I P M A  News

  Information Processing Management Associates July 1995  

July 1995

Windows 95 Is Coming! Are You Ready?

by Linda Bremer

Do end customers manage the transition to Windows 95 of does InformationServices (IS) manage it?

Do we have a solid understanding of the total upgrade costs?

What kind of training will be required for our customers? Who will structureit? Who will pay for it?

What kind of support do we need to provide?

Are we ready to deal with new PCs being shipped with Windows 95 beginning inAugust?

What do we do when customers who have Windows 95 at home bring it into thework place because it’s so much more friendly?

What is the business case for migrating to Windows 95? Why upgrade? Is therea business case for staying where we are?

What’s the difference between using Windows NT versus Windows 95?

What have other organizations encountered with their conversions to Windows95?

Are we prepared to deal with the demand for use of OFFICE 95 right on theheels of implementing Windows 95?

When do we convert our 16-bit-based applications to 32-bit?

On June 1, the IPMA sponsored a seminar with a panel of experts to explorethe questions noted above and much more. The speakers were Aaron Frank fromMicrosoft, Scott Winkler from Gartner Group, Steve Kleynhans from The METAGroup, and David Wells from KMI (an E-Mail and network consulting firm). BarryRau of Sterling Associates served as the moderator.

We started the session off with a preview of Windows 95. All the panelistsconcurred that it offered productivity gains that far outstrip the features ofthe current Windows environment. It was also noted that it is not a"perfect" piece of software. It has constraints and the use of thebeta version highlighted many areas that had "bugs."

Per these experts, Windows 95 is highly compatible with existing Windowsapplications. Around the first of 1996, we can expect the first releaseof Windows 95 with bug corrections. The installation of Windows 95 requiresplanning — especially in regard to upgrade dollars and customer training.

The operating system offers a) greater reliability, b) more functionalitythat a developer can tap, c) higher performance and d) a potential for evengreater availability of applications. The "user environment" offers aneasier interface and enables a person to do more! In terms of supportability-itis easy to administer and configure. It is robust — having greater failurerecovery features. And it is "smart" enough to support greater hard-ware compatibility.

Customers who run Novell have been disappointed with Windows 95 support ofNovel 4.x only through bindery emulation. The installation/migration successdepends on the environment mix you have now.

As far as converting our existing internally developed 16-bit applications,we need to develop a plan to convert those to 32-bit. We could perhaps startwith the most mission-critical programs or those that stand to have the greatestbenefits with 32-bit efficiencies.

The panelists recommended that:

  • We move to take control of the transition to Windows 95!
  • Because support costs skyrocket in mixed operating system environments, — wherever possible — shoot for having pockets of homogeneity if a total conversion is not possible.
  • If possible, wait for the first 32-bit applications and when the first "bug" fixes are ready before migrating to Windows 95. The real power is realized with the 32-bit applications.
  • Remember that training will be needed. It is important to have training to make the transition more easily.
  • Windows NT still offers the highest level of protection for data and applications (ACLs on the desktop, fault tolerance, MVDMs).
  • Set up a pilot LAN, test it, develop a deployment plan and get ready for the next migration — Office 95!

Personally, I gained a great deal at the seminar. I had been looking at thisconversion as a technological decision. AGAIN!

I lost sight of the fact that whether IS is ready or not, Windows 95 willroll out. Our customers will view us as non-responsive unless we support themwith productivity tools that enable them to do more. Consequently, we must havestrategies and plans in place that we and our customers can agree on.

— Linda Bremer

Relational Data Bases

On September 7, the IPMA will host a discussion of the current state of theart in relational databases. This half day discussion will featurerepresentatives from industry leading data base vendors and consultants.

Generally, the topics to be discussed will include time frames for includingvoice and video objects, state of the art and next steps in distributed databases, connectivity between server based data bases and mainframe-baseddatabases and advances in SUP architected databases. Specific topics to bediscussed will depend on the responses received from a survey found in thismonth’s IPMA News.

The event will be in the Coho C room of the Tyee Hotel from 8:30 AM to noon.IPMA members and non-members are invited.

-Dennis Laine

June Board Meeting

Members Present: Alvin Bloomberg, Phil Grigg, Joe Coogan, Mary Ellen Bradley,Shelagh Taylor, Jim Andersen, Dennis Laine, and Phil Coates. Members absent:Darrel Riffe, George Lindamood and Bob Marlatt.

The Board Meeting was opened by Joe Coogan at 7:30 AM June 8, 1995.

The minutes for the May Board meeting were approved. They were entered in theNewsletter indicating the month of April. It should have read May.

Phil Coates presented the Treasurer’s report and had the report approved.He reported that he has not received any documentation to pay monies for eitherthe Executive Seminar or the New Market Skills Center.

The following committee reports were made:

Budget / FinanceThere was no budget report given. PhilCoates was wondering when he could expect an auditor to be appointed to auditthe books.

Business/Planning — In Bob Marlatt’s absence, Jim Andersen passed outa tentative agenda for the Justice Conference, which will be held November 1 and2 at the SeaTac Holiday Inn. The conference fee will be $150.

Executive Seminar — Phil Grigg and Jim Andersen presented anupdate on the Executive Seminar. The committee is finalizing the topic agendafor the Seminar. They have issued a letter to the Corporate Sponsors who will beable to invite two attendees each. They have also prepared a communication tothe membership, which should be sent very soon. The Seminar will be held atOcean Shores on September 20/21/22.

Fall Forum — Jim Andersen stated that a draft agenda had beendefined and the committee was in the process of soliciting speaking proposalsfrom the corporate sponsor and vendor community. The Fall Forum will be heldOctober 24 and 25.

Membership — Shelagh Taylor stated that the committee set up awelcome desk at the recent Windows 95 Panel Discussion. She stated that theygreeted people and provided membership information. She is aiming for a 5percent increase in membership by IT managers.

Newsletter — Mary Ellen Bradley will be finalizing the nextNewsletter the week of June 12. She is going to feature an article about theIPMA sponsored Windows 95 Panel Discussion. She is interested in any articlesthat she could publish. Please call her if you have any ideas at 902-2303-.

Professional Development Dennis Laine reported that the June 1Windows 95 panel discussion was very successful and that he has received onlypositive feedback about the event. The discussion featured Microsoft, GartnerGroup, Metagroup and Sterling Associates. Dennis is planning on September 15 forthe next quarterly event. He is thinking of having the topic on server basedrelational databases. It was suggested that he include a questionnaire in theIPMA News to ask the membership for topic suggestions.

The meeting was adjourned by Joe Coogan at 9:00 AM.

Respectfully submitted, Phil Grigg, Secretary.

Message From The Chair

With the ever increasing expectations placed on senior information technologymanagers, it’s no wonder they feel overwhelmed. One way to overcome theeveryday burden of the grueling workplace is to step outside that environmentand learn what others are doing about it.

Here’s your chance. The IPMA is sponsoring an Executive Seminar September20, 21 and 22 tailored to the needs and interests of senior public sectorinformation technology managers.

Watch your mail for registration information.

— Joe Coogan

IPMA News Editor

IPMA News is the official newsletter of Information Processing ManagementAssociates, Inc. Send your articles to: Mary Ellen Bradley, Editor IPMA News,P.O. Box 915, Olympia, WA 98507-0915. Newsletter layout and production by SMI.