Windows® 7: More than a pretty interface. Find out how making the switch can benefit your organization.

Why you should make the move to Windows® 7?

Moving your organization to Windows® 7 promises to be one of the most productive migrations yet. Why? This advanced operating system was built from the ground up to work the way organizations do—securely, remotely and on the fly. And to help you with the transition, it is supported by a rich set of transition and migration tools.

How can Windows® 7 benefit my organization?

Windows® 7 powers the security, networking, remote accessibility and mobile connectivity features that organizations are clamoring for. At Lenovo, we’ve been collaborating with Microsoft for more than four years to optimize Lenovo laptops and desktops for this transformative new environment. We call the result of this collaboration, the Lenovo Enhanced Experience 2.0 for Windows® 7.

So go ahead and add “organizational hero” to your list of career accomplishments: implementing this advanced operating system can decrease IT labor costs up to 45% and, post-deployment, service desk demand could drop by as much as 65% according to research conducted by IDC.

What about Windows® 7's return on investment (ROI)?

Windows® 7 delivers a fast return on investment: in as little as 7 months to 12 months according to Forrester Consulting. This research, which studied actual implementations, compared Windows® 7 deployments with adoptions of previous operating systems. Not only was it faster to adopt Windows® 7, the move saved money in two areas: IT labor expended during deployment and support demand post-deployment.

One organization expects to realize $1.5 million in quantified benefits from its $668,000 investment in Windows® 7. Cost/benefit analyses and ROI experiences benchmarked by industry analyst firms Forrester Consulting and IDC appear in Your Guide to Fast-tracking Windows® 7 Migration.

To determine how much your specific organization can expect to achieve by moving to Windows® 7, consult the Microsoft ROI Calculator.

Proven strategies for gaining the most benefit from Windows® 7 can also be found in Maximize Your Windows® 7 Investment.

What about migrating my organization's applications to Windows® 7?

Moving your existing applications to Windows® 7 is one of the most challenging aspects of deciding when to deploy a new operating system. Microsoft has already worked with software publishers and other leading organizations to migrate thousands of business applications to Windows® 7. In addition to certifying these applications for the Windows® 7 environment, Microsoft has amassed significant expertise and best practices related to application migration. Consult the Windows® 7 Application Compatibility List for IT Professionals to see the thousands of applications that have been certified as Windows® 7 compatible.

Additional information on application compatibility can be found in Windows® 7 Application Compatibility. Keep up with ongoing updates on application compatibility in Chris Jackson’s blog, The App Compat Guy.

Finally, visit a dedicated online community to find technical resources, free tools and expert guidance on best practices pertinent to Windows® 7 migration. Segmented by adoption cycle, this site makes it easy for you to start from wherever you are now and chart a course to where you want your organization to be.

Taking control of Windows® 7

Now that you’ve decided to deploy Windows® 7, you’ll find a host of resources, free tools and expertise to make the job easier and faster.

How do I best deploy Windows® 7 across my organization?

While no two deployments are ever the same, Lenovo and Microsoft can provide you with a proven framework to streamline your adoption of Windows® 7.

The collective resources available to you address many of the major phases of deployment. Phase 1 should be to develop a high level plan that should include the following:

  • Moving user files and settings;
  • Application compatibility and migration;
  • Imaging strategies; and
  • Migration automation.

A good place to start is the comprehensive planning and execution guide, Deploying Windows® 7: A to Z.

Sizable organizations of all types should also consult Best Practices for Migrating a Large Enterprise to Microsoft Windows® 7.

There’s also good news about one of deployment’s toughest challenges — application compatibility. Microsoft has certified thousands of business applications to run in the Windows® 7 environment. To find out what’s already been done, download Windows® 7 Application Compatibility List for IT Professionals. Additional “how to” advice on application compatibility-specific comes from Getting Started with Application Compatibility in a Windows® 7 Deployment.

If Windows® XP is your current platform, you’ll find the Windows XP to Windows® 7 Migration Guide invaluable. Finally, watch any of the detailed Windows® 7 deployment, migration and compatibility videos to pick up proven strategies for success.

No matter which platform you are on, it is not too late to start thinking about image migration. Lenovo provides a full range of imaging tools, and this web page is a good place to start.

Now that I've decided to deploy Windows® 7, is it time for a PC refresh?

You’ll likely want to consider a PC refresh selectively: based on device type, age and user category. First, look at the range of ages represented in your organization’s PC fleet. Most likely, you’ll want to migrate the newer machines to Windows® 7 and then invest in new machines to replace the older models. The white paper, Using Total Cost of Ownership to Determine Optimal PC Refresh Lifecycles, provides advice to create the refresh cycle which makes the most sense for your organization.

You may choose to refresh a good part of your existing fleet to gain the power savings and lower support costs associated with new machines. If you’re considering that approach, Intel’s Core vPro video discusses why refreshing the newer machines in your fleet helps maintain user productivity.

If you opt to move your existing, newer machines to Windows® 7, consider using Lenovo’s hardware-agnostic In-Place Migration (IPM) suite. The IPM toolset can move each of your existing, newer machines, regardless of manufacturer, to Windows® 7 in as little as 20 minutes per machine. The IPM toolset executes a seven-step process to quickly and efficiently migrate any computing device to Windows® 7. Those seven steps include:

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  1. Backing up data;
  2. Wiping HDD (retaining user-specific data);
  3. Restoring Windows® 7 image;
  4. Executing scripted deployment steps;
  5. Installing applications/Join domain/Insert AD;
  6. Installing languages, personalization and local settings; and
  7. Restoring user data.

Managing Windows® 7 after deployment

As your transition progresses, count on Windows® 7’s stability to drive down your organization’s total cost of ownership. For example, Windows® 7’s flexible administrative control not only makes your job easier, it helps you meet compliance requirements. To find out how to squeeze every benefit possible from Windows® 7, read the Windows® 7 Manageability Overview in Microsoft’s Springboard community.