Microsoft and Citrix Partnership


Citrix has a rich history of embracing and extending Microsoft’s platform. As such, Microsoft endorses XenDesktop as the premier desktop virtualization solution for enterprise and complex environments.

XenDesktop 4 strengthens our partnership and product alignment by plugging into App-V, Remote Desktop Services, Hyper-V Server and System Center, providing the most comprehensive solution to  virtual and physical desktops.

Microsoft shares our view that desktop virtualization is broader than VDI and shares a common vision of user centric computing. Together, the joint solution provides the best user experience, integrated management and the most comprehensive and cost effective solution to service the different user types and business drivers. 

Partner Campaign:

Microsoft’s Opalis Acquisition FAQ


Acquisition FAQs

1.  What has been announced regarding Opalis?
Microsoft has acquired Opalis, a leading provider of next-generation IT process automation software. Financial terms won’t be disclosed. Opalis will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft and will maintain Opalis offices in Mississauga, Ontario, for now. The Opalis products will become part of the System Center family of datacenter management products.

2.  What are the terms of the deal?
The terms of the deal will not be disclosed.

3.  Will Opalis management team, sales and development team come over to Microsoft as part of the acquisition?
We’re excited about the caliber of employees at Opalis and are working closely with Opalis’ management team to bring a number of Opalis employees to Microsoft across most functions of the company.

4.  What capabilities does Opalis provide?
Opalis provides IT process automation software. This software helps organizations to automate IT processes across their complex, heterogeneous datacenter environments. Opalis solutions include:

  • Prepackaged workflows and automation expertise for the common tasks in managing a datacenter.  Examples include Run Book Automation (RBA), virtual machine lifecycle management, incident ticket management, and cloud computing virtual machine migration
  • An automation platform designed to be simple to use by customers so they can quickly create and execute workflows across datacenter management tools
  • Deep integration capabilities to orchestrate tasks across datacenter infrastructure and systems management products including those from BMC, CA, IBM, HP, Microsoft, and Symantec

5.  Why has Microsoft acquired Opalis?
Microsoft’s acquisition of Opalis brings together the deep datacenter automation expertise of Opalis with the integrated physical and virtual datacenter management capabilities of Microsoft System Center. The addition of Opalis’ IT process automation capabilities to Microsoft’s growing systems management portfolio is designed to help enterprise customers and service providers:

  • Lower the cost of datacenter management through automating complex IT processes across the datacenter, while managing the physical and virtual environment  through the Microsoft System Center platform
  • Drive IT efficiency across the datacenter with expertise delivered through pre-packaged workflows, and deep integration across the infrastructure and management environments of the datacenter
  • Build on existing skills to better manage IT and business growth with the extended System Center product offering across highly virtual, heterogeneous datacenters

The market leading IT Process Management capabilities of Opalis will also provide Microsoft with a broader set of datacenter management capabilities through the ability to orchestrate tasks and workflows across the complete datacenter environment and across a variety of management tools.

6.  How is the acquisition good for customers?
Microsoft’s acquisition of Opalis brings together the deep datacenter automation expertise of Opalis with the integrated physical and virtual datacenter management capabilities of Microsoft System Center. This will provide a wide range of opportunities to optimize how they manage their datacenter environments, deliver datacenter services to their organizations, and reduce their operational costs.

With the existing integration of Opalis and System Center through currently available integration packs, customers will today be able to leverage the integrated automation capabilities with their existing Operations Manager and Virtual Machine Manager deployments to automate key processes in the datacenter today.  By deploying Opalis customers can begin to dynamically automate datacenter processes through Opalis’ robust activity library.  In addition, Opalis provides a powerful integration library to integrate System Center deployments with 3rd party software solutions

Product and Product Roadmap FAQs

1.  How does the Opalis technology fit with existing System Center suite of products?
The Opalis technology will enhance the automation and integration capabilities of System Center, including extending the range and type of integration outside the Microsoft environment. These capabilities are already integrated with Operations Manager and Virtual Machine Manager today through currently available integration packs. Opalis’ addition to System Center will also provide customer solutions that bring together the future System Center Service Manager’s workflow and process management capabilities with the ability to automate tasks as part of those processes across the datacenter.

