Used to carry this around in my wallet, and whether someone said:
”CA UniCentre is a crap product”
I’d point out that we thought it was a fabulous solution, at one time.

April 2003.

By Greasy Poleclimber

The project was to install the CA UniCentre toolset within FLIC Inc.
Initially this was to an additional 700 terminals that were part of the FLIC Inc. takeover of IJI Insurance, and then to upgrade the original FLIC Inc. CA UniCentre environment totalling a further 3,400 workstations.

The objectives of the project were to stabilize the previous CA UniCentre environment and ensure ITO retained the business against the threat of competition from Microsoft’s SMS for the management of the desktop environment.

The ITO Systems team in Australia, led by Chief Greasy Poleclimber, Solid Worker and Greasy Poleclimber, were engaged to demonstrate to FLIC Inc. the functionality and increased reliability and availability of the latest version of CA UniCentre. This ‘proof of concept’ commenced in May 2002, was followed by a ‘pilot’ and final customer sign-off was achieved in November 2002!  This extended period was due to many problems within the environment and with every new problem that arose CA UniCentre had to be re-proven.

The continuous problems provided an opportunity for ITO to not only demonstrate the robustness, capability and functionality of the CA UniCentre toolset but also the high level of skill set available within ITO – especially from the Systems team and Server Engineering. The competitive solution using SMS was totally overcome and the client accepted the CA UniCentre comprising Software Delivery (USD), Asset Management (UAM), Remote Control Option (RCO) and eTrust Antivirus (EAV) and ITO services as being the best solution.

The client is already appreciating the CA UniCentre tools and gaining immediate benefits including two very recent situations that required levels of urgency and reliability to resolve urgent issues:-
Virus outbreaks in FLIC Inc. seriously threatened their environment. FLIC Inc. urgently requested ITO to upgrade antivirus software to 232 workstations in a remote location. Once commenced, within the first hour, 96% of the workstations had received the life saving upgrade via USD.

A patch was required for in excess of 600 desktops in Oakley:
Once again USD was utilized to easily and remotely implement the patch to over 94% of the desktops with no manual intervention, thereby providing a level of service and response second to none.

Six years on:

  • Chief Greasy Poleclimber is in executive management
  • Greasy Poleclimber is a Service Account Manager
  • Solid Worker shunted to another team.
  • FLIC Inc. had a dismal experience with CA Unicentre because ITO failed to support the product properly.  Spreading support staff over multiple accounts meant the product was not being maintained, and therefore unreliable.
  • FLIC Inc. told ITO “If you bid for our business again with CA Unicentre”, we’ll go elsewhere.
  • FLIC Inc. now has Microsoft SMS v4 (aka SCCM 2007)

The moral of the story?  Any product is crap if you can’t be bothered supporting it properly.