Qld Hospital dumps Intel's LanDesk

A disillusioned Queensland hospital group has tossed in the towel after wrestling for two years with Intel's LanDesk Manager.

Performance overheads and print function conflicts headed a list of LanDesk headaches for the Wesley Hospital group of four hospitals.

"We spent a lot of staff time trying to make it work," said Wesley chief information officer Warren Armitage. PCs loaded with LanDesk clients experienced recurring problems printing from Microsoft Office applications.

The problem was never resolved to the three-hospital group's satisfaction and it is believed that Intel addressed the situation by providing a significant refund.

On the performance side, the hospital group was unhappy with LanDesk's large memory footprint and by the heavy processor demands it made on client PCs.

"The strain LanDesk placed on the client was our major concern along with support difficulties because it really needed staff with considerable experience to fine-tune it," Armitage said.

The hospital found itself managing its hardware and software inventory from spreadsheets that were continually out of date. Software distribution meant going to each PC and installing things by hand, box by box.

"There was no way to gain an overview of the operational status of the systems at any one time. It was time-consuming, clumsy and expensive to manage our IT resources," Armitage said. Intel declined to comment.

To turn the situation around, the hospital group went upmarket and eight months ago began deploying Tivoli Systems' IT Director across more than 400 PCs on its Novell and Windows NT networks.

Despite higher costs in the form of a $50,000-plus licence fee, IT Director has proven a win for the hospital, according to Armitage.

It places no extra load on client systems and installed with impressive ease. Its automatic tracking of hardware and software assets has also impressed the hospital group.

This year, IT Director's automated management alone will save the hospital the cost of one extra full-time staff member, Armitage estimated.

However, the group believes Tivoli needs to put more work into IT Director's remote control capabilities despite the fact they are superior to LanDesk Manager's.

Remote features such as monitoring and control of client screens seem "quite slow" in IT Director ver 1.21, Armitage said.

The hospital group, which employs more than 1500, must manage a mixed Windows NT/Novell network as well as an AS/400 and RS/6000 host environment. Tivoli's ability to complement IT Director's NT/Novell support with product suites that cover the Unix and AS/400 space was a significant factor in the hospital's decision to go with it.

Intel declined to comment on the situation.

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