2. How will Microsoft license the Opalis products?
The long-term licensing model for Opalis as part of the System Center family will be announced at a later date.  Existing Opalis customers should contact a Microsoft reseller partner or Microsoft account manager in order to purchase new licenses. Existing Microsoft System Center customers should contact their Microsoft account manager or Microsoft partner to learn how to gain access to this software

3.  Can customers buy more seats of Opalis products/ upgrades?
Opalis customers can license the right to manage additional servers with Opalis technology by purchasing Microsoft System Center SMSE/ SMSD licenses.  For every SMSE/ SMSD license purchased with active Software Assurance the Opalis subsidiary will issue a grant of Opalis licenses for no extra cost to SMSE/SMSD customers  Please refer to the previous FAQ on ‘How will Microsoft license the Opalis products’ for information on the Opalis grant. Opalis customers should contact their Microsoft Account Manager, Opalis reseller or Opalis directly for more information.

4.  I am an existing Opalis customer, how can I access System Center software?
Customers who license Opalis Integration Server and Device Licenses with active maintenance will be eligible to receive a grant of System Center Server Management Suite Datacenter (SMSD) licenses to cover the servers they are managing using Opalis software.  This grant will be available in January of 2010. 

Opalis customers can obtain the software associated with their grant for SMSD licenses through the Volume Licensing Service Center under an existing Volume Licensing agreement or by placing a media order with their existing Microsoft reseller.  If the Opalis customer does not have a Microsoft reseller relationship, they can “Ask A Question” via email on the Microsoft for Pathways site for assistance.

5.  How will the Opalis capabilities be integrated with the System Center roadmap?
Opalis software is already integrated today with Microsoft System Center Operations Manager and Virtual Machine Manager through currently available integration packs.  Going forward, Microsoft plans to integrate Opalis' deep IT process automation and integration expertise into future versions of Microsoft products and will provide more information over the coming months on where and how that integration will occur.

6.  Will Microsoft continue to make all of Opalis products available?
The majority of Opalis products will continue to be available and supported by Microsoft. This will provide customers with the ability to bring together the process automation capabilities of Opalis with the integrated management capabilities of System Center to help lower the cost of delivering highly available and performing datacenter services. In the future the licensing for Opalis products will be integrated with System Center’s licensing model to enable customers to take advantage of a flexible, cost effective and simple approach to purchasing management capabilities. One exception to this is the Opalis Dashboard product which will no longer be available from Opalis, a Microsoft subsidiary

7.  What is happening to the Opalis Dashboard product?
The Opalis Dashboard includes software developed by Altosoft.  This product will no longer be offered directly by Opalis as a Microsoft subsidiary.  Altosoft plans to license this product under the Altosoft brand. For more information please visit:

Support, Support Agreement and Contract FAQs

1.  What happens to Opalis’ customers support agreements?
Opalis customer’s support experience for current products will remain the same during the transition to Microsoft, and existing support agreements will be honored through expiration. Upon expiration of these contracts, new Microsoft support offerings will be available to ensure ongoing support of Opalis technology.

2.  How will support for Opalis' customers be impacted?
Opalis support practices and procedures will be migrated to standard Microsoft practices over time and customers will be notified in advance of those process changes.

3.  Who does the Opalis customer need to contact for customer service and support?
Opalis support contacts and communications initially remain the same.  Support practices and procedures will be migrated to standard Microsoft practices over time and customers will be notified in advance of those process changes.

4.  How will this deal affect customers’ current contract?
TThis does not change existing licensing terms for Opalis software .  Customers exercising the SMSD license grant or making additional purchases of the SMSD will be subject to Microsoft licensing terms.

Partner FAQs

1.  What impact does this have on existing Opalis partners?
Microsoft values the experience and expertise that Opalis partners provide for IT Process Automation and we plan to engage with Opalis partners to help customers lower the cost of delivering data center services. This transaction will bring new opportunities and business to key partners through Microsoft’s fast growing systems management business.  Visit for more partner information on this acquisition.

2.  How is the acquisition good for partners?
Microsoft’s acquisition of Opalis provides a wide range of opportunities for partners to extend the solutions they can provide customers. These include the opportunity to utilize the complete System Center server management suite, including supporting Run Book Automation (RBA) and virtual machine lifecycle management projects. Additionally, expertise in deploying and utilizing Opalis technology within Microsoft environments will be in demand as System Center customers become familiar with the Opalis capabilities.   The existing integration of Opalis products with System Center means these opportunities do not have to wait for additional development work before projects can be completed. The opposite is also true as Opalis customers look to implement System Center’s existing capabilities. Visit for more partner information on this acquisition.

