a free download.
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