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How do you deploy Sametime clients?


We've been taking a look at  simplifying  and removing pain points in the client install process for Sametime,  and would like some feedback on what you do today.  Here are a few questions that would help us  understand your needs a bit better.

Do you use (or plan to use) Sametime Connect standalone or Notes 8.x  embedded with Sametime as your primary client?
When  you download the client install kits from Passport site, would it be useful to have smaller download kits created for Windows only, Mac only etc vs one download today?
Do you use the standalone installer or network install option?
When you  install Sametime clients, do you use other tools to automatically manage deployment  to user desktops (which ones) , or do you let users install on their own?
Do you ever let users add  plug ins  to their clients on their own or do you mange the update of plug ins in some other way?

Please also feel free to add other comments or any ideas that might make it easier for your organization to roll out the latest client features faster.

Thanks


Comments

    1
    Keith Brooks | Website: http://www.vanessabrooks.com | 3/17/2009 3:51:22 PM GMT

    Rob,

    We use all types of clients.

    The biggest pain is the download site.

    Why are there 2-3 exactly same description items for everything? Especially the connect clients? With 3 different part #'s?

    This must change.

    Sametime for Network install is the best way we do it jut point the clients to it and done, no IT support required. We preconfigure it so they just need their login and password.

    Size of the files is irrelevant these days, but better documentation for installation is helpful. many times I extract the network install to the wrong directory because of the way YOU zipped the files.

    we let clients do whatever they want, some customers don't like it so we lock it down more but in general we pursue a newer is better idea.

    haven't got the update site running yet, that could also be made MUCH easier, like done on installation of Sametime server?

    2
    Tripp Black | Website: http://www.mindwatering.com | 3/18/2009 6:12:08 AM GMT

    We have ST embedded in client by default with only a very few w/the full ST client who need multiple community support for our business partners w/ST.

    We tend to use the full install or the network install. Same comments as #1.

    Biggest edition, we let our users use update sites and add widgets. (We haven't had it abused.) We would like for the client to be updated via update site on the Domino server. (We do it there.)

    Thanks.

    3
    Richard Doone | Website: | 3/18/2009 9:04:40 AM GMT

    We currently use the Notes 7 client with embedded IM. When we move to Notes 8.5, we plan to use the embedded client also. For the users who wish a rich client experience at the moment they are downloading the network 7.5 client from our ST 7.5 server.

    We plan to let users use update sites and add widgets.

    4
    JFranchetti | Website: | 3/18/2009 9:45:11 PM GMT

    We use standalone client.

    Smaller "Windows Only" package would be helpful.

    We package and deploy using Wise Installer Stuido and Microsoft SMS for deployment. Would be nice to have an even more robust "package tuner".

    We control all plug-ins.

    5
    G.Austin | Website: | 3/24/2009 3:33:33 PM GMT

    We use Altiris to distribute Sametime Connect standalone clients and hotfix install packages. (We do not use notes or plugins at all.) We have had a lot of challenges getting these install packages to execute in logged off mode.

    The plug-in distribution methodology is not tenable for enterprise implementations since it can't guarantee universal implementation nor does it support any form of install confirmation or enterprise adoption reporting.

    One of the biggest ongoing challenges we face with Sametime is version and update control. Client hotfixes are not manifested, there is no intrinsic way to determine what hotfixes have/have not been applied to a particular workstation. Sametime seems to have zero capacity to inventory/document what updates/patches/hotfixes are applied to the Sametime software.

    6
    Heidi Elmer | Website: | 3/24/2009 4:01:20 PM GMT

    Embedded or standalone: As of this moment we are undecided. However, we are starting a deployment of standalone Connect 8.0.1 next week. We may switch to the integrated client when we upgrade Notes to 8.5 later this year.

    Yes, it would be easier to download kits by OS version. But don't make Passport more complicated....I have a terrible time finding anything already!

    We use the standalone installer. Our network is already taxed enough and to add the dependency of a successful install on the network would cause undue risk to our deployment.

    Deployment: We have a home-grown application that we package the clients in and they deploy. We deploy to each office location and then push to the desktops in that office from the local servers. We have let users install this packaged version of the application if they want before we push the client to their workstations.

    Plug-ins: This is the question of the day. We have 7.5.1 servers, so we cannot effectively manage updates to the connect clients. All or none is not a good options. Also, the fact that I cannot tell who has gotten the updates is awful. We were testing the latest cross chat hotfix and I would remote into the users' workstations and add a remote site (test server) to pull down the latest updates. We are using the update site parms, but are investigating this for better alternatives.

    We have tried to preset a few features, but it seems most of the ones I tried to preset have a bug, so to actually have them all working in a next release would be fantastic :)

    Thanks!

    7
    | Website: | 3/26/2009 3:26:51 AM GMT

    All our customer in Italy use TPM (Tivoli Provisioning Manager) or other provisioning software.

    8
    Ben MacNeil | Website: | 3/31/2009 8:36:42 AM GMT

    Is anyone deploying plugins to Sametime via a deployment tool? IE. SMS, Altiris, etc? We will be deploying Sametime 8.0.2 in the near future via SMS and will deploy plugins as needed. For various reasons the customer needs to be able to audit and maintain the install base of all clients and plugins. We're shying away from update sites because it seems as though some of the plugins require Administrative privileges.

    Any advice would be helpful.

    9
    Alan Kelly | Website: | 5/13/2009 2:04:35 PM GMT

    We've finsihed migrating to 8.01 servers are are just starting to deploy the standalone 8.0.1 client.

    A windows only package would be welcome, but it's not the important part.

    We've not setup the plugin site yet, want the system to bed in for a while first.

    We're deploying using Novell Zen works.

    We've packageed the client from a slient install using a lot of modification of the client

    remove voice, video, meetings

    pre-set a lot of default vaules such as enable chat history, default history location etc.

    Overall this was not a nice process. IBM need to get better with their documentation, it took 3 weeks worth of IBM support going back and forth to get the ini file settings right for our options (they were wrong in the documentation), and we're still not sure how to do everything that should be possible works, and some of the results have been patchy at best.

    Looking forward to need to deploy the 8.0.2/8.0.1 patch to fix 8.0.1's issues now :) and of course not to mention the resigned java code.

    10
    | Website: | 9/23/2009 7:45:36 AM GMT

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