3.  Will the acquisition impact partner contracts?
Opalis will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft and will continue to fulfill its existing commitments to Opalis partners.  Partners will be offered partnering opportunities as part of the Microsoft partner program. Renewals of existing Opalis agreements will not be offered in their present forms.

Get Answers

Welcome to myITforum, Martin Dey, Microsoft Director and MMS Event Owner has been friends with the MMS organizers since the very beginning, even before it was a Microsoft event.  We have a long friendship and history together.  There are a lot of people behind the scenes who are dear, dear friends, and I could go on and on about those friendships, probably even tear-up about it because there are some we’ve lost over the years, but I won’t for the moment.

What I’m really excited to announce, though, is that Martin Dey, the original organizer for the Microsoft Management Summit has started a blog to finally detail his “Road to MMS”.  Martin has agreed to finally tell the story of MMS, from its inception, through the planning and execution, to the final wrap-up of the event so you can get a real taste of what its like to plan an event this large and this popular.

So, welcome Martin to the fold by reading his first post and letting him know what you’d like to hear from him next.

Starting the MMS Story

Microsoft Technology Centers add 1E Solutions to Sustainable IT Briefings



1st December 2009 – at Microsoft Management Summit 2009 in New York, 1E, a leading provider of software and services which reduce organizations’ IT costs and environmental footprint, today announced that its solutions are being showcased at the Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) in New York. 1E NightWatchman®, Shopping™ and 1E WakeUp™ solutions have initially been added to the Sustainable IT briefing at the New York MTC and are set to be rolled out to the remaining 17 MTCs across the globe in early 2010.

Download this press release

Microsoft Technology Centers provide the resources that the modern enterprise needs — from technology experts to an exceptional technology environment — to envision, plan, build, deploy, operate, and optimize a secure, customized solution, based on Microsoft and partner technologies. Microsoft is joined by industry leaders such as 1E in hardware, software and services, who work together to create and drive joint technology initiatives and solutions. By augmenting Microsoft’s capabilities, companies like 1E help Microsoft deliver a more complete customer solution.

"The MTC offers a range of executive briefings and earlier this year, we decided to create a new briefing, focused, on sustainable IT to address the very real environmental challenges facing modern business," comments Chuck McCann, MTC Alliances Program Director. "In order to fully showcase the best technologies available, we needed to collaborate with specialists in the field. 1E was the natural choice as it offers power management solutions with excellent technology and fully featured solutions."

1E NightWatchman is the world’s leading PC power management solution with four million licensed users worldwide. Since it was launched a decade ago, 1E has saved customers USD$360 million in energy costs alone. In the year 2009, 1E will save 1 million US Tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, the equivalent of the amount of CO2 emitted from burning 2.4 million barrels of oil.

Shopping from 1E automates the request, approve, license and delivery cycle of end-user software distributions to significantly reduce operational cost and software spend while allowing IT helpdesk staff to focus on more strategic tasks. This self-service solution dramatically increases user satisfaction, is implemented rapidly and easily integrates with in-house applications. The result is a more agile IT infrastructure which puts users in control of the IT resources available to them.

Now installed in over 5 million seats worldwide and at several 200,000+ seat organizations, 1E WakeUp is proven and scalable technology for securely powering on PCs for successful software updates. By working in synchronization with Microsoft® System Center Configuration Manager 2007, 1E WakeUp increases delivery success and visibility of PC health.

Sumir Karayi, CEO, 1E, comments: "We are delighted to be part of the MTC experience, helping business professionals discover the best technologies to help their organisations thrive through real world demonstrations."


About 1E

1E helps its clients reduce IT costs and environmental footprint. Our expertise in providing leading-edge automation solutions, which reduce complexity, management costs and power consumption, has earned us the trust and confidence of over 12 million licensed users across 1,100 businesses in 42 countries worldwide. Customers include AT&T, Allstate Insurance, CSC, Blue Cross, British Airways, Dell Inc., DWP, HSBC, ING Investment Management, Marks & Spencer, Microsoft, Nestlé, Reed Elsevier, SABMiller, Syngenta, the US Air Force on behalf of the Pentagon and Verizon Wireless. For further information, please visit

Download this press release, Inc.

