Editors share perspectives from vendors about products, services, technologies, and industry directions.

Microsoft has provided a powerful infrastructure with Active Directory (AD) and Group Policy. But as John Moyer and Kevin Sullivan of AutoProf (www.autoprof.com) told me, "Microsoft has just scratched the surface of GP's potential by using it for such tasks as security lockdown." John maintained that "Microsoft's great extensible framework provides opportunities to create policies to automate tedious configuration tasks and patch management, and AutoProf has taken advantage of those opportunities with its Policy Maker product." Kevin added, "IT pros can leverage the investment they've already made in AD by using Group Policy to help automate tasks such as mapping network drives and printers." Regarding patch management, John and Kevin explained that "the granular deployment capabilities for just-in-time patch deployment combined with AutoProf's filter control give administrators absolute control over targeting systems for patch deployment." Kevin summarized, "If organizations get increased value in configuration management without deploying additional infrastructure, they are winning all over the place."