Microsoft has started the Technology Adopter Program nomination process for the next major release (not 2007 R3) of Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr, SCCM). That means a CTP or beta cannot be far off.
We got a brief look at ConfigMgr V.Next at TechEd in Berlin. Wow, what a leap this product is making. It just seems more elegant. ConfigMgr is a huge product and can seem very daunting. But once you get over the core basics you soon realise which bits are important and which aren’t to your organisation. But few get over that hump from what I can see – around these parts – which is rather unfortunate because I just love how powerful ConfgMgr is.
The really cool part of V.Next was the self service model. Driven by a Silverlight portal, a user could request a package installation. A workflow decides where to start a install now or send an approval request to a budget owner (or admin or security). When the package is approved the site triggers the agent to install immediately – no waiting around for 1 hour.
I really hope I get time to play with ConfigMgr later this year. As a former MVP in that expertise, I’ve fallen out of the loop. I no longer work with the product because it’s not useful in our field. But I’m sure I will work with it again in the future.