Last Day to Submit System Center Influencer Blog Contest Entries

Influencers: Today is the last day to submit your November blog entries for the contest! Blog on "The Microsoft platform and application management with System Center" and email it to for a chance to win a $100 gift card!

Contest Overview:

Contest Rules:

List of content ideas:


And for those of you who want to get a jump on next month's contest, the December theme is "Microsoft System Center Solutions for datacenter management". Blog about this topic and submit your entries to by December 31st. To help inspire you, check out the December Content Ideas.

The New Efficiency – a letter from Steve Ballmer

In all the talk about the economy, one term that comes up more and more frequently is something called "the new normal." I like this phrase because it speaks to the fact that economic reality has undergone a fundamental shift over the course of the past 12 months.

So what is the nature of this shift? After years of economic expansion fueled by unrealistic rates of consumption and unsustainable levels of private debt, the global economy has reset at a lower baseline level of activity. Today, people borrow less, save more, and spend with much greater caution.

This is the new normal and it will be with us for some time to come. The issue now is how to respond.

I believe the new normal requires a new kind of efficiency built on technology innovations that enable businesses and organizations to simultaneously drive cost savings, improve productivity, and speed innovation.

Because you are a subscriber to Executive Emails from Microsoft, I want to share my thoughts with you about how information technology can enable organizations to operate more efficiently, more effectively, and more strategically as they respond to the new normal by moving toward the new efficiency.

The New Efficiency: With Less, Do More

In the new normal, one thing is clear: cutting costs is extremely important. But cost cutting by itself is not a long-term winning strategy. To build a sustainable competitive advantage, companies must ultimately do two things- increase productivity and find ways to deliver new value to customers.

The issue, then, is how can organizations take costs out of their operations, increase productivity, and expand their capacity for innovation all at the same time?

For years, we've talked about how information technology enables companies to do more with less. But during this economic reset, IT provides business leaders with the answer to a slightly different question: Can my company with less, do more?

Other trends give this question even greater urgency. Workforces are more distributed and employees are more mobile. Government regulations are increasing and compliance requirements are mounting. Data security is more important to preserve and more difficult to maintain.

At the same time, companies struggle with legacy technology systems built on incompatible and disconnected applications that limit access to information and impede collaboration. The complexity of these systems forces IT departments to focus too much of their time and too many of their resources on providing basic services and protecting security.

Today, a new generation of business solutions is transforming IT into a strategic asset that makes it possible to cut costs without crippling customer service or constraining workforce creativity and effectiveness. A new generation of business solutions is eliminating the barriers between systems and applications, and automating routines tasks so IT professionals can focus on high-value work that is aligned to strategic priorities. These technologies can help organizations reduce risk, improve security, and drive down support costs.

This is IT how achieves the new efficiency with less.

At the same time, these technologies streamline access to information no matter where it is stored and enable people to work together securely no matter where they are located. This new generation of business solutions also provides improved mobile computing capabilities so people who work in a branch office, at home, or on the road can be as productive as employees who work at corporate headquarters.

Most important, a new wave of IT technologies offers advanced tools that enable employees to transform insights into innovations that address unmet market opportunities and meet unfulfilled customer needs.

This powerful combination of greater productivity and improved capacity for innovation is how IT enables businesses to do more.

Software Solutions for the New Efficiency

This year, Microsoft is introducing a wave of new software created specifically to enable businesses to tackle their most pressing challenges and strengthen their ability to deliver innovation to the marketplace.

It starts with Windows 7, the newest version of our flagship PC operating system. Windows 7 simplifies tasks and lets people get more done in less time with fewer clicks. Ready to deploy now, it enhances corporate data protection and security, and increases control to improve compliance and reduce risk. Part of our Windows Optimized Desktop solution that includes Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, Windows 7 streamlines management of PC environments, making it easier to reduce costs, improve performance, and enable end users to work anywhere.

These and other enhancements are the result of close collaboration with millions of customers and thousands of IT professionals who participated in testing programs and provided suggestions about the capabilities and improvements they wanted to see. Thanks in large part to their help, Windows 7 is the best PC operating system we have ever built.

We've also just released a new version of our server operating system. Windows Server 2008 R2 is designed to increase the reliability and flexibility of server infrastructures. It provides a productive server platform that offers cost-effective virtualization and business continuity, great power saving capabilities, and a superior experience for end users.

