Assignment 1: The Wild Frontier, Part 1 Due Week 3 and worth 70 points Imagine you are the leader of the IT team at the national headquarters for a company supplying western wear to an international market. The owner, Sam Yosemite, tells your IT team to provide support to four (4) new satellite offices but his instructions are vague and incoherent. You only know that the employees in the new offices (numbering about 20 staff for each) will have to be self-sufficient and mirror nearly all the applications used at headquarters, but on minimal budgets. The satellite offices will be in operation for a combined total of 24 hours each day. Each office will operate based on its own set of local business hours, which do not overlap among other satellite offices. Your IT staff is solely responsible for providing support to the satellite offices. Your boss needs to keep the costs for licensing and support low or risk cutting into the budget for the IT staff salaries. Write a three to four (3-4) page proposal paper which covers the following: Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements: The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

Title: Proposal for Cost-Effective IT Support for Satellite Offices

Introduction:
As the leader of the IT team at the national headquarters of a western wear company, the task at hand is to provide support to four new satellite offices. The challenge lies in ensuring that these offices, each with approximately 20 staff members, are self-sufficient and can mirror the applications used at headquarters. Moreover, it is vital to achieve this while adhering to minimal budgets and keeping licensing and support costs low. This proposal aims to outline a strategy to tackle these constraints effectively.

I. Establishing a Framework for Support:
A. Implementing a Ticketing System:
Setting up a centralized ticketing system will facilitate efficient communication and issue resolution between the satellite offices and the IT department. This will allow IT staff to prioritize and respond to requests based on their urgency and the level of impact they have on the operations of each satellite office. By having a standardized process in place, productivity and response times can be enhanced.

B. Establishing Support Hours:
Given that the satellite offices will be in operation for a combined total of 24 hours each day, it is essential to establish support hours that align with each office’s local business hours. This will ensure uninterrupted services and timely resolution of support tickets. Allocating IT staff members to specific shifts will enable efficient utilization of resources throughout the entire day.

II. Remote Desktop and Virtualization Solutions:
A. Implementing Remote Desktop Solutions:
Deploying remote desktop solutions, such as Windows Remote Desktop Services, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, or VMware Horizon, will enable seamless access to the required applications at headquarters. By providing virtual desktop environments, IT staff will be able to centrally manage and update applications while minimizing the need for individual installations at each satellite office. This approach ensures consistency and reduces licensing costs.

B. Adopting Application Virtualization:
Implementing application virtualization technologies, such as Microsoft App-V or VMware ThinApp, will further reduce overhead costs by decoupling the applications from the underlying operating system. This allows applications to run on any compatible machine, regardless of its hardware or software configuration. Application virtualization also streamlines the process of updating and maintaining applications across all satellite offices.

III. Cost-Effective Licensing and Support:
A. Considering Open Source Alternatives:
Evaluate suitable open source alternatives to commercial applications currently in use. Open source software, such as LibreOffice as a replacement for Microsoft Office, can provide cost savings without compromising functionality. Thorough testing and validation of open source alternatives should be conducted to ensure compatibility and reliability for the satellite offices.

B. Negotiating Volume Licensing Agreements:
Engage with software vendors to negotiate volume licensing agreements specifically tailored to the needs of the satellite offices. By consolidating licensing, substantial cost savings can be achieved. Additionally, consider the option of subscription-based licensing models, which can provide flexibility and scalability as per the budgetary requirements of each satellite office.

Conclusion:
In summary, this proposal outlines a comprehensive strategy to provide cost-effective IT support for the newly established satellite offices. By implementing a framework for support, utilizing remote desktop and virtualization solutions, and considering cost-effective licensing and support options, the company can ensure the efficient functioning of the satellite offices while maintaining minimal budgets. Execution of this proposal will result in increased productivity, reduced costs, and optimal utilization of IT staff resources.

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