Later this year, we will also launch Exchange Server 2010. The cornerstone of Microsoft's unified communications technologies, Exchange Server 2010 provides a great email and inbox experience that extends from the PC to the phone to the browser and it helps companies archive and protect information efficiently. It also enables companies to reduce costs by delivering a built- in voice mail solution and providing low-cost storage options.

Achieving the Benefits of the New Efficiency Today

Organizations around the globe are already deploying these solutions and reaping the benefits.

At Intel, for example, Windows 7 is providing improved performance, greater application responsiveness, and a better platform for mobile workers. Ford is taking advantage of Exchange 2010 and Windows 7 to streamline communications, improve decision making, and boost productivity. Continental Airlines expects to save more than $1.5 million annually in hardware, software, and operational costs through the server virtualization capabilities of Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V technology.

At Convergent Computing, an information technology consulting firm based in California, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 will eliminate the $40,000 in annual spending that was needed to maintain a virtual private network for the company's 55 employees. In addition, employees can now access the company's corporate network instantly and download files 30 to 40 percent faster than before.

Another example is Baker Tilly, a London financial services firm with more than 2,000 employees and a network of partners in 110 countries. One of the first businesses to deploy Windows 7 on a company-wide basis, Baker Tilly expects to save about $160 per PC by reducing deployment, management, and energy costs. And because Windows 7 improves productivity, it offers the potential to increase billable time for mobile workers at a rate of nearly $600 per PC. This could return the equivalent of one-half of one percent of the company's current gross annual revenue to the bottom line.

Businesses aren't alone in their struggle to respond to the new normal. Governments must figure out how to deliver more services on budgets that are sharply constrained by falling revenue. As part of its response, the city of Miami deployed Windows 7 and expects that it will save nearly $400,000 a year in reduced security, management, and energy costs.

Ideal Conditions for an Era of Innovation and Growth

Despite the challenges posed by the global economic reset, I'm optimistic about the long-term opportunities that lie ahead.

I'm optimistic because there are encouraging signs that growth may resume in many parts of the world during the course of the next year.

More than that, I'm optimistic because I believe we are entering a period of technology-driven transformation that will see a surge in productivity and a flowering of innovation.

The new efficiency will not only help companies respond to today's economic reality, it will lay the foundation for systems and solutions that connect people to information, applications, and to other people in new ways. The result will be a wave of innovative products and services that will jumpstart economic growth as companies deliver breakthroughs that solve old problems and serve as the catalyst for new businesses and even new industries.

This too will be the new normal-economic growth driven not by debt and consumption, but by rising productivity and new ideas that provide real value to people throughout their lives. Information technology will play an important role. I look forward to seeing the progress that results.


Efficiency Launch Event – Tomorrow!


On September 29th at 9 am (PST) please join us here on for a kick-off discussion on “The New Efficiency” live from San Francisco as a part of Microsoft’s Virtual Launch Event.

Join in the conversation during this must-see event and see top technology leaders and Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, debate the role of IT during this economic reset. Can cost savings, productivity and innovation come together to drive business growth? Get a closer look at how real companies are justifying IT investments across desktop, server, network and beyond.  You’ll also find sessions related to new releases of Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft Forefront, Microsoft System Center, and Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack.

Mark your calendars; watch it live; submit questions in advance.  Don’t miss it!

Join us For the New Efficiency Launch Event

New RSS feed for just Community Articles

As we continue to migrate to the new, ground-breaking WYSIWYG article system, we’ve added a new RSS feed just for the new article formats, so you can stay on top of the latest and greatest articles. columnists are experts in their areas.  We have over 200 columnists producing some serious content continually – all original material instead of centralized links to information on other web sites.  The articles comprise the knowledge and expertise of people just like you who simply want to share solutions to common and uncommon problems in every area of systems management.  This is just one more reason why has been so successful for the last 10 years as the only resource for System Center and Systems Management support. is powered by you! – not just a couple people.  It takes everyone’s involvement to support the ever-growing list of management applications.

As we progress with the new article system, look for new RSS feeds where you can grab content by keyword or even specific areas for all products under the System Center umbrella.  And, it really doesn’t stop there. columnists write about things that affect your daily professional lives in areas of security, scripting, database administration, Active Directory/GPO, Exchange, etc., etc. – because systems management should not stop with System Center.  Just because it doesn’t fall under the System Center umbrella at Microsoft doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be managed.


Here’s the new catch-all RSS feed for all submitted articles: